Monday, June 23, 2008

Grilled Salmon with Cellophane Noodles

My first attempt and cooking fish on the grill didn't turn out so well. The recipe is great and the fish ended up tasting very flavorful, but I didn't realize how flaky the fish would become and it fell apart on the grill. Note to self: do not put fish directly on the grates, use something in between which will be easier to pick up the fish from.

Besides the fact that my fish came off the grill in large chunks, this dinner is great for a weeknight. You get all the flavor and presentation as if you have been preparing a complicated meal, but it all comes together in less than a half an hour.

The noodles on their own are pretty boring. But they add a wonderful texture and it changes up the honey-soy salmon that you may have tasted before.

Honey-Soy Lacquered Salmon with Cilantro Noodles
Serves 4

3 packages (2 ounces each) bean thread noodles

4 center-cut salmon fillets (about 6 ounces each), skin on and scaled, pin bones removed

Extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher or sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for sprinkling

5 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons Asian sesame oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on medium-high.

In a large bowl, soak the noodles in hot water to cover until softened, about 20 minutes.

Generously brush the salmon fillets on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. To make the glaze, in a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the honey, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 tablespoon honey, the sesame oil, and the lemon juice mixing well.

Drain the noodles will in a colander, shaking the colander a few times to make sure all the water is removed. pat the noodles dry with paper towels. Toss the noodles with the dressing, cilantro, and sesame seeds. Set aside.

Oil the grill grate. Use tongs to arrange the salmon fillets, flesh side down, directly over the medium-hot fire. Grill the salmon until grill marks are etched across the fillets, about 3 minutes. Turn the fillets, skin side down, and brush the salmon flesh generously with the glaze. cover the grill and continue grilling the salmon until it is almost opaque throughout but still very moist when tested with a knife, or an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 125 to 130 degrees, 3 to 4 minutes longer.

Divide the noodles among dinner plates. Using a wide spatula, place a salmon fillet in the center of each plate, on top of the noodles. Serve immediately.

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