Several days ago, a friend of Jan’s (Jennifer Anderson) gave her three yuzu to pass on to me. Yuzu’s flavor is describes as a cross between a grapefruit and a mandarin orange. It is the key ingredient in authentic Japanese ponzu sauce. Having turned this bounty into ponzu sauce it seemed clear to me that salmon teriyaki would be a good use for it. Steamed rice and pickled vegetables are the obvious go-together for a weekend Japanese meal.
Note: I like to have a selection of small plates of vegetables and pickles for my Japanese meals, today it was, ponzu edamame, yuzu cucumbers, salt cabbage, and a quick kimchi.
Karl’s Ponzu Salmon Teriyaki
2-3 lb. salmon filet
¼ cup ponzu sauce
2 Tbs. light soy sauce
2 Tbs. dark soy sauce
2 Tbs. mirin
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, finely grated
½ tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 Tbs. water
. Rinse, scale, and pat the filet dry.
Tip: Score the skin side with slashes every half inch to give the sauce access to the meat.
2. Put the salmon in a seal-able gallon plastic bag.
3. Put the ponzu sauce, soy sauces, mirin and sugar into a small pot and bring it just to a low boil to dissolve the sugar.
4. Remove ¼ cup of sauce and pour it over the salmon.
5. Press the air out of the bag and refrigerate for 1-6 hours.
Tip: Turn the bag over to redistribute the marinade.
6. Stir in just enough of the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce slightly.
Tip: I generally like to make enough teriyaki sauce, so that I can serve some on the side for people to spoon extra over their fish and rice. However today, I served the remaining ponzu sauce—without the extra soy sauces, mirin and sugar—as a dipping sauce.
7. Brush the filet with the sauce and put it in the oven four inches from the broiling element (middle of the oven).
8. Broil the salmon for 20 minutes, brushing more sauce over the fish every five minutes.
9. Move the oven rack to the highest level and continue broiling the salmon for one to two minutes.
Tip: This final broil, at high heat, gives the sauce a shiny glaze. However, you have to keep a very close eye on it or the glaze will quickly turn into a burnt crust.
10. Transfer the salmon to a serving platter and garnish as you wish.
Tip: You may use parsley, green onion, or a rose made by rolling pieces of pickled ginger together. For my crowd, I simply put it on the table and stand back, so I don’t lose any fingers.