I love this technique for cooking salmon – simmering it for just a few minutes. This simple method preserves the flavor and texture of the fish, and I have used it for many years. The salmon develops a custard-like consistency, and the sweet bite of the sauce cuts through the richness of the fish.
For the Sweet Pea-Wasabi Sauce:
2 cups Chicken Stock
For the Wild Salmon:
Four 6-ounce salmon fillets
For the Enoki Salad:
1/4 cup small matchsticks daikon radish
For the Yuzu Vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon white miso paste
For the Garnish:
2 ounces baby pea shoots
To make the Yuzu Vinaigrette, put the ginger in a clean jar and add the oil. Seal tightly and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight, before using. Strain the oil. Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Blend with an immersion blender until very smooth.
For the sauce, combine the chicken stock, carrot, onion, bacon, garlic, and the 1/2 cup sugar snap peas in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the flavors come together. Strain the broth and set aside.
Blanch the green peas in boiling salted water. Drain, plunge into an ice bath, and drain again. Repeat with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar snap peas. Transfer both vegetables to a blender, add 2 to 3 tablespoons water, as necessary, season with salt and white pepper, and process to a puree. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and set aside.
Blanch the mint leaves in a pot of boiling salted water. Drain, plunge into an ice bath, and drain again. Transfer to a blender and puree, adding only as much water as needed to puree. Set aside.
For the salmon, pour enough water to cover the bottom into a casserole that will hold the salmon comfortably. Season with salt and place the pot over medium heat. Season the salmon on both sides with salt and white pepper, place the salmon fillets in the pot, and cook at a simmer until the top of the salmon is just warm to the touch, 5 to 7 minutes.
While the salmon is cooking, make the salad: Toss the daikon, snow peas, and mushrooms with the yuzu vinaigrette in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
To finish the sauce, pour 1/2 cup of the pea broth into a small saucepan and add 1/4 cup of the pea puree, the wasabi paste, 1 tablespoon of the mint puree, and the butter. Season to taste with salt and white pepper and bring the sauce to a boil. Just before serving, froth with a handheld immersion blender.
Remove the salmon from the pan and drain on a towel. Place a salmon fillet in the center of each plate. Arrange one-quarter of the daikon salad on top of each fillet and top with baby pea shoots. Spoon the pea sauce around, and serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 4
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