Monday, November 5, 2012

Trying to Like Salmon: Apple Soy Marinade



You may not find it hard too believe that I will pretty much eat anything that won't eat me first.  There are a few exceptions to this statement.  I don't like raisins much, I detest oysters and I'm not too fond of any fish that has a strong fishy flavor, like salmon. 

Salmon seems to be the darling of the culinary world these days, and what's not to love about it . . . in theory.  It is healthy with its abundance of omega-3 fatty acids which strengthen the cardiac muscles and keep the arteries flexible, and it is also high in vitamins and minerals.  Aside from that, I know some people who eat it because they actually like the taste.  Imagine that.

Oh I've tried to like it.  I've cooked it everyway that you can imagine, smoked, grilled, broiled, baked, poached and steamed.  I've eaten it hot, cold and room temperature without much luck.  I've tried sockeye, coho, wild and farmed and everything else in between.  It's just that fishy flavor that ruins it for me everytime, but I keep trying. 

There was one time I remember really liking it.  Years ago my in-laws grilled some salmon that their neighbor had caught on a fishing trip in Alaska.  The night before they served it, they reduced a mixture of apple juice, soy sauce, garlic and ginger to a thick syrup.  They cooled this syrup and then drenched their salmon in it and let it marinate overnight.  The next evening they grilled it, and I loved it.  I have never had salmon that good since, but I keep trying it in hopes of finding that perfect storm of ingredients once again.

Ever the optimistic diner, I purchased a beautiful looking salmon fillet yesterday at Whole Foods.  In an effort to recreate that magic from so long ago, I mixed up my own version of my in-laws' marinade.  Choosing to start out with a thick sweet apple essence in the form of jelly, I was able to skip both the reducing and cooling.  I added the other ingredients and poured my marinade over this beautiful fillet, allowing it to sit overnight before smoking it in some mild applewood. 

The results were pretty darn good . . . for salmon that is.  In my opinion this recipe is probably best when smoked or grilled, but it is also great broiled.  This marinade is also great for shrimp, pork and chicken. 



2 tablespoons apple jelly, room temperature or warmed slightly
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated gingerroot
1 teaspoon lime juice
Pinch white pepper
1/2 small Serrano pepper, very thinly sliced (optional)

Mix all ingredients until combined.  Pour over meat and allow to marinate a couple of hours or overnight if possible.  Add additional salt and pepper to taste.  Cook as desired.

This marinade will season approximately 1 - 2 pounds of meat.




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