Soy-Glazed Salmon with Watercress Salad

It’s a momentous day, dear readers.  For the second time in this blog’s 33-month history, I’m posting a salmon recipe.

I pride myself on being the kind of person who will eat just about anything, but salmon and I have a rocky relationship.  There is nothing – nothing! – like a top-quality piece of salmon sashimi (especially if it comes from here).  When I was fresh out of college, I would prepare it en papillote for dinner on a regular basis.  I’ve also enjoyed barbecued salmon on occasion. (I think the grill can dry it out a bit so it isn’t quite so rich.)  At this stage in the game, though, I sometimes have a hard time with oven-baked, just-opaque, unctuous salmon.

Despite my qualms, the recipe for Soy-Glazed Salmon with Watercress Salad from the July/August 2010 issue of Everyday Food caught my eye.  (Major props to the food stylist who made broiled salmon look so good I couldn’t resist it.) There was some gorgeous wild caught sockeye salmon on sale at my grocery store recently, and 20 minutes of preparation time made the recipe a perfect weeknight meal.  I decided to give it a go.

The ingredient prep required segmenting 2 oranges (click here for a how-to), so I did that first.  I set the segments aside to use in the salad and squeezed the juice from the membranes into a small bowl.  (They should yield about 3 tablespoons.)

Next, I made the salmon glaze, which would also become part of the salad dressing.  In the small bowl with the orange juice, I added 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 3 teaspoons of honey, whisked everything together, and seasoned to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper.  In a large bowl (which would become the salad bowl), I whisked together 1 tablespoon of the glaze with 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. I set the bowl with the dressing aside.

I heated my broiler with the rack 4 inches from the heat and lined a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  I seasoned 4 salmon fillets (the recipe suggested 6 ounces each, but mine were 5 ounces) with salt and pepper and broiled them for 5 minutes.  I removed the fish from the oven, brushed them with the glaze, and then broiled them until they were opaque throughout (2 more minutes).  I brushed the salmon with the glaze once more after I removed the fillets from the oven.

To finish the salad, I added the orange segments, 12 ounces of watercress (thick ends trimmed), and half of a small red onion (thinly sliced) to the dressing and tossed to combine.  I seasoned the salad with salt and pepper to taste and served it alongside the salmon.

Soy-Glazed Salmon with Watercress Salad

I’m delighted to report that the salmon was pretty tasty.  The glaze was fantastic, and it made the fish incredibly flavorful.  I’ll admit that I enjoyed the drier ends of my fillet more than the center, but that’s just me.

I loved every element of the salad except for the most central one: the watercress. I’d never tried it before, and it’s really just too bitter and the stems are too woody (even after a significant trim) for my taste.  I ate it, and I would certainly eat it if someone served it to me, but I wouldn’t seek it out.  Next time, I’ll probably make the salad with arugula.

TIPS:  Removing the skin from fish before cooking is one of my least favorite chores.  Thankfully, leaving the skin on works well with this recipe.  I broiled the fillets flesh side up, and the cooked fish easily flaked away from the skin.


2 Responses to “Soy-Glazed Salmon with Watercress Salad”

  1. 1 Jennifer Daemon July 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    I have the same feelings toward salmon 🙂 Which is why I *love* preparing it on the grill – it mellows the salmon flavor while the charcoal grill/glaze flavors shine! We just had soy glazed salmon with honey mustard glaze last night. It develops such a nice crust over an open flame!

    Now let’s hope all those healthy omega-3 oils stay in tact under all the glazed layers of delicious-ness!

  2. 2 Sara July 21, 2010 at 7:21 am

    I have had a rocky relationship with both soy and salmon. This one might be tough for me. However, that citrus glaze could be enough to convince me otherwise. Maybe I’ll modify a bit…

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