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Braised Salmon and Shiitakes

Plan to cook fresh salmon the day it is purchased or within 24 hours. Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a zippered plastic bag, then refrigerate. Nest the fish on a bed of ice cubes or crushed ice in the refrigerator if storing for more than a few hours.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs. corn or peanut oil
  • 2 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 lb. shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
  • 4 salmon steaks, about 1 1/2 lb. total, each 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 6 oz. fresh Chinese egg noodles

Directions:

Prepare the braising liquid
In a large bowl, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, wine, sugar and cornstarch and stir to dissolve the sugar and cornstarch.

In a Dutch oven or large, deep fry pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the ginger, garlic and all but 1 Tbs. green onions and sauté until fragrant, about 5 seconds. Add the mushrooms and sauté until just beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the braising liquid, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low so the liquid simmers gently.

Braise the fish and cook the noodles
Place the salmon steaks in the braising liquid in a single layer, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Using a metal spatula, carefully turn the steaks, re-cover and braise until the fish is opaque throughout when tested with the tip of a knife, about 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and boil just until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain into a colander and rinse under warm running water. Transfer to individual plates.

Serve the fish
Carefully arrange the braised fish on the noodles. Top with the thickened braising sauce, garnish with the reserved green onions and serve. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Asian, by Farina Wong Kingsley (Oxmoor House, 2007).