A Sliver of Soy Maple Salmon

[18 Jun 2007 | By | 10 Comments]

soy maple salmon

I paid $16.31 for a sliver of salmon yesterday. Just a sliver, enough for one, barely two if you piled the plate high with grilled veggies. Rice or couscous wouldn’t be a bad idea, either, since you won’t have the heart to leave any of the sauce behind. My upbringing, influenced by a Dutch heritage and parents of the Depression Era, was brimming with frugality and a hard work ethic. This translates to spending only what you need to, finding good deals and never wasting anything. Paying that much for a sliver of salmon is easily against ‘my better judgment,’ and a good measure of guilt went with its purchase.

Though for good measure, I gasped when a small piece found its way into the grill instead of onto my plate; and I ate every last bite.

To be sure, paying so much for a slice of salmon should be a compliment to my parents. A genuine hats off, suggesting that even a slice of salmon is worth such a price. My father sometimes went fishing for salmon, and took us as small children. We had salmon sprinkled through our lives, making occasional appearances on our table throughout the years. But we hadn’t paid for it, rather we had caught it—which somehow felt more accomplished—and the whole process took effort and patience. We were grateful for this pink colored flesh, this seafood that was served with grandmother’s special sauce, made exclusively by my mother (sorry: you have to wait for THAT recipe).

So while paying too much for a sliver of salmon may go against my grain, it became an overwhelmingly easy decision to purchase and prepare this salmon with deliberate effort and care, a bit of patience and an appreciation for memories it eschewed. It made more sense to savor this soy glazed salmon, to smile and toast this pink-fleshed fish and my hard working parents. And that very much goes with the grain…

…and of course I finished everything on my plate.

Soy Maple Salmon
recipe serves four.

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 T maple syrup
3 T Asian sesame oil
four 8oz salmon steaks, 1 inch thick
2 inch piece of ginger, minced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
scallions for garnish

Blend soy, syrup and oil and pour into shallow dish. Add the steaks in a single layer, turning to coat. Blend ginger and garlic, and rub into both sides of steaks. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning occasionally. Place marinade in small saucepan on stover, boil on high until syrupy, around 3 minutes. Light and oil grill; cook steaks 4-6 minutes a side over moderately high heat. Plate fish, pour marinade over and garnish with scallions.

Recipe adapted from Food & Wine, June 2007.

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  • Lydia said (18 June 2007 at 7:29 pm):

    Ouch — that salmon was quite expensive! But, I love salmon, and when I have to have it, I have to have it at any price. My husband’s favorite glaze has maple syrup and orange juice, with a bit of soy sauce. Yours sounds like another delicious way to enjoy salmon.

  • aria said (18 June 2007 at 7:38 pm):

    oh i know what you mean, i bought halibut yesterday and almost didn’t once i saw the price sticker get slapped on my package by the fishmonger, like 23$ a lb eeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!

    i bought it though, too embarrassed to not and it was delicious but STILL.

    your recipe looks wonderful, hope you got all the precious bits into your stomache :)

  • sandi @ the whistlestop cafe said (18 June 2007 at 8:34 pm):

    That was a pricy salmon! I bet is was awesome…especially with the maple syrup and ginger. Great recipe!

  • Meeta said (18 June 2007 at 10:40 pm):

    High price for salmon there! But you’ve prepared it beautifully and hope you savored each bite.

  • Jeff said (19 June 2007 at 10:18 am):

    mmm..that looks fab! My wife LOVES Salmon so much

  • Jennifer said (19 June 2007 at 1:32 pm):

    Ohhhhh that looks so yummy. I have been craving salmon like crazy lately. I think i need more omega three’s in my diet, but salmon is sooooo expensive!

  • Kristen said (19 June 2007 at 10:33 pm):

    I think that looks well worth the price! mmmmm!

  • Robin said (20 June 2007 at 5:41 am):

    Oh I hate the high prices of salmon, but it well-worth it on occasion! I hope summer brings some lowered prices!

  • janelle said (22 June 2007 at 7:19 pm):

    Lydia: Yummo, OJ sounds great!

    Aria: LOL! I know what you mean! You are committed to the recipe, the fishmonger wraps it so beautifully, you take it gingerly with the accompanying smile… knowing that cringe is incoming when you peek at the price, proudly swinging in your basket…

    Sandi: Who doesn’t love maple and ginger????

    Meeta: Yes! It was worth the splurge!

    Jeff: And I am falling MORE in love with salmon!!

    Jennifer: Find that special occasion??!?!!!

    Kristen: I can still taste it, oh so good…

    Robin: Me too!

  • Jennifer said (23 June 2007 at 3:26 pm):

    Well, actually funny you mention that- one of our entrees for my high school 10 year reunion in August is an Alaskan wild salmon dish. I think I’ll be ordering that!