30 – Chef Michael Smith’s Ginger Soy Poached Salmon

Having dinner on the table by the time my wife returns home from work? It’s unlikely, but occasionally feasible. Nearly needing to reheat her portion because dinner is ready half an hour before she pulls in the driveway – well, that’s nearly impossible. That being said, tonight, ladies and gentlemen, the nearly impossible was achieved.

Due to a perfect storm of favourable events, I was able to have dinner ready so early that tin foil was the only thing that saved her dinner from being tossed in the microwave. That storm included a day so productive at work (I arrived nearly 2 hours early to prep and mark) that I actually left within an hour of the workday ending. It also included purchasing an after-work coffee for myself and one for my sister…that she didn’t end up being home to receive…so I ended up drinking two coffees in rapid succession…so, yeah, I had some artificial energy…and may still have some. Also, minor detail – my wife stayed at work about an hour and 45 minutes later than usual. That definitely helps, doesn’t it?

Even with extra energy and plenty of time, I definitely could have screwed up the timing bad enough to have my wife bemoaning me at 8pm or so, wondering where dinner happened to be. I’ve tried to time meals for her return before, and been horribly off (and never in the “oh no, dinner’s super early” kind of horribly off). Thankfully, I chose a recipe so quick, I was able to take my sweet time and still finish it within a reasonable time frame.

The recipe comes from Chef Michael Smith’s “Fast Flavours” cookbook, the same book that I used for my earlier post, Honey Mustard Dill Crusted Cod. Thankfully, this dish was much more popular in my household – even his instructions for cooking rice went over well (I know how to cook rice, but I like trying different methods when they’re presented to me). We can also be thankful that Mr. Smith, the “official food ambassador for Prince Edward Island”, decided to share this recipe online.

By the way, if you ever get a chance to visit the beautiful maritime province of PEI, you definitely need to go. My wife and I spent a weekend there while living in Halifax, and we absolutely loved the history, the scenic charm, and the countless references to Ann of Green Gables.

PEI Day One 058
The history…
PEI Day One 178
…the scenic charm…
PEI Day Two 279
…everything Ann of Green Gables (including THE Green Gables!)…
PEI Day Two 473
…oh, AND the food…did I mention the food?

Getting back to the recipe (and away from my personal nostalgia regarding PEI), I should mention a few changes that were made: I cut the amount of salmon, rice, and green onions in half; I added a half-tablespoon of extra brown sugar; and finally, I threw caution to the wind with a tablespoon of runny honey that was added to the sauce before the poaching process occurred. Thanks to such a well-designed recipe (and my additions), we were rewarded with an amazingly delicious (and healthy) meal.

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Two fillets: one wild sockeye previously frozen, and one Atlantic salmon that was fresh, but farmed. Each had their own interesting flavours.
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The poaching sauce, with my extra additions (not that you can tell that I added honey by looking at this picture…).
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After poaching, and partway through the skin removal. I was amazed at how easily the skin peeled away.
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This was my attempt at the sort of fancy plating Michael Smith included in his book…
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…whereas this is what my portion looked like after that picture was taken, before wrapping up the rest of the dish in tin foil for Mateja.

As you can tell, I’m still very much in the novice stage with my photography. I hate eating a dish, then going to blog about it, only to realize I want more/better pictures, but my subject is no longer present for photos. For this particular recipe, I wish I’d taken a close-up or two. Alas, I guess that’s why we must strive to be life-long learners.

Again, I’ll be posting this recipe to The Novice Gardener’s blog party, Fiesta Friday. I was fortunate enough to be featured this past week thanks to some amazingly delicious Key Lime Pie, some mediocre photography, and tasty bribes among my coworkers (can you say “will bake for votes?”).

Anyways, until next time – happy cooking!

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14 thoughts on “30 – Chef Michael Smith’s Ginger Soy Poached Salmon

  1. This is wonderful, I love salmon whipped up in any style, and your flavors here shine. I’ve used similar spice in some of my recipes. Love the pictures of PEI too, we visited Nova Scotia about 3 years ago, it was gorgeous too, and this summer we plan to take in Newfoundland. Have you visited before? I remember gorging on lobster about 3 times in NS during our visit. :)Congrats on the feature too!

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    1. Thanks, Loretta. I’ve definitely visited Newfoundland – we had to make a point to go there while we lived on the East Coast. Signal Hill is beautiful, looking out over St. John’s harbour. I’m sure you’ll love it! If you get a chance to head over to Bay Bulls to see the puffins, I absolutely recommend it.

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  2. That is one beautiful place.
    As to the dish, I like Salmon and this sounds so good. Thanks for bringing here at FF. Enjoy the party. -Jhuls, one of the co-hosts for today’s FF

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  3. Looks delicious. Michael Smith is one of my favourites. I love how approachable his recipes are. We make salmon almost every week for dinner and I’m always looking for new ways to make it. I think this’ll be on the menu next week.

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  4. Hi James! I do like chefs’ recipes, they know how to pep up a common and even boring recipe. 🙂 Haven’t heard about this chef, so thank a lot for sharing! Salmon looks very tasty! Hope you are enjoying Fiesta Friday party!
    Cheers
    Mila {FF co-host} 🙂

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  5. So, which one do you prefer? Wild caught or farmed salmon? I didn’t use to like salmon, too strong flavored for me, but recently had a farmed salmon fillet that I enjoyed. Tasted and smelled milder, I thought. Was it just a fluke?

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    1. The Atlantic farmed salmon that I had was definitely a milder flavor than the wild sockeye, but I’m not sure if it’s always the case (and whether it’s dependent on wild/farmed or due more to species). It’s tough to say which one I prefer – I do like the muted flavors of the Atlantic farmed salmon, but living in the Pacific Northwest, I’m very used to strong flavored salmon.

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