Japanese Braised Salmon
4 1 inch thick salmon steaks (not
2 slices peeled ginger
1 cup sake
3 tbsp. mirin (sweet cooking wine)*
1 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. soy sauce
vegetable oil for frying
1 oz. peeled ginger cut julienne
10 oz. bagged baby spinach
Place the salmon in a large, flat
bottomed colander. If you do not have one, line your sink with some cheesecloth
and be gentle! Pour boiling water evenly over the fish. Turn the fish very
carefully and pour boiling water on the other side. This removes strong
fishy flavors and any matter from the skin of the fish. Dry the fish off
carefully with a paper towel.
Into a large shallow pan that can hold all the salmon in one layer, put in the
fish and the sliced ginger. In a small saucepan, bring the sake and mirin
to a gentle boil. If you can't find the mirin, you can use another sweet
wine or just more sake. Also bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
Add the sake mixture to the pan with the fish. Add enough boiling water to
just cover the fish. Bring the fish to a boil over medium heat and skim off the
foam until no more appears. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the sugar
and cook, covered with a drop lid (a lid that is just a little smaller than the
pan so it sits on top of the fish), for 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce and
cook, covered with the drop lid, 18 to 20 minutes maintaining a gentle simmer.
Baste the fish with the liquid several times during cooking.
While the fish simmers, cook the ginger and spinach. Heat 1/2 inch of oil
in a skillet over medium heat until hot and cook the julienned ginger until
golden and crispy. Remove the ginger to a paper towel to drain.
In a medium pot of boiling water, parboil the spinach for 1 1/2 minutes.
Drain the spinach and cool it under cold water. Squeeze the spinach to
remove excess water. When the fish is done, add the spinach to the pot and
let it absorb the cooking liquid. Sometimes the broth has some little bits
of fish in it, to clear the broth, remove the fish and strain the broth back
into the pan before adding the spinach.
Serve the fish and spinach together with the crispy ginger as a garnish for the
This is also good served with a side of white rice.
*I had a really
hard time finding mirin, so I thought I would give you some help. It is
kept in the Asian section of the grocery store by the rice vinegar. It is in a
small plastic bottle and here is a picture so you know what to look for. I
was looking for a regular bottle of wine.