I find salmon and Asian flavorings to be a great match, and here is a dish that demonstrates this. The same goes for eggplant, and the combination of both created a quick, tasty and light dinner. However, you can choose to serve each part of the dish on its own. Another option is to serve the dish with white rice or Soba noodles.
I’ve used wild Alaskan salmon here, which has a wonderful texture and color, but any other type will do. If you use frozen fish (hopefully vacuum packed), make sure to defrost it slowly, overnight, in the fridge.
The eggplant cubes are steamed in the sauce itself, which helps in keeping the flavor and nutritional values. But this method requires keeping an eye on the dish towards the end, when the liquids evaporate, to prevent scorching.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
For the eggplant:
1 medium eggplant
1 small garlic clove, chopped
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
For the salmon sauce:
¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbs Hoisin sauce
1 tsp green curry paste
1 tsp red curry paste
Juice of ½ medium lemon
Juice of ½ medium lime
For the fish:
1 tsp oil
1 oz (30 grams) butter
2 salmon steaks, (5 oz, 150 grams each), boneless and clean of scales, at room temperature
Handful fresh mint, cut into strips (chiffonade)
Handful fresh cilantro cut into strips (chiffonade)
1. The eggplant: peel the eggplant and cut into medium cubes. Place in a small pot and add the rest of ingredients. Mix gently. Cover and cook on high heat for 1 minute, to create steam. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let steam for 8-9 minutes, mixing once, until the eggplant cubes are soft and translucent. Keep covered, in a warm place, until serving.
2. The salmon sauce: mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Keep aside.
3. The salmon: combine the butter and oil in a medium frying pan. Place on medium-high heat until the butter starts to foam. Add the salmon steaks, skin side up, and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn the steaks upside down, and cook for another minute.
Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the fish is done and the sauce thickens a bit.
Turn off the heat and uncover the pan. Turn the fish once again, so the skin side is up, and carefully remove the skin with kitchen thongs. (It will come off very easily.) Now turn the fish again, so the skinless side is up. Baste with the sauce and add half of the herbs on top.
4. Assemble the dish: place half of the eggplant cubes on each plate. Add the rest of the herbs, top with the fish and serve.