Fresh seafood was a staple on our dining table as I was growing up in Hawaii. On weekend mornings, we’d go to the beach, catch fish and gather limu (seaweed) and, if we were lucky, find an octopus or two or some panapana (sea urchin in Ilocano). These items would be simply prepared, sometimes steamed with ginger, sometimes fried to a wonderful crispiness, many variations of seafood stews, or sometimes eaten raw (like the sea urchin) and limu.
I like my fish unadulterated. I want to taste the ocean that they breathed and the seaweed that nurtured them. Whenever I go back to Hawaii, I eat poke, a popular raw fish dish in Hawaii that has a variety of preparation methods. Ingredients might include fish, shrimp and octopus, and might be flavored with seaweed, green onions, kukui nut, sea salt, chili water, even kimchee seasoning. The main thing is that the fish flavor is enhanced, not smothered.
The few glazed fish dishes I have eaten in restaurants were either over-cooked or over-sauced. It was as if someone covered dark, rich koa or cherry wood with a thick paint. Quite disrespectful!
In the interest of trying a new recipe, however, I set out to look for a glaze that might help me be more open-minded. I found a wonderfully simple recipe from America’s Test Kitchen (yet again!) that had only three ingredients to add to the salmon. Now that is simple.
In fact, it was too simple, so I decided I needed to stretch a little and bake a peach cobbler from a recipe I found in an August 2005 Martha Stewart’s Living magazine. The peach filling is tasty with just a touch of ginger, but it is the taste and texture of the topping that renders this dessert a lavish end to a simple meal.
MAPLE-SOY GLAZED SALMON
The preparation time for this meal was 40 minutes, which is the time it takes to cook basmati rice in a rice cooker. The actual time for the preparation of the maple-soy glazed salmon was about 2 0minutes, including the gathering of ingredients and cutting a side of salmon into fillets.
I simmered a 1/2 cup of maple syrup and 1/4 cup soy sauce for a few minutes until the mixture was the texture of syrup. I baked six salmon fillets, skin side down, at 450 degrees for about three minutes then basted each piece with the glaze. I baked it about three more minutes adding a little more glaze at the end.
I then sprinkled chopped up green onions and toasted sesame seeds on the top and the dish was ready. It was served with rice and a mixed green salad with ginger tofu dressing.
SALMON SIMPLY GLAZED TO PERFECTION — IN TEXAS!
PEACH COBBLER ALA MODE!