Salmon-cured sake and Quinoawesome

We really love pan fried salmon and was missing eating it. As a result, we decided to try infusing and curing salmon with sake. We were surprised the likeness of adding sugar and salt to the salmon to help create flavor, and the salmon had a light sake flavor. We paired this with a vegetable quinoa prepared in a similar methodology to risotto. Was it our favorite salmon recipe? The Test Kitchen’s is still the best and our go to.

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Adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 (1-pound) salmon fillet
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups sake, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion $
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preparation

Place salmon, skin side down, on a plate. Combine 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon sugar; rub salt mixture evenly over skinned sides of salmon. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 2 hours.

Remove plastic wrap from salmon. Rinse salmon under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Combine 1 cup sake, remaining 1 teaspoon sugar, chili paste, and garlic in a zip-top plastic bag. Add salmon; seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Place quinoa in a fine sieve; place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain. Repeat procedure twice. Drain well.

Heat butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until butter melts. Add pepper and onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until onion is tender. Add quinoa; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup water, remaining 1/2 cup sake, juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Stir in parsley. Keep warm.

Preheat oven to 450°. Remove salmon from bag, reserving marinade. Place marinade in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 7 minutes).

Brush skinned sides of salmon with remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil. Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon to pan, skin side up; cook 3 minutes or until golden brown.

Turn salmon over, and baste with reduced marinade. Place pan in oven, and bake at 450° for 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve immediately with quinoa.

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