Chef Daniel Martinez uses Japanese bread crumbs, called panko, for almost everything he breads at Portland's new Thirst wine bar. "I love its crispy texture and lightness," he says. Here, he creates a gingery panko crust for luscious salmon served with a side of Asian-scented eggplant.
More Salmon Recipes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small shallot, very finely chopped
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (from a 1 1/2-inch piece)
1/2 cup panko
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium eggplant (1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch dice
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the shallot, garlic and 1 tablespoon of the minced ginger and cook over moderate heat until the shallot is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the panko and stir to coat evenly with the butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until the panko is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Season the topping lightly with salt and black pepper.
In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the diced eggplant and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the eggplant to a small bowl.
In a shallow bowl, whisk the lime juice with the mustard. Add the salmon fillets and turn to coat. Set the salmon on a parchment paperlined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Pack the panko mixture on top of each salmon fillet and roast for 12 minutes, or until just cooked through.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet. Add the shiitake caps and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate. Add the scallion and the remaining 2 teaspoons of minced ginger and cook for 1 minute. Return the softened eggplant to the skillet and season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Add the rice vinegar and cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped basil and mint.
In a small saucepan, simmer the tamari over moderate heat until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Stir in the honey. Mound the vegetables in the center of each plate. Top with the salmon fillets, drizzle with the tamari sauce and serve.
The vegetables can be prepared early in the day. Add the basil and mint just before serving.
Tamari, a soy sauce made without wheat, has a mellower, fuller-bodied flavor than regular soy sauce, and complements fish well; low-sodium soy sauce is a fine substitute.
A medium-bodied Willamette Valley Pinot Gris will bring out the ginger notes, too.
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