This is a quick, cool, light and delicious summertime dish inspired by a recent trip to Kathay International (my favorite ethnic foods store). I always like to stock my pantry with the following key ingredients to add an asian twist to any meal at the last minute: soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, miso, fish sauce, coconut milk, curry paste, soba and/or rice noodles. Obviously I never stop there when I go to an imported foods shop, I always come home overflowing with colorful, indecipherable packages of ingredients which I have no idea how to use. Often I am pleasantly surprised by my resulting experimentation, though just as often the outcome is disastrous. This recipe, however, uses a reliable trio of Japanese flavors: soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar; which balance each other beautifully and add a subtle, exotic touch to marinades and sauces.
I seared the salmon using my new stainless-steel frying pan, which I’ve come to prefer over non-stick in almost every situation. If you heat a stainless steel pan correctly, and use the right amount of oil, you’ll find that your foods not only don’t stick to the cooking surface, but end up with perfectly browned meats and fish. My pan (in the picture) is from VEGA forniture alberghiere e abbigliamento professionale .
Seared Salmon with Cold Soba and Zucchini
- 5 Tbsp soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 small salmon filets
- 3.5 oz (100 g) soba noodles
- 3 small zucchini, washed and sliced into pasta-like strips
Stir together the first 4 ingredients. Place the fish, skin-side up, in a non-reactive container and pour the liquid over it, reserving about 2 tablespoons to dress the pasta. Refrigerate and allow the fish to marinade for 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta and zucchini: Bring a pot of salted water to boil over high heat and cook the noodles according to package instructions. About 2-3 minutes before the pasta is done, add the strips of zucchini to the boiling water and continue to cook until the pasta is al-dente and the zucchini are tender but firm. Strain, transfer immediately to an ice bath, then strain again. Toss with the reserved marinade and set aside.
Heat a frying pan over a medium-high flame, add a tablespoon of olive oil, then add the fish, skin-side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip carefully, cover, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. The fish should be opaque at the edges and a darker pink in the center.
Arrange the pasta and zucchini in the plates, lay the salmon filet on top and serve immediately.