Miso Salmon with Cilantro Sauce

Tonight's salmon was created courtesy of Power Foods from the Editors of Whole Living Magazine.  The full title is Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients.  Might sound a little pretentious, but the book is actually very down to earth with straightforward, easy-to-follow recipes.  Plus, you get to discover the world's 38 healthiest ingredients!  This recipe uses three of them:  Wild Alaskan Salmon, Soybeans (miso) and Citrus (lime juice).  [I served the salmon with a Black Bean Corn Salsa and a Cabbage Apple Slaw, but I'll post those recipes at a later date.]

For the salmon recipe, you'll need to allow one hour for the salmon to marinate, so plan accordingly. And as happens frequently, I either didn't have an ingredient or didn't have enough of one, so I rolled with the punches and improvised. I don't think it detracted from the final product.  My daughter had three helpings and said it was the best fish she's ever eaten!

Miso Salmon with Cilantro Sauce
adapted from Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients  by the Editors of Whole Living Magazine

Serves 4-5
Combine together in a medium saucepan:
1/2 cup yellow or white miso
1/3 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until miso and sugar have dissolved (do not boil).  Remove saucepan from heat and let marinade cool to room temperature.      

Once cooled, pour marinade into a sealable plastic bag and add:
1 1/2 lbs wild Alaskan salmon fillet, whole or cut into 4-5 pieces
Seal bag, place on plate (in case of leaks) and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make Cilantro Sauce by pureeing in a blender until smooth:
1 cup packed cilantro leaves and stems, coarsely chopped
1/4 c fresh lime juice (2-3 limes)
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar, packed

Preheat broiler and position oven rack at highest level.  Take salmon fillet(s) out of bag and place skin-side down on a broiler pan or jelly roll pan. Spread some of the marinade on top of the salmon.  Discard the rest of the marinade. Place salmon under broiler.  Now, here's where you need to be vigilant, because you don't want to overcook the salmon.  In fact, you want it slightly undercooked, because it will continue to cook even after you've removed it from the oven.  So, after 2-3 minutes, start checking your salmon.  Start with pressing the thickest part.  If it's still soft and gives easily, you're ok to leave it in for another minute.  Keep checking every couple of minutes (or less) until you start to feel it getting firm.  Also, you should notice the flesh turning opaque near the edges of the fish (where it is thinner).  At this point, the best way to tell is to use a fork, flake apart the salmon at the thickest part, and look inside.  It should still be a bit translucent in the middle. Take out of the oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.


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