Monday, September 11, 2006

Classic Japanese Cooking Course: Japanese Miso-Mayonnaise Salmon

I'd had this really good salmon dish at some Asian buffets, but I could never figure out the recipe. I knew it had miso paste in the topping, but beyond that I was clueless. Well, it turns out the topping is a mixture of mayonnaise and white miso paste. The sauce is spread on top of the salmon, and then shredded cheddar cheese is sprinkled on top along with a little bit of Japanese seven spice powder. The whole thing is cooked in an aluminum foil packet to keep in the moisture.  While it sounds a bit icky to have mayo on your fish, it keeps the salmon moist and creamy.  Also, the trick is to use Japanese mayonnaise which has a different texture and flavor than the American stuff.  Try Kewpie brand.

Note: I had an extra leek hanging around, so I sautéed thin slices in some butter and put it under the salmon before cooking.  Delicious.

Japanese Miso-Mayonnaise Salmon
Adapted from Classic Japanese Cooking Course by Masaki Ko

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin on, bones removed
½ cup Japanese mayonnaise (such as Kewpie)
3 tablespoons white miso paste
1 ounce sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
Seven spice powder (shichimi)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Mix the mayonnaise and miso paste until well combined.  Cut four pieces of foil large enough to enclose each fillet completely.  Place one salmon fillet on each piece of foil.  Spread the sauce evenly over the tops of the fillets.  Sprinkle with the Cheddar cheese and seven spice powder.  Fold the foil tightly to enclose the fish fillets completely and prevent leakage.  Place the packets on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Open the foil and bake another 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.  Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

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