Nori Wrapped Salmon with Lemon Wasabi Cream

My first cooking column with Salmon, Trout, Steelheader Magazine…

Salmon and steelhead compliment many flavors from around the globe.  Japan-inspired, this fish entree can be prepared with or without the nori wrap.  Nori, as well as wasabi, can be found in the Asian food sections of most supermarkets.  Both of these ingredients offer nutritional bonuses to an already healthy fish dish, not to mention the amazing taste sensations.  Pair this dish with sticky rice or herb and butter soba noodles to further accentuate the flavor of the fish.
As with this recipe, when it comes to cooking fish in general, one of the biggest mistakes which commonly occurs is overcooking the meat.  Salmon and steelhead come in many shapes and sizes, and it’s often difficult to put a specified time on every piece of fish being cooked.  Thicker cuts of meat take longer to cook than thin slices, and thinner cuts take less time; the key is not overcooking any cuts.
When cooking fish, no matter what the size or thickness of meat, you’ll find that one of the most useful kitchen tools is a thermometer.  Ideally, an alarm that signals when the fish has reached 135º is best.  Placed in the thickest part of the fish, the results of using a thermometer are foolproof.   Because the meat will continue to cook, even once removed from the heat source, it should be taken out immediately after reaching the target temperature.

Nori Wrapped With Lemon Wasabi Cream
1 fillet of salmon or steelhead (3-6 servings)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 sheet nori, cut into strips
Sea salt
Red and yellow peppers for garnish

Place fillet, skin side down, in a foil-lined baking pan.  Mix sesame oil and canola oil in a small bowl.  Gently rub oil mixture over fish.  Place the nori on top of fish.  Feel free to get creative with the pattern of the nori and how you cut it.  Tuck ends of the nori underneath the skin side of the fish.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350º or place on a preheated grill on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes in large chunks.  Garnish with red and yellow peppers and lemon wasabi cream.

Lemon Wasabi Cream:
2 teaspoons powdered wasabi
2 teaspoons cold water
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped

In a small mixing bowl, mix powdered wasabi and water to form a paste.  Add cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice and soy sauce, whipping the mixture with a small whisk or fork until completely blended.  Fold in fresh chives.  Keep chilled until ready to serve.  Serve over the nori wrapped salmon or serve on the side as a sauce.

From:  Cooking Salmon & Steelhead, by Tiffany Haugen

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