Seared Ginger Balsamic Salmon

Have you ever wondered why salmon is so popular compared with other fish? It probably has something with its versatility. Salmon can be can be steamed, rubbed, glazed, pan-roasted and more.

Or maybe because of its health benefits: high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B12 and B6 and calcium. I think it’s both plus the fact that it also tastes good.

One of my favorite ways to have salmon is in sushi, but I haven’t quite got around to trying it that way at home. So, when I’m cooking the king of fish, it’s usually on the grill or in the oven.

Rarely do I prepare salmon on the stovetop, although there have been a lot of pretty good-looking recipes that have crossed my desk over the years. And that includes the following, which is served with a hot and sour slaw..

Seared Ginger Balsamic Salmon with Hot and Sour Slaw
DRESSING:
¼ cup soy sauce
3 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
SALMON:
4 6-ounce pieces center-cut salmon fillet with skin, patted dry
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 teaspoons canola oil (divided)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
4 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (divided)
3½ cups (9 ounces) shredded broccoli slaw
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ tablespoons light brown sugar
Combine dressing ingredients; set aside. Season salmon with salt and pepper.
Heat half the canola oil and the sesame oil in a wok or heavy skillet until hot but not smoking. Add red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons of the ginger; stir-fry 10 seconds. Add bell pepper and toss lightly over high heat. Add the broccoli slaw, toss lightly and pour in the rice wine. Stir and cover. Cook over medium-high heat for a minute. Uncover and add the dressing. Toss lightly and transfer to a bowl.
Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the salmon fillets in the pan, skin side up, partially cover and sear until well browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook 5 to 6 minutes, until the fish flakes in the middle.
Portion some of the slaw on individual plates, and place salmon fillets on top.
Drain off any oil and reheat the frying pan with the balsamic vinegar, water, lemon juice, brown sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons ginger. Simmer over medium heat-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes until thickened and reduced to 1/3 cup. Carefully pour the glaze over the salmon.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 544 calories, 56 percent of calories from fat, 33.5 grams fat (6.7 grams saturated, 13.5 grams monounsaturated), 93.5 milligrams cholesterol, 40 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, 4.9 grams fiber, 1,735 milligrams sodium.

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