This is a dish that has received nothing but praise from my eaters. The simple taste of sweet, local, organic honey is combined with the aromatic flavors of ginger, garlic and basil. Add just enough chili to excite the taste buds, and you are left with a dish that will be remembered and craved for a long time.
I have recently come to a profound realization that salmon, and not just any old salmon, but rather, a fresh center cut fillet of salmon that when cooked perfectly, is without a doubt my absolute favorite piece of meat (er... fish).
This is a realization that I welcome with nothing but the widest of open arms, as salmon is not only incredibly delicious, well textured and perfectly moist, but is also one of, if not the healthiest sources of animal protein. Rich in heart and brain healthy omegas and high in phosphorous, selenium, B vitamins and plethora of other healthy vitamins and minerals, salmon is a food that you too should embrace with open arms.
Now, lets talk about the dish. We're using a simple glaze to flavor the salmon, but instead of cooking the fish and glazing as we go, we are going to cook the glaze in a separate pan, allowing it to cook down to a very thick and sticky consistency. The reason I do this is because I like to cook salmon over a relatively high heat. This allows the natural oils in the fish to produce a crispy crusty outer layer. Sometimes however, these higher temperatures will cause the sugars in the glaze to burn, which we don't want. Alternately, if the heat is not high enough, the glaze itself may not reach that desired sticky texture in time, and you will be left with either, over-cooked salmon, or an under-cooked glaze. The two pan method removes this risk and allows you to simply brush your perfectly cooked salmon fillet with a perfectly sticky glaze then let it rest for a few minutes. Its really a win-win situation.
So without further ado, onto the recipe.
Oriental Basil Glazed Salmon
Calories: 255 per serving
2 salmon fillets (150 grams each)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp chili paste
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lemon juiced
2 tsp basil paste or 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
In a small sauce pan combine the soy sauce, honey, chili paste, ginger, garlic, water and lemon juice. Set the heat to medium and allow to reduce until a thick sticky glaze is formed. Be sure to check and stir often to prevent the glaze from over reducing.
Season the salmon with salt and pepper. In a non-stick skillet over medium high heat sear the salmon for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Once the glaze has thickened remove it from the heat and stir in the basil. Brush the salmon fillets liberally with the glaze, allow to rest for 2-3 minutes and serve.