Friday, October 10, 2008

Garlic Ginger Basil Salmon - A Food Stylist's Nightmare

This very delicious salmon video recipe features a classic flavor profile from Southeast Asia - garlic, ginger, and basil - all playing together in a slightly sweet, slightly spicy sauce. People are always looking for easy and quick salmon recipes, and this is both. As an added bonus, the fragrant sauce will scent your kitchen with more than the smell of seared salmon.
There really isn’t anything to not like about this recipe…unless you are a food stylist. I can't think of a harder recipe to make look great in a photo. The chopped basil turns dark green as soon as it hits the sauce, and against the coral fish, looks almost black. In fact, as I admit in the video, I almost skipped the basil knowing what dark horrors it would inflict on my beautiful sauce.

Luckily, I didn’t succumb to such superficial concerns as the flavor the herb gives the salmon is critical. When cooking, the form verses function debate is always settled with a fork. By the way, you can make three equally delicious versions of this by using cilantro, or mint, in place of the basil. Enjoy!



Ingredients:
2 center-cut salmon fillet
salt to taste
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
hot chili sauce to taste (I used 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp chopped basil


46 comments:

Anonymous said...

That would also work great on chicken breasts. I luv thai flavors.

mucosal said...

Chef- great site, I rarely disagree w/ you, but this is not the application for basil. I'm gonna do it w/ cilantro, as God intended.

Zach said...

that really looks delish! I'm more of a meat lover, but I really need to learn how to cook fish. I noticed that a lot of your salmon recipes are under the broiler, and I don't have one (poo hoo right?).. So thank you soooo much for doing a fish recipe in a pan!!

Is it important to use a nonstick pan for fish?

Chef John said...

sure is easier w/ nonstick, but it can work in cast iron or steel

scallywag said...

ha... for some reason i really stink at cooking salmon... im going to do follow everything except im going to fry it, since apparently thats the only way it'll turn out right for me

Anonymous said...

my mom makes something similar to this.. cept she puts fish sauce in a small bowl with chopped red chile peppers.. and some ginger i believe.. and she fries the salmon like you :)

it's really good and nice video mr.john! i look forward to your next videos :)

Bill W, NH said...

Have you ever tried using Thai basil Chef? I always cringe when I read a recipe that says if you can't find Thai basil use the regular kind.

Chef John said...

yes i love thai basil! that would be great here.

Birder said...

Thanks for posting a simple yet delicious looking sauce. I'm going to try it as soon as I round up the ingredients.

daniel said...

I love your videos! lol xD

Anonymous said...

absolutely wonderful chef. i wish others of your vocation could come to understand that (simple) level of integrity... the basil turns black; but it tastes good. it's not especially camera-friendly; but it works. if you could manage to teach that to all the other chefs-on-camera; you might, single-handedly, restore edible home cooking. (do they have a noble prize for that yet?)

Anonymous said...

Very yummy sweet&sour. My husband and I loved it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

can use normal sugar?

i wan try! i live in Singapore!

Chef John said...

sure!

Hua said...

Hey i just tried this with just regular sugar and chinese vinegar. I didn't have fresh basil leaves so i just threw in some basil from the supermarket and barely tasted at all. BUT it still worked excellently. I guess this gingered sweet-sour flavor is simply good for salmon.

Zach said...

i tried this on samon, and then on veil the next day. It worked really well on both! Tomorrow I'll try on pork; but I'm jewish so I cant let anyone see me ;)

Lauren said...

That was the first time that I cooked salmon. It was very easy to make and I'd have to say that it came out delicious!

Nathalie Jones said...

Hi chef! I´m sooo making this dish tonight! It looks lovely!

Anonymous said...

Looking for anyone's opinion:
I have a small bottle of sake. Can I use that as a substitute for rice vinegar?

Chef John said...

sake isn't fermented, and doesn't have the sweet and sour flavor that rice vinegar does. There are sake glazed salmon recipes, but won't be the same in this recipe.

fittingbackin said...

Just found your blog - i'm SO making this recipe this weekend!! Thanks!

Chef John said...

What took you so long?? ;-) enjoy!

Anonymous said...

This recipe was simple and taste amazing. A must try even if you don't particularly like salomon. Thanks for the great eat!

Anonymous said...

Dear Chef John,

wow! I mean WOW! I've been cooking your recipes for nearly 2 years now, but this really blew my mind away! Fantastic taste and soooo easy to make!

Anonymous said...

John,

this is like the best salmon recipe and so easy to make. So tasty and fantastic if youre in a rush and need to whip up a quick tasty meal.

