Cooking dishes from Hawaii is our way of life—though living 3000 miles away from home, we bring with us our culture and style of cooking.
This recipe has been in our family for several years now and has been tweaked here and there with minor adjustments and additives. I really like the way it is now, and I think you will too. There are three separate phases to this recipe, and I will take you through each phase until we tie everything together in the end.
There is some preparation to this dish, so let me briefly explain how the recipe will go. Furikake is sprinkled onto the salmon and is then baked. A wasabi and mayonnaise mix is then spread onto the hot salmon, finished off with a caramelized shoyu drizzle that I will show you how to make. It sounds complicated but it's really not hard to do, and not hard to remember whenever you want to cook it.
Salmon is such an awesome food. It's so rich and nutritious with minerals and vitamins A, D, Bs, E, has antioxidants, and is packed with Omega 3 oils. It is good food that tastes good, but there are people (like my daughter) that can't stand the "fishy" taste. With this recipe, because of the added flavors to it, it reduces the wee amount of "fishiness" that normally accompanies salmon.
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- 7 oz salmon fresh (frozen works too), 1 oz pcs or slab is fine
- to taste nori furikake, rice seasoning
- 1 cup mayonnaise, Best Foods
- to taste wasabi paste in a tube
- to taste fresh ginger, grated
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, C&H or other is fine
- 3/4 cup Aloha Shoyu, any other soy sauce that is NOT salty.
- dash lemon juice, or a squeeze
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- First, prepare the wasabi-mayonnaise mix, you'll find directions for the mix below. Once it is ready, place it on the side.
- Place foil down on a shallow baking pan to catch the shoyu mix that you will later drizzle onto the salmon. Place your salmon on the foil, arrange—if you're using a salmon that is fillet, if you need to cut the end because it is too long for the pan, do so, and place it onto the pan where ever it will fit.
- Sprinkle your furikake onto the salmon. You don't have to sprinkle it on as heavy as I did (I just had a heavy hand that day). Once you've covered the salmon, place on the side.
- Start working on your shoyu and sugar mix and follow the directions below to caramelize. Once you are ready with the sauce, place on the side and turn your attention to the salmon.
- Preheat oven to 350, once ready, place the salmon in the middle of the oven and set the time for 10 minutes. It is important not to over cook fish. I set it for 10 minutes, as soon as the alarm goes off, check the salmon. Stick a fork at the salmon, it should flake apart if it is cooked, if it is not cooked, it won't flake.
- Pull the salmon out of the oven and place on counter (I just use the empty stove tops) where you will be using a pointed chopstick or similar to poke several holes through the salmon. This will allow the salmon to soak up some of the sauce.
- Once this is done, using a plastic spreader, start spreading on the wasabi-mayo mix. It may be a little tricky, but if you lay it on a little thick, it will be easy to spread on without disturbing the furikake too much.
- Finally, drizzle the shoyu mix onto the salmon, it's okay to let it go onto the pan, the salmon will suck it up through the holes that you made earlier with the chopstick. Don't feel you have to use all the sauce, you can always save some for later.
- This is best done as the last item to be cooked when every one is ready to eat—it only takes 10 minutes to cook once all your prepping is done.
Wasabi Mayonnaise Spread
Using a small mixing bowl, put in your one cup of mayonnaise and start adding wasabi paste into the bowl—a 1-inch strip of wasabi paste at a time and mix well before adding more. You want to change the color of the mayo to just a hint of green. When you taste it, it should not be so overpowering, but just a hint of wasabi taste. An optional squeeze of lemon juice helps spreadability and enhances flavor and taste. Once this is done, place on the side until the salmon is out of the oven.
Hawaiian Style Shoyu Drizzle
Let's start off with placing a small pot on the stove that has a cover. Put your shoyu into the pot with low heat. Add dark brown sugar and stir continuously. Grate ginger into the mix and continue to stir making sure that the sugar is not at the bottom, but mixing well into the sauce. Turn the heat up to medium heat, and cover. This should start to caramelize quickly—once you see the sauce boiling, it's done. Caramelizing the shoyu mixture gives a little different taste for the recipe from heating up the sugar. Caramelizing the shoyu and sugar mix makes this recipe pop—it's the key factor in the final taste that sets it apart from other recipes.
Note: Incidentally, this shoyu and dark brown sugar mix along with the ginger is one of Hawaii's favorite teriyaki marinates for beef and chicken. Soaking in this sauce (minus the caramelizing) over-night makes all the difference in your next barbecue—try it, you will not be disappointed
I should also explain that when I say shoyu, it is to mean like soy sauce. Aloha shoyu is less salty than the more popular Kikoman shoyu - I would probably try using the low salt Kikoman shoyu since that brand might be more readily available in your area. There are many varieties of soy sauce, all different in taste, some are for cooking while others are not. I don't know how other varieties will hold up when you caramelize them, so find a good quality not-so-salty shoyu with no MSG.