Grilled Miso Salmon with Sweet-and-Sour Cucumbers

Salmon Photo of Photo

 Six Servings

3 English seedless cucumbers or 10 Kirby cucumbers, rinsed and drained

 

For the dressing, mixed together:

2 ¼ teaspoons salt

¾ cup Japanese rice vinegar

¾ cup sugar

1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

1 ½ pounds salmon fillets, skin on

 

For the marinade, mixed together:

3 tablespoons sweet, white miso (miso shiro) or to taste

3 tablespoons mirin (sweetened rice wine) or 3 tablespoons sake mixed with 1 ½ tablespoons sugar

1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons minced scallion greens

1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

 

For serving:

2 to 3 heads butter or Boston lettuce, cores trimmed, leaves separated, pressed to flatten, rinsed, drained and arranged in layers around the rim of a serving platter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

 

  1. Trim ends of the cucumbers, slice them lengthwise in half, remove the seeds, and cut crosswise into paper-thin slices.  Place in a bowl, add 1 ½ teaspoons of the salt, and toss lightly.  Let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the cucumber, squeeze out the excess water, and return to the bowl.  Mix together rice vinegar, sugar, ginger, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Add to the cucumbers, toss lightly, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let marinate for 30 minutes or longer, if possible, in the refrigerator, tossing occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, place the salmon in a large bowl.  Add the marinade and toss lightly with your hands to coat the salmon.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to several hours, turning several times.
  4. Prepare a hot fire for grilling or preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.  Place the fillets about 3 inches from the source of heat or on a baking sheet on the upper rack of the oven and grill or bake, brushing with any excess marinade up until the last 5 minutes, until the fish is opaque, 4 to 5 minutes on each side.  Remove and cut the fillets into 1-inch sections along the grain of the fish.
  5. Arrange the cucumbers in the center of the platter of lettuce.  Arrange the salmon fillets on top.  Sprinkle with the chopped dill.  To eat, spoon some of the salmon with the pickled cucumbers onto a lettuce leaf, roll up, tucking in the edges, and eat with your fingers.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2000

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