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Fish and Shellfish, Mains, Salads

Japanese barbecue salmon salad

Japanese barbecue salmon salad
Los Angeles Times

Could it be a conspiracy? Who (or what) is preventing Angelenos from being allowed to enjoy the lunch that better suits us than anything in the world? That lunch would be a salade composee. Think of it: a beautiful main ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour plus steeping time | Serves 4

Ponzu sauce

  • 1/4 jalapeno, seeded and smashed
  • 1( 1/2 -inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut into rounds and smashed
  • 2 green onions, trimmed and smashed
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons dashi

Step 1In a bowl, mix the jalapeno, ginger, green onions, soy sauce, lime juice, lemon juice, vinegar and dashi. Steep for at least several hours or up to two days. Strain and refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

Mirin reduction sauce

  • 1 cup sake
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
  • 1 (1/4 -inch) piece ginger, peeled and smashed

Step 1In a small skillet, combine the sake, mirin, soy sauce, garlic, green onion and ginger. Cook over medium heat until reduced to one-half cup, about 30 minutes. Strain and cool.

Salad and assembly

  • 4 (6-ounce) wild salmon fillets, skin removed
  • Mirin reduction sauce
  • 3 Japanese cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1/4 -inch by 1/4 -inch by 2-inch strips; keep in ice water bath until ready to use
  • Ponzu sauce
  • 1 1/3 avocados, peeled and cut into 1/3 -inch slices
  • 4 cups julienned romaine lettuce (3 to 4 leaves cut into 1/4 -inch strips)
  • 1/2 cup pickled ginger
  • 1 cup daikon sprouts
  • 4 shiso leaves (oba)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds (a combination of black and toasted white sesame seeds)

Step 1Heat a grill or grill pan. Place the fillets on the grill and cook 4 minutes. Turn the fish over and brush with some of the mirin reduction sauce. Cook until they just start to feel firm to the touch, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Step 2Drain the cucumber strips and pat them dry. Place them in a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce.

Step 3Spoon 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce onto each of 4 plates. Place the cucumbers, avocado slices, romaine, pickled ginger and sprouts clockwise around the plate so they touch in the middle of the plate.

Step 4Put the shiso leaf in the middle of each plate where the ingredients meet. Place a fillet on the leaf, allowing the edge of the leaf to show. Drizzle the remaining ponzu sauce over the fish and salad ingredients, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve.

Note: Recipe from Spago executive chef Lee Hefter. He uses a heavy chef's knife to smash the vegetables for the ponzu sauce. Dashi is a soup stock made with dried bonito flakes, kombu and water; look for instant dashi in Japanese markets. Daikon sprouts and shiso leaves can also be found at Japanese markets.


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