February 27, 2016 – Every now and then the Alaskan in me craves salmon. I grew up eating salmon. It’s not only delicious but brings back fond memories of fishing with my dad. I can remember the two of us in hip boots fishing Bird Creek a few miles south of Anchorage. We were the only two on the creek. These days there’s a camp ground and parking lot. And hard to find a spot to fish the creek.
Few foods are more delicious than fresh salmon. Of the major varieties sockeye, or red salmon, is the best. It’s so delicious that restaurants across the country await the first reds of the season. Alaska Airlines has even lent its marketing expertise by flying the first catch directly to Seattle with plenty of accompanying publicity.
A whole lot of hoopla! Fresh red salmon is worth it.
Let me assert one of my unbreakable principles here. I will not ever, knowingly, eat farmed salmon. And God forbid the recently created GMO (or as we call it, Frankenfish) somehow touches my plate. It’s wild caught, preferably Alaskan, or no salmon at all.
When it comes to cooking salmon, the rule is “keep it simple.” There’s so much flavor in a salmon filet it doesn’t need a lot of help. A little salt and pepper. A few pats of butter. Put it in the oven at 350 – 400. Cook for four minutes per half inch. Watch it closely. When it flakes easily and is still moist, get it out of the oven. You don’t want to over cook it.
I wanted a sauce of some sort to accompany my salmon. Not strong enough to overpower the wonderful flavor. Something to complement it. To bring out even more of the goodness.
I decided to use the wok to stir fry some broccoli flowerets. A little soy sauce, I thought. Maybe some sesame oil. A bit of olive oil and maybe a touch of chicken stock. Perhaps a pinch of sugar
As a favor to my wife I substituted coconut aminos for the soy sauce. Its flavor is similar to soy sauce but is slightly sweet. It’s also gluten free. If you opt for the coconut aminos rather soy sauce, don’t add any sugar.
Here’s the sauce I came up with.
Broccoli Sesame Sauce for Salmon
3 tablespoons coconut aminos (or soy sauce) 2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 3 tablespoons chicken stock 1 head broccoli, broken into flowerets
Whisk the first four ingredients until well combined. Heat the sauce in a wok over medium high heat until it’s hot but not smoking.
Add the broccoli flowerets and stir fry until they begin to brown. About three to five minutes.
Serve with baked salmon and perhaps a side of rice.