In which I make something delicious…

Hola amigos!

oh heavens

That there is salmon.

I have a great fish market right down the street from me. The lovely ladies of Mercato del Mare opened the small place about two years ago (I think?) and they always have the regular stuff you might be looking for, and it is always impeccably fresh. And they send great e-mails when they have special stuff. They also have what appears to be delightful ready to eat or heat and eat options, which since I like to do it myself, I don’t take advantage of, but one of these days I am sure I will, because it all looks delicious. They are always willing to chat about whatever idea I have come up with that particular evening, and will help out with any particular requests I might have. I love having them in the neighborhood.

I wandered in there the other day with a recipe for salmon sashimi in mind, and left with some lovely salmon cut in thin slices for me by the ladies. The recipe called for 1/8 inch thick slices, which is really really thin. I think the only way that might have been possible would be to cut them right off the whole filet with a really sharp, thin-blade knife. I am not giving up on that possibility, but in the meantime, the 1/4 inch slices that I ended up with worked just fine. Thanks for the help Liz and Keri!

This recipe comes together really easily, and says it will serve four as an appetizer. I ate it by myself and called it dinner.

First things first, the salmon gets marinated in soy sauce for a minute. Literally, one minute, then you drain it.

marinated

The fish gets laid out on a plate and sprinkled with, in my case, ginger and scallions. It is supposed to be ginger and chives but I didn’t have any.

sprinkled

Then you mix a little bit more soy sauce with the juice of a lime and an orange, while you heat sesame, olive and canola oils for about two minutes.

When you are ready to eat you pour the hot oil over the top of the fish, and then follow with the soy citrus mixture. That’s it. Dinner is served. And it is awesome.

dinner

This tasted a lot of soy sauce (use low-sodium or it will border on overwhelming) and the oil seemed like it would be too much, but wasn’t. This felt luxurious but only cost me about $5. And it came together in minutes. If I want it to feel more like dinner, next time I will serve the fish over rice stick or bean thread noodles for a little bit of substance. And perhaps I will add either red pepper flakes (probably to the oil) or sriracha (to the soy citrus sauce) for a little heat. I suspect if you have friends that like sushi, they will be really impressed by this oh so simple appetizer. And I think it would be easily adjusted for different flavor profiles as well. And this is a good one for the air conditioner-less situation that I find myself in. It is always right around this time of year that I wonder why I love this apartment so much. No air and no dishwasher. Remind me again?

Anyway, if you are as big a salmon sushi fan as I am, sally forth and make this soon. You will not regret it.

Salmon Sashimi with Soy and Sesame Oil (serves 2 as an appetizer, 1 for dinner)

Adapted from Food & Wine July 2008

1/4 cup plus 2 tbl low-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp fresh lime juice

1 tsp fresh orange juice

1/4 lb super fresh salmon, sliced as thinly as possible and then into approximately 2 inch lengths

One 1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger sliced paper-thin and cut into match sticks

1 tbl thinly sliced scallions

2 tbl neutral oil like grapeseed, or a combination of olive and canola oils

1 tsp Asian sesame oil

1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)

2 tbl cilantro leaves (optional)

In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce with the lime and orange juices. In a medium bowl, toss the salmon with the remaining 1/4 cup of soy sauce and let stand for 1 minute, then drain. Arrange salmon on plate or plates and top with the ginger and chives.

In a small saucepan, heat the oils over moderately high heat until smoking, about 2 minutes. Drizzle the hot oil over the salmon pieces. Spoon the soy-citrus sauce on top. Sprinkle with the roasted sesame seeds and cilantro leaves, if using, and serve.

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