Thursday, January 12, 2012

Souper à la japonaise (Ginger Salmon with Balsamic Reduction and Wasabi Butter)

I went out with a great friend of mine in late November that I don't often see. The conversation was flowing, our energies high and the food delicious. We caught up on a couple years' conversation over great sushi, without any little persons under the age of 30. Thank God, because I definitely needed a night out. Husband M is great at putting Chatty Baby to sleep so I could spend a few hours without worry. It was such a great night, can't wait to do it all over again.

One dish that particularly stood out was a sushi roll drizzled with a wasabi sauce. It was amazing. I tried reproducing it, but I couldn't get it right. So, I thought. And I thought. Hmm..that creole dish Husband M had a few months ago was out-of-this world delicious, it had this great butter on top. Maybe I could put the wasabi in the butter intead of sauce! And there she was born, my Souper à la japonaise.

Okay, so this is not a great photo. But it's the best I could do at the time and I just don't have the time to recreate the dish during the day and make it all pretty. But it gives you an idea of what it can look like, if you have more time, dress it up with some mango and drizzle the sauce in a more artistic way.
This goes well with either salmon or chicken, but I have to say I surprisingly enjoyed it better with the chicken. But both works.

So here goes:

Souper à la japonaise (Ginger Salmon with Balsamic Reduction and Wasabi Butter)

4 Salmon Steaks or boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbs minced ginger
2 tbs honey
Mix ginger and honey in a small saucer, then pour over thawed meat. Bake in oven at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes. I bake them in a dish with lid.

While this is cooking, make your Balsamic Reduction:
1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
3 tbs agave syrup
1 tsp liquid Amino Sauce (Bragg's is gluten free)

Bring all ingredients to a boil for about 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring often. You don't want to burn your reduction. Reduce heat and let simmer on low heat for about 10-15 minutes, until vinegar is reduced by half. Take off of heat element before serving for a few minutes, it will thicken as it cools slightly, but you want to serve it warm, not cool.

I added the amino sauce (soya sauce) to give it that sushi taste. If you want to use it in other recipes, I would omit it.

Wasabi butter
You can make this from scratch or make with already-made butter. Obviously making it with already made butter will be much quicker, but there's something quite amazing about making your own butter. And of course, it tastes fabulous.

1/2 Cup whipping cream (from carton- not cool whip!!)
1-1/2 tsp wasabi powder
pinch of himalayan salt or celtic sea salt
Whip ingredients in medium bowl for a good 5 minutes, or until fat seperates from the liquids. Squeeze the fat into balls. Place butter balls in fridge until ready to serve. Wrap with plastic wrap if keeping for a few days.
(what whipped butter looks like)


1/2 Cup unsalted butter
1 tsp wasabi powder
salt to taste

Mash wasabi powder into soft (room temperature) butter. Place in fridge to harden then form into balls before serving.
These wasabi butter balls are made to taste very mild. If you like it really hot, add another 1/2 tsp and adjust according to taste. Please take note that it will taste hotter once cooled.

Serve dish with sliced avocadoes and mango. Drizzle balsamic sauce in a zigzag shape and enjoy your creation!

I couldn't help but reminisce. It's been 6 long years since i've been to Japan and I still think it was one of the best places to visit. Well, they're all great places, but Japan sure gave me a great first impression. I was only there for 8 days, but it was an awesome 8 days. I'd wake up early every day, soak in a public bath and head off to palaces, view some beautiful cherry blossoms and eat weird stuff. Here's a pic of the weird stuff.

I still have no idea what I ate. Some kind of snack at a tea house. Some of it was edible.
For me, Japan was the France of Asia, total romance. Just look at this sight:

And the cherry trees! I couldn't get enough of them.

I was way cooler back then. What a difference 6 years + 2 kids can do to someone. It's kinda depressing looking at my momma ponch right now and then looking at these.
And I just had to post a youthful version of me. In the good ol' travel days.

One day I'll be brave and show you my current face, but today is not that day.
Take care and enjoy that wasabi!

1 comment:

  1. Definitely will be trying this one out! I think your current face is beautiful by the way. Thanks for the great post! xox