Give a gal a fish and she’ll eat for one night. Teach her how to fish and she’ll be set for life—that is, if she knows how to cook it properly.
For some reason, fish, in this case salmon, has a reputation for being a difficult dish to execute—regardless of how you choose to prepare it. But contrary to popular belief, these upstream swimmers, which are packed with heart healthy omega-3s, antioxidants, protein, and other essential vitamins, are surprisingly uncomplicated to prepare.
In fact, the rose-hued superfood, can easily be transformed into a delicious three-ingredient weeknight dinner with a bit of help from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. His ingeniously foolproof recipe for fixing salt-grilled salmon, pulled from his newest cookbook Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking ($32; amazon.com) is so simple that anybody can replicate it at home and so delicious that you'll want to make it every night. And for those who are put off by fish odor, Morimoto throws in a game-changing technique called sakajio, a method used by professional Japanese cooks to mellow out the funk and allow more robust, complex flavors to take center stage.
Roll up your sleeves and read on for the full breakdown.
1 1/2 pounds skin-on center -cut salmon fillet, cut crosswise into 4 equal portions
2 tablespoons kosher salt
A drizzle of vegetable oil
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sake (optional)
How to Make It
To tone down the fishiness (sakajio)
Before you start the recipe, stir together 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sake sake and 1/2 tsp kosher salt in a medium bowl until the salt dissolves. One by one, add the fish fillets to the mixture and take about 15 seconds or so to toss them in the mixture. Pat the fillets dry, proceed with the recipe.
To cook the salmon
Sprinkle the salt all over the fish. Let the fish sit uncovered in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Rinse off the salt and pat the fish dry.
Preheat the broiler and position the oven rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Drizzle a little vegetable oil on a baking sheet and rub to coat it with a very thin layer.
Arrange the fillets skin side down on the baking sheet, leaving some space between each one.
Broil, rotating the sheet once, until the fish is lightly browned and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve immediately.
Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking
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