In this recipe, sake and lemon delicately flavor steamed salmon fillets. The equation is simple: a steamer pot with water spiked with lemon and sake below, fish in the center, lid on top. The science of evaporation carries flavor to and through the salmon. The result is a dish that's neither dry nor wet, but perfectly moist. While there is less than 25 minutes of prep and cook time total, do note that there is at least an hour of marinading time, though this can be done the night ahead for a fast weeknight meal.
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 Teaspoon sugar
- 2 center-cut portions salmon fillet (6 ounces each), skin and bones removed
- 6 Ounces sake (1 single-serve can, 180 milliliters, would do nicely)
Step 1. Finely zest the lemon. Rub zest together with salt, pepper and sugar; set aside. Juice the lemon.
Step 2: Settle salmon, would-be-skin-side down, in a glass container that offers a snug fit, say the off-duty brownie pan. Pour lemon juice over salmon. Pour sake over salmon, leaving the top flesh exposed (not submerged). Set aside any unused sake. Spread lemon rub over the exposed salmon. Cover and chill, 1 hour to 1 day.
Step 3: Lift salmon out of its marinade and settle in a steamer basket. Set aside. Pour marinade and any remaining sake into the bottom of the steamer pot. Pour in water to raise liquid to a depth of 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Fit in steamer basket, cover, lower heat to a simmer and steam until salmon is just cooked through, about 9 minutes. Lift out salmon.
Step 4: Serve warm over rice or cold over salad.