Salmon demands little, if anything, in the way of adornment. Yet sometimes we crave a little something to counter its richness. Enter the bracing sharpness of ginger root.
- 4 to 6 ounces salmon fillets, skinned if desired
- 3-inch piece ginger root, peeled
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed, sunflower or canola oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Soy sauce, lemon wedges or mirin (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pat the salmon dry. Place the salmon on a rimmed plate or in a baking dish.
Using a grater or zester held over a bowl, grate the ginger root. Add the oil, stir to combine, and rub the resulting paste over the salmon. (Grating ginger root releases more of the pungent juices than slicing or mincing. If you don't have a grater or zester, smash the ginger root using the flat side of a knife. First rub the crushed portion and its juices over the surface of the salmon, then mince the used ginger, mix with the oil and rub the resulting paste over the salmon.)
Set aside for 10 to 25 minutes, depending on how pungent a ginger flavor you prefer.
Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape any excess ginger from the salmon. Transfer the salmon to the skillet and do not move or turn it for 2 minutes. (If the salmon sticks to the skillet, it is not properly seared; cook for 30 more seconds and try again.) Turn and cook until lightly browned and crisp but not cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and finish cooking to the desired degree of doneness.
Taste and, if desired, counter the pungency of the ginger with a few drops of soy sauce, lemon juice or mirin.
Adapted from a recent issue of Waitrose Food Illustrated magazine.
Tested by Renee Schettler.
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