Thursday, February 9, 2012

Citrus Soy Glazed Salmon

I love fish.  All seafood to be exact.  Last year when I went through a "hardcore vegan" phase, I still ate fish (hence the quotation marks.)  Tuna, squid, anchovies, crab, mussels, shrimp, scallops, lobsters, I love it all.  Salmon is my all-time favorite though  Baked, grilled, seared, raw: I'll eat it any way you give it to me.

At home, I follow a pretty regimented method for cooking my fish.  Preheat the oven, place the fish in a baking dish, drizzle it with a little olive oil, dash of salt and pepper, and then pop it in the oven until its pink and flaky.  Its seriously that easy.  I think people have this preconceived notion that cooking fish is hard, but just follow my four step process (dish, season, bake, and serve) and you'll be a master pesca-chef. 

Every time I cook it though, I deviate from this base by adding whatever happens to be in the house at the time.  Sometime I add a different seasoning (curry powder, red pepper flakes, paprika), or spread some jam or preserves on top of the fish (I highly recommend Trader Joe's Fig Butter), or I create my own marinade.  

Tonight was one such night.  I just bought a bunch of lemons and a new bottle of soy, so viola!  Citrus Soy Glaze!

Very Important Note That You Need To Read Before Proceeding To Recipe:
Note the delicious color of this farm-raised salmon.
Always Wild-Caught fish.  ALWAYS.  You know how grass-fed beef is healthier and tastier than corn-fed beef?  Same goes for fish.  Fish farms are no different from the meat industry's factory farms.  Farm-raised fish are industrially produced and manufactured; they feed the stock corn to fatten them up quickly, they don't have the room to move and exercise meaning they're fatty and lack flavor, and they add anti-biotics to the feed.  These fish are exposed to more chemicals on farms and are lacking in the nutrients that they get from living in, you know, their natural habitat.   Take salmon for example, there's a huge difference in color: farm-raised is almost grey, while wild-caught is a dark, beautiful, well, salmon color (farms will sometimes add dyes to the feed in order to make the fish's meat pinker).  I'm going to stop this rant now, but don't ever have me catch you at the fish counter at the supermarket buying farm-raised fish.  And if they don't have wild-caught at the counter, check the frozen section.  All fish is frozen, its just that the fish at the counter has already been defrosted, so there's really no difference.  I always try to have some fish in the freezer for days when I can't get the the store, or just feel like making fish tacos.  Okay, rant officially over.

Oh, one last thing.  This recipe serves four fish-loving adults (aka my family).

Citrus Soy Glazed Salmon
1½ lbs wild-caught salmon (just in case you forgot)
2 tbs honey
¼ cup orange juice
juice and zest from ½ lemon
1 tbs soy
3 cloves garlic, minced
pepper to taste

+ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
+ Mix honey, orange juice, lemon juice and zest, soy, garlic and pepper in a medium bowl.
+ Place the salmon in a baking dish.  Cover with marinade.
+ Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on the thickness.  Baste with marinade throughout cooking to prevent from drying out. 

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