Oven roasted salmon glazed with teriyaki over a creamy risotto. What makes this risotto special is the combination of asparagus spears, shiitake mushrooms and preserved Meyer lemon. The flavor of the preserved lemon permeates the risotto with a slight tang that perfectly matches the richness of King salmon. If you are thinking about your main course to celebrate Valentine's Day, this is a winner that doesn't take much effort.
Salmon with Preserved Lemon Risotto
Preserved lemon is the star of this dish. The sweet sour lemony essence permeates the creamy risotto providing just the right amount of acid and flavor.
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Creating any type of risotto with a protein is a bonus. You basically have two entrees that could stand alone, but compliment each other at the same time. I thought simply roasting the salmon with a light teriyaki glaze would be scrumptious. Cooking the salmon was fast, easy and it turned out great. I am still on the seven days of salmon. I was really amazed at how many different types of dishes I could make with my side of Ora King Salmon from Crowd Cow.
*Tips: You can easily make this a vegetarian dish. Skip the salmon and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
You might be thinking how does Italian inspired risotto and Japanese teriyaki work? First of all, the teriyaki glaze is an optional component. You could season the salmon and broil it or even pan sear. The use of teriyaki in this instance is not a salmon teriyaki dish. The sauce glazes the salmon during the broiling process to provide a hint of sweetness and umami to the overall dish. This creates incredible balance with salt, sweet, fat and acid. Nothing overpowers the rest of the dish.
I’m not a huge fan of fusion cooking because I have witnessed so many bad iterations of fusion cuisine. Good fusion cooking relies on strong fundamental cooking techniques with the melding of ingredients, flavors and cuisines of different origin from the norm. Italian and Japanese cuisine are a basic example. Italians serve Crudo which is raw fish with olive oil and sea salt while the Japanese are famous for sashimi with wasabi and soy sauce. An Italian chef might use the borrowed technique of kombu cured raw fish and kinome (a fragrant Japanese herb) in their Crudo dish. A Japanese chef adds really fine extra virgin olive oil and a touch of balsamic syrup to elevate a sashimi dish. Elements are cross utilized and borrowed in a sophisticated way to create new versions of an existing tradition in a way that makes sense.
How do you make preserved lemon?
I’m so glad you asked. Preserved lemons are easy to make and they last almost forever. You can use regular lemons, but I always recommend bulking up on some Meyer lemons when in season, which is early winter. I had actually promised some preserved lemon recipes in an earlier post. Here is the preserved lemon recipe. I waited about two week before I started using them. The longer the wait time, the flavor develops even more. I have a two year old jar old preserved lemon jelly that I plan to use for an upcoming recipe, so sign on for our newsletter and stay tuned.
What to start first
Prep all of your mis en place first. For this dish we are going to start by par cooking the arborio rice for the risotto. While the rice is cooling, we can roast the salmon. Finishing the risotto is a fairly quick process in a sauté pan. Risotto tastes best just after you have made it while it is still hot.
*Tasting Notes: This is an adaptation of Italian risotto. Typically the creaminess comes from the starch released by the arborio rice. We add non-dairy cream to this dish to elevate the richness and bind the flavors together.
This is going to be done in two stages, similar to how we cook in a restaurant. It is actually a better method because risotto is the type of dish that is made to order and eaten right away. The rice is par cooked ahead of time and can be held until you are ready to serve lunch or dinner. The cook to order stage is fast and takes less than 8 minutes. (Read our post on traditional Italian risotto)
Start by heating a small sauce pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and shallots. Sweat the shallots, but do not brown.
Next add the rice. Using a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula, fold the rice so the grains are evenly coated with oil.
Pour 1/4 cup white wine into the pot and cook till the liquid is completely gone.
Pour 1 cup of the chicken stock into the pot. Bring to a boil, then continuously stir and cook till all the liquid is absorbed.
Remove from heat. Scoop the rice out of the pot, spread it flat on a plate and let it cool for 10 minutes. If you are making this later, then refrigerate the rice until ready to use.
ROASTING THE SALMON
Preheat oven to 350F. I removed the salmon skin for this recipe, but you could leave it on. If you are serving with the salmon skin, make sure to but at a bias so the skin portion faces upward. Also, make sure that the scales are removed from the skin.
Line a small baking pan with foil. Lightly salt the salmon with Kosher or sea salt.
Place the salmon in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the salmon and brush with the teriyaki sauce. Place back into the oven for 3 minutes. Remove and brush salmon one more time with teriyaki. Place back into the oven for 2 minutes.
Remove and set aside till ready to plate.
Finishing the risotto
This part goes pretty fast, so make sure you have all of your mis en place ready. It is best to use a wooden spoon to cook and a medium sized non-stick pan is recommended.
When you are ready to serve, heat a medium sized sauté pan over medium high heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and sweat the shallots with the shiitake mushrooms.
Add the partially cooked arborio rice. Use the spoon to gently break up the rice and incorporate with the mushrooms.
Add 1/4 cup white wine. While stirring the rice, cook till the wine is almost completely gone.
Add 1 cup chicken stock. Keep stirring and moving the pan in a circular motion. Turn the heat up high and cook till the liquid is absorbed. This should take 2 minutes.
Next add the heavy cream and cook till the liquid is absorbed. Don’t stop stirring as you cook. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to a medium.
Fold in the asparagus spears followed by the preserved lemon.
Check your seasoning then add butter. We use Clover Sonoma butter in this recipe. Support your local farms! Continue to stir for 30 seconds.
Add the parmesan cheese. Fully incorporate till the cheese is melted, about 30 seconds.
Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Split the risotto evenly between two plates. Top with salmon and garnish with some fine chopped shiso.
**Tasting Notes: We tested this out using a dairy free heavy cream and it worked fine. It can be made completely dairy free by replacing the butter with Earth Balance buttery spread. You would also have to take out the parmesan as well.
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