SESAME-CRUSTED SALMON WITH ASIAN NOODLE SALAD
adapted from Diane Morgan, Salmon (Chronicle Books, 2005)
Cooking the salmon with two colors of sesame seeds results in a very beautiful piece of fish! You can see photos of various preparations here. A few notes:
· The recipe calls for baking the salmon at a low temperature, 250F—this is not a typo. It takes a little longer, but it does work, and since there's no liquid with the fish, perhaps the low temperature helps to keep it from getting dried out.
· I recently got an instant read thermometer, and am finding it very helpful to cook fish to the right temperature (125F for salmon)—this way you don’t have to poke into the middle of the piece of fish to check for doneness.
· About the bean thread noodles: I followed the directions on the package I had, which said to boil for 2-4 minutes and also said that rinsing in cold water was optional. I boiled for 3 minutes and didn't rinse. After they had sat for a bit (as I was finishing chopping vegetables), they got somewhat gummy. Everything still all tasted good, but the texture wasn't great. Next time, I'll follow the directions in the recipe below.
· As I finished the cooking, I tasted the fish and the noodles separately, and wasn't hugely impressed. But when combined, the taste was great!!
6 ounces rice vermicelli (bean threads)
about 20 ounces of salmon, cut into 4 fillets
1 T. olive oil
kosher or sea salt
4 t. white sesame seeds
4 t. black sesame seeds
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 T. rice vinegar
3 T. sesame oil
2 t. sugar
2 t. peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
1 large stalk celery, julienned
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 c. packed fresh cilantro leaves.
Preheat oven to 250F. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.
Soak the rice vermicelli in a large bowl of warm water until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain well in a colander, shaking the colander to be sure all the water is removed.
Brush each salmon fillet with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. On a small plate, combine the white and black sesame seeds. Dip the top side of each fillet in the seeds and place on the prepared baking sheet, seed side up. Bake the salmon until done, about 20 minutes, until the fish flakes slightly (125F on an instant read thermometer).
While the salmon is baking, make the noodle salad. In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and ginger. Add the rice vermicelli and toss until the noodles are well coated. Add the carrot, celery, green onions, and cilantro. Toss to combine.
When the salmon is done, divide the noodle mixture among 4 dinner plates. Place a salmon fillet on top of the noodles, and serve.