Salmon is a chameleon: it's character changes so much depending on the style of marinade being used. Inspired by a fabulous Miso and Ginger Marinade that's perfect with Black Cod, I decided to try the fragrant Asian-style marinade with some fresh pink filets of Atlantic salmon that we grilled outdoors along with foil-wrapped pouches of enoki and oyster mushrooms and bright green Gai Lan, also known as Chinese broccoli, stir-fried with ginger and garlic. Marinated in an aromatic combination of miso paste, mirin, rice vinegar, soy sauce, chopped green onions, minced ginger and sesame oil, the salmon is covered and chilled for at least 30 minutes before grilling on the barbecue.
Six cloves of smashed garlic added to a tablespoon of vegetable oil
and cooked until just golden
Delicious served with bright glossy green stalks of Gai Lan stir-fried with six cloves of smashed garlic, fresh ginger and a tablespoon of vegetable oil, the Gai Lan is finished with a sweet and savoury mixture of oyster sauce and sesame oil, then garnished with a flurry of sesame seeds.
Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli) and 2 slices of ginger are added and stir fried
until the stems are al dente
Some oyster sauce and sesame oil are added to the cooking liquid and poured
over the Gai Lan, just before serving and garnished with sesame seeds
Another lovely side dish which is gorgeous with grilled fish, is foil-wrapped pouches of mixed enoki, oyster and shiitake mushrooms, steamed with butter and sake. Inspired by a dish made at Nami, one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in Toronto, Peter, who oversees the robata grill, expertly prepares these mixed mushrooms to the delight of his many satisfied customers. An easy, delicious and healthy meal, each of the dishes can be prepared in less than half an hour, and enjoyed with chopsticks and a glass of cold sake on ice.
Grilled Miso & Ginger Marinated Salmon
1/4 cup red or white miso paste
1/4 cup mirin rice wine
2 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp minced green onions
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
4 salmon fillets, about 8-ounces each
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Whisk together the miso, mirin, vinegar, soy sauce, green onions, ginger, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Place the salmon in a baking dish, pour the marinade overtop and and turn to coat. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Heat grill to high. Remove the fish from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill the salmon, skin side down, with the cover closed, until golden brown and a crust has formed, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the salmon over and continue grilling for 3 to 4 minutes for medium doneness.
Gai Lan with Garlic & Ginger
1 lb Gai Lan (chinese broccoli)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp rice wine
1/4 tsp white sugar
2 slices of fresh ginger, smashed lightly with knife handle
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp black and white sesame seeds, for garnish
Mix water, wine and sugar in a bowl and set aside. Wash the Gai Lan, and trim 1-inch off the stems and discard. Then cut the Gai Lan into 2-inch pieces.
Heat oil in wok or large saucepan until the oil is hot and starts to shimmer. Add the smashed garlic and toss until golden brown, being careful that it doesn't burn. Once the garlic has become golden brown, add the ginger and toss for 30 seconds. Add the Gai Lan to the pot, tossing the stems in first and then the leaves. Ensure the Gai Lan is coated evenly with infused oil.
Add wine-water-sugar mixture to the pot, toss quickly and cover. Turn the heat down to medium-high and let steam/cook 3-4 minutes.
Steamed Enoki, Oyster & Shiitake Mushrooms with Sake
10 oz enoki mushrooms, trimmed
10 oz oyster mushrooms, trimmed
10 oz shiitake mushrooms, trimmed
10 oz shiitake mushrooms, trimmed
1/2 cup Sake rice wine
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 knob butter
Lay a large sheet of foil, about 18-20" long on a flat surface, and crimp up the corners to create a boat-like shape. Pour some oil in the centre and gently brush it over the foil to prevent the mushrooms from sticking. Divide the enoki mushrooms into 2 parcels and place at either end of the 'boat', then scatter the oyster and shiitake mushrooms in the middle. Pour the sake over top with a knob of butter and seal the foil packet, using another sheet of foil for the top if necessary. To steam, place the foil packet on the grill with the salmon and cook at the same time over similar heat. To serve, place the foil packet on a serving platter and enjoy with the Gai Lan and Miso & Ginger Salmon.