Salmon with Ginger and Lime
Opening this salmon steamed en papillotte at the table releases wonderful aromas. The tangy sauce blends sake, lime juice and a touch of butter. Serve with steamed leafy greens such as bok choy and steamed rice.
- 2 Tbs. cold unsalted butter
- 3 limes
- 1 salmon fillet, 1 1/4 lb., skin removed and fish cut into 4 equal pieces
- 1 tsp. canola oil, if needed
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 4 tsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 1 large shallot, finely minced
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 Tbs. sake
- 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
Cut the butter into 8 equal pieces and return to the refrigerator until firm.
Using a vegetable peeler or very sharp knife, peel 4 strips of zest, each 2 inches long by 1/2 inch wide, from 1 lime. Cut the zest lengthwise into the narrowest possible julienne. Set aside. Squeeze the juice from the lime and set aside. Cut the second lime into 8 thin slices. Cut the third lime lengthwise into 8 wedges.
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
Measure the fish pieces at their thickest point. Cut 4 large rectangles of parchment paper. If the paper lacks a nonstick coating, lightly brush the top side of each rectangle with about 1/4 tsp. canola oil.
Arrange the rectangles on a work surface and lay a piece of salmon in the center of each rectangle. Sprinkle each piece of fish with 1/2 tsp. of the salt and a grind or two of pepper, then with 1 tsp. of the ginger. Divide the julienned lime zest among the fish pieces. Place 2 lime slices on top of each piece.
Wrap each piece of fish in the paper by bringing together the long edges and folding them over to seal well, then folding in the sides and sealing them. Using a wide spatula, place the packets on a baking sheet.
Bake the fish until it is barely translucent at the thickest part; plan on slightly less than 10 minutes for each inch of thickness. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the fish rest for a few minutes. (The hot fish will continue to cook until it is opaque.)
While the fish cooks, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the shallot, lime juice, sake and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil and boil until the liquid is reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter 1 piece at a time, waiting until each piece is fully absorbed into the sauce before adding the next piece. Pour the sauce into a warmed small pitcher.
As soon as the sauce is done, place a packet of the fish on each individual plate and garnish with 2 lime wedges. Diners slit open the packets, remove the cooked lime slices and spoon some of the sauce over the fish. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).