Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Salmon Tartare with Soy and Pickled Japanese Cucumbers - A Simple Dish to Make at Home

A lot of you might not be aware that citrus acid is a method of cooking, just like frying or boiling. Although it does not create natural heat in a protein, it does change the molecular structure of the fish or meat.

Thus, ceviche is a very popular way of adding citrus to raw seafood or fish to create a simple and delicious appetizer or dish.

If you are at home, and want to do something quick and easy without actual frying or roasting, this simple but tasty salmon dish may be just the thing for you.

If you are serving for 2 portions, get one salmon fillet from your local supermarket. For garnish, you only need one lemon and one stick of Japanese cucumber. That's all the ingredients you will have to work with.

To prepare the cucumber, use a slicer to cut the cucumber into thin strips. Once you have done that, take a Ziploc bag and put all the sliced cucumbers in it to prepare for the pickling process.

Add a touch of extra virgin olive oil, a teaspoon of sugar, a tablespoon of white vinegar and 1.5 teaspoon of salt. Squeeze in a teaspoon worth of lemon juice as well. Tighten the Ziploc bag and leave the bag inside a refridgerator overnight. Let it pickle for at least 12 hours.

For the salmon fillet, first remove the skin. Then cut the salmon fillet into tiny pieces. Place all the salmon pieces in a mixing bowl.

Chop either 2 shallots or 1 yellow onion into finely diced pieces. Finely chop some chinese parsley (about 3 or 4 stalks). Put all the diced components into the salmon bowl.

Next, drizzle about one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and squeeze a tablespoon of lemon juice into the salmon mixture. Use a spoon to mix all the components thoroughly.

Remove the overnight pickled cucumbers from the fridge and save the resulting liquid. Add some of the beautiful liquid into the salmon bowl for some extra acid and flavor.

Season the salmon with soya sauce and black pepper. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste and judgement.

To serve, place the pickled cucumbers on the bottom of a serving plate or dish. Take a food ring and pour in half the salmon mixture for one portion. Let it set for a minute or two before removing the food ring.

Garnish with some extra fresh black pepper and a slice of lemon. And you are done!

The cucumbers will be pickled with a nice balance of sweetness and acidity, and should have a nice crunchy texture as the salt will have helped to remove the liquid from the cucumbers.

The salmon will have turned a bit opaque or translucent from the addition of the citrus and combined with the shallots and onions, will have a nice balance of crunch and textures. The soy and coriander will give it an oriental touch.

The chinese coriander will also add an uplifting herbal perfume to the entire dish to bring everything together.

A simple dish to make. But it will impress your friends and family if you get the flavors and plating just right.


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