Uzbek girl said...

Thank you! I just tried and it taste really goooood! So easy and fast!

Jean said...

this recipe is what made me start to love salmon. so fast and easy to make but tastes amazing. thanks a bunch!

oxnard childrens dentist said...

I love garlic. I love ginger. I love basil. I really, really, really love salmon.

I was wondering, do you recommend using wild salmon or farmed? Some favor farmed salmon because it is cheaper. However, I have also read that wild salmon has higher Omega-3 content and astaxanthin in it. I live in a remote area so it's not easy to find good fresh salmon so I end up ordering it online. But I never know what kind to buy? Should I buy Atlantic salmon? Or Pacific salmon? Or Alaskan salmon. Or should I order farmed salmon or wild salmon?

Thanks and looking forward to your response,
Ariel

Chef John said...

I prefer wild west coast!

Trey said...

I just tried this and it was awesome! I did make a few substitutions because I didn't have the exact ingredients.

Rather than rice vinegar, I used apple cider vinegar. Rather than using the hot chili sauce, I used red pepper. I also used ground ginger instead of minced. Instead of fresh chopped basil I used the other kind you find in the seasoning aisle of a grocery store.

I made the mistake of putting the basil in the sauce and mixing it in but everything turned out just fine.

I will definitley be making this in the future. The whole prep, cooking, and serving took about 20 minutes.

Thanks for the great recipe.

Tech Titan said...

Can I use dried basil instead of fresh chopped basil? Buying fresh basil is kind of a hassle because if I don't use it all up soon, it just dries up and becomes an expensive waste. Therefore, is it possible to use dried basil leaves instead? Will it affect any of the taste? Thanks.

Chef John said...

sorry, but dried has a much different flavor. fresh is best.

Araxjan said...

Hi Chef John!
I'm going to be making this dish (or the grilled version depending on how lazy my husband will be feeling) for Armenian xmas on January 6th (we eat fish for that day). This will be my first holiday dish for his family since we got married, and I think they'll love it!
Here's my question (finally): I'll be making the dish for about 12 people, do you think it would be ok for me to maybe cook the salmon on one of those large griddles so I can do multiple at a time?

Chef John said...

Don't see why it wouldn't work. Enjoy!

Nowal said...

Chef John,

You are the MAN!!! Thanks for sharing not only this recipe, but all the recipes on this blog. You are very kind to do so and it exemplifies your passion for great food. I'm a homecook who loves to eat great food but can't always afford to go out to have it (have lil rascals and a california home mortgage), but because of your AWESOME blog my family and I can make and eat great food without sacrificing the loss of our home and lifestyle. Thank you so much from me/my family, and all the other cooks who enjoy and cherish your blog. Bless you! P.S. I am also from WNY.

Chef John said...

Thank you!!! I love doing the blog!

Midori said...

hey chef! i was wondering if instead of water can i add chicken stock? and instead of hot chill sauce since i suffer from acid reflex i can remove that from the recipe? ^ ^

val said...

Trying this tonight !!!! Can't wait :)


--Val.

Anonymous said...

sorry ?

Diana said...

After turning a beautiful piece of salmon into something I forced my husband to eat even though it was practically inedible because I'd grilled all moisture from it, I turned to the internet and found this recipe! I made it three days ago and am making it tonight when my daughter comes home. IT was so good that the extra piece I was going to take for lunch the next day disappeared that night. I bookmarked your blog. Maybe I CAN cook seafood! Thanks, Chef!

Grillex the Dub Chef said...

Which wine would you recommend with this dish? I am thinking Pinot Noir because of the salmon but the more "exotic" flavoring might go better with a riesling. I'm no wine pro though.

Chef John said...

sorry, u asked wrong guy...i like everything with everything! ;)

Grillex the Dub Chef said...

Thank you Chef. I took the middle road and served both the Pinot Noir and the Riesling and let the guests choose. Both worked great!

Anannya Chawla said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe, i am anannya from INDIA, i tried it today at home and trust me i loved it... thanks

Grm100 said...

Grilling or frying salmon tends to stink up the kitchen.
We love salmon. We buy individual peices and oven fan bake at 350F for 15-20 mins. uncovered in either a baking dish or baking sheet on cooking paper.I use this technique for all salmon recipes which i have adapted. While salmon is cooking I can make the sauce or salsa to accompany it and do the salad or other vege.
A cherry tomatoe caper salsa is our fav closely followed by a creamy lemon/caper sauce. Just GOOGLE.

Luodanni Chen said...

I just cooked this. Very delicious, and most importantly suppppper easy!