Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rum-Cured Salmon Summer Rolls

I purchased a gorgeous salmon filet and I wanted to try something a little different so I decided to try and cure it.  The process is so very simple and the results, well all I can say is that everyone who tasted the salmon wanted more, more and more!  We enjoyed the rum-cured salmon for breakfast with eggs, as a snack on crackers with a bit of Crème fraiche, but our favorite way to eat the salmon was in these summer rolls.   These are a great appetizer or even a light lunch, either way they’re delicious!

IMG_8470Rum Cured Salmon Summer Rolls

To cure salmon:
1 cup (lightly packed) chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh ginger
3 TBS. Sichuan peppercorns, cracked
one 2-pound fresh salmon fillet with skin still attached (I use steelhead salmon)
1/3 cup dark rum

In a bowl, combine the cilantro, brown sugar, salt, ginger and Sichuan peppercorns.

Place the salmon in a large glass baking dish, skin side down. Drizzle the rum over the salmon and then press the cilantro mixture evenly over the fish.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the salmon, covering completely. Place a second, smaller baking dish or pan directly on top of the covered salmon and then place about 5-pounds of weight on top of that. Refrigerate for no less than 18 hours and no more than 24.

After salmon has cured, scrape off the curing mixture and discard. Using a sharp knife, cut the salmon into thin slices on the diagonal. Store the salmon for up to a week in a tightly sealed, air squeezed out, Ziplock bag.

To make the summer rolls:
Spring roll wrappers
thin slices of rum-cured salmon
Veggies of your choice but I used:
cucumber, seeded and sliced into 1/4-inch strips
carrot, peeled and julienned

Working one at a time, quickly soak the spring roll wrapper in a bowl of hot water until it just begins to soften, about 5 seconds and then place on a cutting board. On the lower half first lay a slice or two of the salmon, top with some spinach leaves, two or three cucumber strips and some carrots. Roll the part of the spring roll wrapper closest to you over the fillings and then fold in the sides before rolling the rest of the roll away from you until it's a nice tight roll.

Slice in half or eat whole.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Glass Noodle, Spicy Chicken and Spinach Salad

This salad was absolutely delicious and would be wonderful on a hot summer day. I also love that I was able to get everything prepared ahead of time and just toss it all together right before serving, a perfect salad for a gathering. I'm looking forward to having this again very soon.

IMG_8456Glass Noodle, Spicy Chicken and Spinach Salad 

3 oz. thin cellophane noodles
1 1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast
5 TBS. medium sweet soy sauce
Shichimi togarashi, to taste
6 cups (loosely packed) fresh spinach leaves, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced napa cabbage
1 medium unpeeled cucumber cut into matchsticks
1 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 small fresh poblano chili, stemmed, seeded and finely minced
ginger dressing (recipe below)
1/4 cup white sesame seeds, toasted

Put the noodles into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak the noodles until softened and pliable, about 10 minutes. Drain well in a colander and rinse until cool. With a scissors or knife, cut the noodles a bit to make them a little shorter. Set aside.

Brush all sides of the chicken breasts with 3 TBS of the sweet soy sauce and season with the shichimi togarashi. Grill or broil until cooked. Remove, cool and cut into thin strips.

In a large bowl add the cooled noodles, spinach, napa cabbage, cilantro, red onion and poblano. Pour on enough dressing to coat and toss well. Top the salad with the sliced chicken. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and then drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce and a bit more of the ginger dressing.

Ginger Dressing

1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup rice vinegar 
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 TBS. chopped peeled fresh ginger
fruit from 1/2 of a lemon
1 TBS. ketchup
1/4 tsp. Shichimi togarashi
2 TBS. water
1/2 cup Grapeseed oil 

Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chinese Whole Steamed Fish

IMG_8440I recently had this in a restaurant and totally loved it so I came home and recreated the dish so that we could enjoy it whenever we wanted.  The fish was moist, tender, delicate and beautifully flavored.  This dish may seem like a long process but it’s quite simple and oh-so worth the effort.

Chinese Whole Steamed Fish

1 2-1/2 to 3 pound whole red snapper, cleaned with scales, guts & gills removed

Aromatics for steaming:
4 scallions, cut in half crosswise
3-inch long piece of ginger, sliced in thin "coins"
1 medium bunch of cilantro
3 TBS Shaoxing wine or rice wine
salt & pepper

Soy sauce mixture:
2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup seasoned soy sauce for seafood (bottle will say "ideal for steamed fish")
3 TBS Shaoxing wine or rice wine
1 TBS rock sugar
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 chili pepper, thinly sliced into "coins"
4 TBS cilantro, roughly chopped

2 TBS peanut oil
2 scallions, cut into 2″ lengths
2-inch long piece of ginger, julienned

Clean the fish and pat dry. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. From the "Aromatics for steaming" take half of the scallions, ginger and cilantro and stuff inside the fish. Take the remaining half of the aromatics and place on a steamer tray. Place the fish on top of the aromatics.

Add 2-inches of water to a roasting pan or Dutch oven large enough to hold your fish. Bring the water to a boil then place your steamer tray with fish into the roaster and pour the Shaoxing wine over the fish. Cover pan with lid or foil. **IMPORTANT** Reduce the heat so that water is at a very low simmer. (If you steam the fish over a rolling boil the fish will fall apart and over cook.) Steam the fish for 24 minutes.

Check to see if the fish is done by checking the flesh near the top fin. If the flesh flakes easily then its done but if the flesh still sticks together it needs more time so cook in 1-2 minute intervals until done.

Towards the end of the steaming process, you’ll want to start preparing the soy sauce mixture. In a small pot heat the sesame oil, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and rock sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the black pepper, chili and cilantro and simmer for 30 seconds. When the fish is done steaming carefully lift the fish out and onto a serving platter discarding all of the cooked scallions, ginger and cilantro. Pour the hot soy sauce mixture over the fish.

In a separate small pan heat up the peanut oil until very hot. Add the ginger and scallions and fry for 15 seconds to pop the flavors. Pour the oil and herbs over the fish. You’ll hear a nice little sizzle as it brings all the flavors together and adds a nice sheen to the fish!


Related Posts with Thumbnails