Monday, February 8, 2010

Mirin-Glazed Salmon and Mint, Scallion Soba Noodles

For evening #2 of my all Asian-inspired Chinese New Year week menu, I decided to go ahead and make some Mirin-Glazed Salmon with some soba noodles.  I guess this is my fully Japanese-inspired meal for the week, whereas I would say last night's noodles were Chinese-inspired, with a dash of Japanese.  Anyway, when I was planning out my menu for this week I noticed that I had some nice wild salmon that has been hanging out in the freezer for awhile and some soba noodles up in the cupboard, so this sounded like a good time to break both of them out.  After tonight I am done with the noodle component of my menu for this week.  This meal also marks the conclusion of my Japanese-inspired portion of the menu.  Now I get to move on to the rest of Asia!

I usually make these soba noodles during the summer.  They make a wonderful cool summer meal or side dish.  But I thought they would provide us with a nice contrast from the rich sweetness of the mirin glaze on the salmon.  The salmon was good, but I think it needs some tweaking.  I am not sure what I will add to it the next time I make it, but it needs something else for contrast - perhaps some acid.  However, while this is not a spectacular meal, it's solid.  It is also quick to prepare and very easy, which counts for a lot.

Recipes after the jump!
Mirin-Glazed Salmon

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 scallion, thinly sliced on the bias
4 6oz. salmon fillets
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

Mix soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp ground white pepper in a shallow baking dish.  Marinate the salmon in it for 20 minutes, skin-side up.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Flip the salmon fillets over in the pan so they rest skin side down.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and remaining 1/4 tsp white pepper.  Cook fish in the oven until it reaches desired doneness, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove salmon from baking dish and top with thinly sliced scallions. 

Mint and Scallion Soba Noodles
Adapted from Gourmet
June 2001

12 oz dried soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles)
1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/4 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced scallions (roughly 1 1/2 bunches)

Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water until just tender, about 4-5 minutes, then drain in a colander. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking, then drain well.  While noodles are cooking, stir together vinegar, oils, soy sauce, sugar, and salt until sugar is dissolved.

Toss noodles with dressing, mint, and scallions.  Serve cool or at room temperature.

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