101 Ways To Cook F-ing Salmon: Miso-Glazed King Salmon with Oven-Roasted Asparagus and Baked Potato

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Apologies for my long delay in posting. On top of being pregnant, I developed a rather nasty kidney infection. So you could only imagine, sadly food was the last thing on my mind. The bad news is I lost 5 lbs. The good news is...I lost 5 lbs. Which means I  need to eat a lot to make it up for this pregnancy. Because my last two children were ginormous (at least for me because I'm 5'3 and 1/2) and this last kid can't be some puny dude/dudette.

Much has transpired since last we met. The Hubsters went on a week-long fishing expedition. And I do use the word expedition on purpose here. Nay, an odyssey in the quest for the finest fishery Alaska had to offer. Stay tuned for a posting and pictures of the trip itself, as it was gorgeous and the fish are both fascinating to see and impressive to catch. But for now, suffice it to say, I gotta make my way through 130 lbs of coho and king salmon, halibut, and rockfish in the next few months.

Thus I present to you a new feature on TES: 101 Ways to Cook Fucking Salmon. Because by the time November hits, my beloved salmon will be referred to as "fucking salmon."

The first night The Manly Man Brigade as I've officially dubbed them came back to the lodge and prepared king salmon for their meal. Man hunt. Man eat. Man happy. The resident chef de cuisine, Steve (a rather accomplished home cook I've heard is quite talented actually) was in charge and prepared a meal of miso-glazed salmon that was oven-baked, with asparagus and a simple but delicious (and extremely manly) baked potato. Last night I recreated the meal, adding my own interpretations. The miso glaze offers a spectrum of flavors from savory to sweet that hits you instantly yet retains enough restraint as to not overpower the fish. The preparation involves a little work mixing the glaze together, but you can prep your salmon in the morning or even night before and then bake it or grill it whenever you're ready.

Mis-Glazed King Salmon with Oven-Roasted Asparagus and Baked Potato
1 obscenely large king salmon fillet or 4 smaller portions, skin on
1 Tbsp white miso paste*
1 tsp mirin or rice wine vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp - 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce (to taste)
1 lime, juiced
about 1 Tbsp cold water (plus more if needed)
smallest dash (about 1/4 tsp) good quality, dark sesame oil

Wash the fish and pat it very dry. Place on a baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine the miso paste, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, water, and sesame oil and whisk to combine. Taste and add more water to dilute the glaze if you find it too strong. Adjust with more sugar for sweetness and soy sauce for saltiness to taste. Once you've achieved your desired balance (it's totally objective so go slow and taste as you go along!), then brush half of the glaze on top of the fish, coating the top. Reserve the rest for the baking.

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish. Halfway through the baking process, glaze the salmon again with the miso glaze. Discard any left over. When the salmon is pink in color and firm to the touch, it is done.

Oven-Roasted Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed off
2 Tbsp olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Toss the asparagus spears in the olive oil then spread out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake in 350 degree oven 10-15 minutes (thinner spears will be 10 minutes, thicker spears 15). Serve with the salmon.

Baked Potatoes
4 large Russett potatoes, washed and scrubbed clean then patted dry with paper towels
aluminum foil
butter, sour cream, thinly sliced scallions, salt, etc. for garnish

Simply wrap each potato in a piece of aluminum foil and place in a 350 degree oven for an hour. When you can easily pierce the potato with a fork or knife, they are done. Remove and carefully peel back the aluminum. Cut a slit down the length of each potato and gently press both ends towards each other to create the classic presentation. Serve with traditional acoutraments or desired garnishes.

*This can prove a little challenging to find. First of all, it will not be in the Asian aisle of your supermarket like you'd (and I had) assumed. Miso requires refrigeration, so check in the refrigerated section of the market. Whole Foods has it for sure. If not, try your local Asian specialty store. If you're desperate (as I've been on occasion), buy a bunch of those miso soup packages and use the miso paste inside.

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