Monday, January 07, 2008

Pomegranate Salmon with Walnut Pilaf and Pea Shoots

we ate this too fast-- these were the leftovers

I owe this delicious salmon recipe entirely to Paul Hamburg, Judaica librarian at UC Berkeley (and cook, and pianist). I was staunchly opposed to salmon (my parents always barbecued it, making it taste very fishy and charcoaly, which I understand is a good thing for some people) until I tasted this recipe. It's very easy to make and uses pretty basic ingredients, except the pomegranate juice (and who doesn't want an excuse to go out and buy a bottle of POM?).

Pomegranate Salmon

You'll need (for 4 servings):

1 2lb center-cut filet of salmon, skin, dark flesh, and bones removed (it's easy to remove the bones using tweezers)
** I use Loch Duart, which I buy at Tokyo Fish in Berkeley.

For the basting sauce:

1T dark sesame oil
1T pomegranate juice
1T soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (use a Microplane if you can)
1t Chinese 5-spice powder
1/2 cayenne (more if you want)
black pepper to taste


1T dark sesame oil
1/4c pomegranate juice
zest from 1 orange
sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all basting ingredients and set aside.

Rub salmon with dark sesame oil and place in a shallow bath of pomegranate juice in a jelly roll pan (a baking dish with sides, or a gratin dish). You might not need the entire 1/4 cup.

Brush the top of the salmon with the basting sauce to cover it. Sprinkle the orange zest on top and sesame seeds too, if you want (they'll look pretty).

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until just opaque in center.

Walnut Pilaf

You'll need:

1 1/2 c brown rice, or really any grain you want
3c chicken stock
1T butter
2T olive oil
1/2c walnuts, roughly chopped
5 sprigs thyme, de-stemmed
1 large shallot, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced

Heat butter and oil; saute shallot and garlic, 5 minutes. Add walnuts; saute 2 minutes. Add rice; stir and cook until each grain is coated and translucent. Add stock. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 45 minutes, or until tender. Stir in salt, pepper, and thyme to taste. Fluff and serve.

Jesse's Pea Shoots

You'll need:

pea shoots-- a LOT. These really cook down.
2T sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

Heat sesame oil. Add pea shoots and garlic. Cook, stirring, until wilted. Pea shoots should be tender when cooked.


Nir said...

Have you thought about using pomegranate molasses in this recipe?

purplecook said...

That's a good idea-- I do have pomegranate molasses I bought for the pomegranate-bourbon short ribs. I think it might be a little too sweet, especially given the 5-spice (which is kind of on the sweet side), but I might try it next time, perhaps mixed with some wine.
Thanks for commenting :)

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