Perhaps you want to re-create that phenomenal teriyaki salmon you had at a restaurant, or you just want to try something new for dinner. The key to putting a tasty teriyaki salmon on the table is using quality ingredients. This means choosing best, freshest salmon and making your own teriyaki sauce, which only requires a few ingredients you can find at Asian markets and even some large-chain grocery stores. With the right ingredients and preparation, you can choose any cooking method for the teriyaki salmon.
1. Selecting the Salmon
Any good salmon dish should start off with the best quality salmon possible. Look for fresh salmon that does not smell fishy -- rather, it should smell like the ocean. The flesh should look moist and translucent and give slightly when you touch it, and quickly spring back into shape. Opt for wild salmon when it is in season -- it's more flavorful and nutrient-rich thanks to its diet and free movement, as opposed to farm-raised salmon that lives in confined spaces with limited dietary options. Even if fresh wild salmon is not available, many markets will have frozen wild salmon that has been flash-frozen to preserve the nutrients.
2. Teriyaki Marinade
Basic teriyaki sauce consists of soy sauce; mirin,- a sweet Asian cooking wine; sake, a rice wine; and sugar. The ratios vary based on your preference; renowned Japanese chef Hiroko Shimbo recommends 1/4 cup of sake and soy sauce for every 1/2 cup of mirin. Use 2 tablespoons of sugar for that ratio. Teriyaki sauce at many Japanese restaurants and the kind sold in grocery stores contain additional ingredients that you can add to your taste, including crushed garlic, grated ginger, honey, brown sugar, chopped scallions and chili sauce.
3. Marinating the Salmon
Remove the skin of the salmon if you choose by gently pulling the skin away from the flesh while slicing with a sharp kitchen knife. Rinse and pat it dry, and then place the salmon in the teriyaki sauce marinade so it is fully covered. Then put it in a bowl or a freezer-size plastic bag. Place it in the refrigerator and let the salmon marinate, preferably for at least an hour to infuse the most flavor, but 30 minutes is sufficient. When you are ready to cook the salmon, discard the marinade and do not re-use it.
4. Cooking the Salmon
Choose your favorite cooking method for your marinated salmon. Cook it on a grill over indirect heat, using a grilling pan or tinfoil. You can also pan-sear the salmon on both sides, and then finish it under the broiler in the oven. A 1-pound salmon fillet only needs 1 to 3 minutes under the broiler for medium doneness. To bake the salmon, use a shallow baking dish and place it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes. The salmon is ready when it flakes easily with a fork. Feel free to add more freshly made teriyaki sauce on top of the salmon before serving.
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