Steven Thawnghmung loves salmon. For a summer Teriyaki Salmon Salad With Ginger Dressing, he likes to pair it with a teriyaki sauce and fresh vegetables.
After a number of approaches, the Johnson County Community College culinary student came up with a complementary combination of flavors, including a ginger dressing, fresh cucumber slices, pickled ginger and wasabi.
When cooking, Thawnghmung likes to plan ahead.
“The hardest thing is prioritizing the different tasks and figuring out how to do them in correct order,” he says. “For me, it’s actually easier if I make the sauces ahead of time.”
While an oven is preheating to 425 degrees, he combines the soy sauce with agave nectar, ginger powder, sesame oil and red pepper flakes. He brushes the mixture on both sides of the salmon fillets, places them on a half-sheet pan with foil, and puts them in the oven uncovered. Cook for six to eight minutes. Remove and let cool; set in fridge.
The recipe calls for a list of vegetables, from arugula leaves to thinly sliced green onions and fresh seaweed strips, but the preparation is as easy as tossing all of the ingredients into a big bowl.
For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
About the chef: Steven Thawnghmung, who lives in Lawrence, is in his second year of the JCCC culinary apprenticeship program. He is an apprentice at Brandon Woods Alvamar, an independent living center in Lawrence.
About the column: Cooking 101 is a bimonthly column exclusive to The Star designed to introduce home cooks to basic cooking techniques. The recipe, food styling and photography are a joint project between culinary students and instructors at Johnson County Community College’s Hospitality Management Program.
Teriyaki Salmon Salad With Ginger Dressing
Makes 8 servings
For the salmon:
4 (8-ounce) skin-off salmon fillets
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, black pepper to taste
For the sauce:
3/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
For the salad:
1 cup fresh wakame seaweed (if fresh isn’t available use reconstituted, found at Asian grocery stores)
3 cups fresh arugula leaves
2 cups watercress lettuce
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (save excess stems for garnish)
1/2 cup paper-thin cucumber slices
1/2 cup shredded carrot
6 ounces white mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, de-ribbed and julienned
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
For the dressing:
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup lower sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey (use more as needed)
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
2 green onions, sliced along the bias
8 slices pickled ginger (use more if desired)
To make the salmon and sauce: Preheat oven to 425 degrees and coat a half sheet pan with cooking spray. Whisk together soy sauce, agave nectar, ginger powder, sesame oil and red pepper flakes in a medium mixing bowl.
Brush both sides of each fillet with oil. Salt and pepper both sides, then place on pan. Place in oven uncovered and cook 6-8 minutes. Salmon should reach an internal temperature of 135 degrees on a meat thermometer.
Remove salmon from oven and let cool to room temperature. Cut the fillets in half, making 8 servings. Place fish in the refrigerator until well chilled.
To make the salad: If using dried seaweed, reconstitute in a bowl of cold water or as the package directs.
In a large bowl, gently toss together the seaweed, lettuces and other salad ingredients.
To make the dressing: Blend all ingredients together in a Vitamix or heavy-duty blender until smooth. Pour 1/2 cup of the dressing onto the salad and toss until evenly coated. Transfer the salad to a large ceramic bowl. Reserve remaining dressing.
To serve: Remove salmon from the refrigerator. Arrange the salad and place salmon in the center of each plate. Top each with 1 teaspoon of the sauce, 3 slices green onion and 1 slice pickled ginger. Reserve remaining sauce for dipping. It can also be saved for use in other dishes.
Per serving: 320 calories (56 percent from fat), 20 grams total fat (3 grams saturated), 59 milligrams cholesterol, 11 grams carbohydrates, 25 grams protein, 694 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.