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Friday, 4 March 2011

Ginger-Glazed Salmon & Wasabi Mash

No idea from whence this idea was sprung, but it occurred to me only today. Naturally, the Wasabi mash part is a previously documented idea, and I'm no stranger to sticking a salmon steak in the oven so, really, the defining element is the ginger 'glaze'.

I should possibly mention that, when I prepared the Sparky Onion Gravy at my parents' house recently, there were several differences in the ingredients and the process - namely, normal onion, mild chilli powder, cornflour and a ready-made ginger paste. The end result was an entirely different gravy (normal onions being far sweeter, mild chilli powder kinda defeating the object of the recipe), but it turned out rather well, and the recipe will now stand as a milder variation on the original, for those times when a head-explodingly spicy onion gravy is not wholly appropriate.

But I digress.

The ginger paste is really what got the ball rolling on this idea. I have a stack of salmon steaks in the freezer compartment of my fridge and, since they're no use for sushi or the Teriyaki stir-fry due to being heavily waterlogged, I tend to bake them. While I was last out food shopping, I saw all these pre-prepared 'such-and-such with thingumy glaze' main courses, and thought to myself that the ginger paste should be able to make a no-brainer ginger glaze for salmon... But was I right..?

Ingredients:
  • Instant Mash (Sainsbury's - half a sachet per person)
  • Clearspring Wasabi powder (2 teaspoons should be sufficient, possibly per serving)
  • Salmon steak (1 per person)
  • 'Very Lazy' Ginger Paste (1 sachet per steak)
Preparation Time: About 10-12 minutes

Tools Required:
  • Bowl
  • Stirring Implement
  • Baking Tray
  • Foil
  • Kettle

The Process:
Preheat your oven to something in the region of 180degrees Centigrade. Open the sachet(s) of ginger paste and spread the contents over the top of the salmon steak(s). Wrap loosely in foil, place on a baking tray and into the oven for about 10 minutes. Towards the end of this time, stir the Wasabi powder into the instant mash powder, ensuring it's all lump-free before adding the appropriate amount of hot water. Stir until the instant mash is ready.

By this point, the salmon steak(s) should also be ready, so serve everything up... and enjoy...

The Results:
Well... Try to enjoy, anyway. This was not a roaring success, except inasmuch as the Wasabi mash was pretty good (probably far better suited to the sausage and mash idea, frankly), and the salmon was not half bad, considering how soggy it was when thawed (seriously, I had to wring it out before I could even think about slapping that thing in the oven!). The failures were that the ginger didn't glaze - I suspect grilling would have been the better option, and it's certainly what I shall try next time - and the salmon and ginger just didn't connect with the Wasabi mash... in fact, it clashed quite horribly.

It wasn't completely inedible - far from it - but, rather than being "a party on my tongue" (yes, sorry, I like those jokes almost as much as the S&M 'pun'), it was more like a 3am brawl in the pouring rain outside a club in west London. The mash was creamy, but bitter and spicy. The ginger-topped salmon was cooked to perfection (if I do say so myself - moist, but not soggy, and it came apart delightfully) and the sweet, ginger kick would probably have been truly awesome if it had actually turned into the glaze I was hoping for. Maybe grilling would do it, maybe I'd need to add something to the ginger paste to help it along... Who knows?

Further experimentation is called for...

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