Soy Glazed Salmon + Sesame Soba Noodles
This is one of my favorite meals two cook, for two reasons: 1.) it’s ever so quick and easy, I can make it even when I’m knackered from the gym, or after a particularly gruelling day at work, and 2.) it’s not that bad in the way of healthfulness for something so rich and indulgent (if you’re willing to forget that you’re using quite a bit of soy sauce and brown sugar). Oh and another thing, you will use almost the same exact ingredients to flavour both the salmon and the soba noodles – the economy of scale can be a real winner, especially when you’re cooking just for one.
As for the salmon, you can use a fillet cut as shown here, or a salmon steak. Either will work, but please: use the best, freshest salmon you can find. Don’t go for those sad little salmon trimmings that are sold in the corner markets. Salmon is one of those items that would be a bit ridiculous to have on a daily basis, so on the rare and special occasion that you do have it, don’t shortchange yourself. Go for the real deal.
This meal serves one person.
For the Soy Glazed Salmon You’ll Need:
A fillet of salmon. Nice and fresh, and deboned.
4 tbsp. of soy sauce (the Japanese kind works best here in terms of flavour profile, but go for whatever you have or want.)
1 1/2 tbsp. of dark brown sugar
A few good grindings of pepper
How To Cook Soy Glazed Salmon:
1.) Place the soy sauce and dark brown sugar in a zip lock bag and swish around for a tad, making sure that most of the sugar has crumbled into the liquid. The sugar won’t actually dissolve in the soy sauce, but that’s fine. Now put the salmon inside the bag and leave to marinate for a few minutes.
2.) To cook the salmon, place it flesh side first on a hot non-stick pan. No oil, please. The salmon has plenty of oil already, but to be safe, use a non-stick pan. Leave it to cook for about a minute and a half in medium heat. Turn to the other side and leave for another minute and half. The times will vary depending on the thickness of the cut, but please don’t overcook your salmon. Treat it like steak, in that it should be succulent and tender inside. If it ends up flaking too easily, you’ve overdone it.
3.) Bung in the salmon marinade into the pan and let the salmon braise in it for about a minute and a half in low heat until it forms a nice thick glaze. If you want this saucier, you can add a bit more water.
4.) Plate and serve with the Sesame Soba Noodles.
For the Sesame Soba Noodles You’ll Need:
150 grams of dry soba (buckwheat) noodles
3 tbsp. soy sauce (Whatever soy sauce you used for the salmon, use it here as well. No point in switching to another kind.
1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp. white cane vinegar
1 tbsp. sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 1/2 tbsp green onions, chopped
A few grindings of pepper
How to Cook Sesame Soba Noodles:
1.) Cook the soba noodles slightly more than al dente in a pot of boiling water and about a teaspoon of salt. Drain and rinse with lukewarm water. You can even let the noodles sit in a bowl of iced water and then drain only when you’re ready to assemble everything. This dish is quite lovely when served cold.
2.) Make the dressing by mixing together the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and cane vinegar. Pour it into the soba noodles along with the sesame seeds and green onions. Toss, making sure that every strand of soba is doused with the dressing. Serve with the Soy Glazed Salmon.
Prep and cooking time: roughly 20 minutes. Maybe even 15, if you’re organized.
A note on the chronology:
If you’re going with this pairing, start by marinating the salmon first. Finish making the noodles, put it aside and then proceed with the salmon. The noodles do not have to be and are not supposed to be served piping hot, so it doesn’t really matter if you let it sit for a while whilst you prep the protein.