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Steamed Salmon with Leeks, Shiitake, and Soy


Serves 4

Steaming salmon with aromatic leeks, mushrooms, and garlic brings out the natural sweetness of the fish while keeping it moist and flavorful. Pouring hot sesame and peanut oils over the cooked fish is a classic Chinese technique that lightly glazes the salmon.

  • 4 6-oz. boneless, skin-on salmon fillets (about 1-1/2 inches thick; preferably wild-caught)
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white or black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic (from 3 medium cloves)
  • 1/2 cup halved and very thinly sliced leeks (white part only), rinsed (from 1 large)
  • 2-1/2 oz. shiitake mushrooms (about 8 medium), stemmed and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Tbs. peanut oil
  • 2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Rinse the salmon and pat completely dry. Put the fillets skin side down in a shallow, 9-inch-wide, heatproof bowl or baking dish and let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Sprinkle the salmon with the red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper, and then sprinkle with the garlic, leeks, and mushrooms, in that order.

Add enough water to a 14-inch flat-bottom wok (preferably well-seasoned carbon steel) to measure 3/4 inch deep.

Put a 12-inch bamboo steamer in the wok. Cover the steamer and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Uncover, and then carefully set the bowl of salmon in the steamer. Cover the steamer and steam until the fish is just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Check the outer pieces of salmon for doneness first by poking the thickest part with a chopstick or fork to see if it flakes. Using a spatula, transfer the outer pieces to a serving platter and continue to cook the inner two pieces for another 1 to 2 minutes, if necessary. Carefully remove the bowl from the wok and transfer the remaining salmon and any accumulated juice to the platter.

If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, set a round metal rack with legs at least 1-1/4-inches high (so it’s elevated above the water) in the wok, put the bowl of salmon on the rack, and then cover the wok with its lid.

In a small skillet, heat the peanut and sesame oils over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Drizzle the salmon with the soy sauce, and then carefully pour the hot oil mixture over the fish—it’s likely to crackle and splatter a bit. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with Triple-Sesame Jasmine Rice.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 350, Fat (kcal): 18, Fat Calories (g): 160, Saturated Fat (g): 3, Protein (g): 39, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7, Carbohydrates (mg): 5, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 7, Sodium (g): 560, Cholesterol (g): 105, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Delicously flavorful, easy, healthy, and quick! perfect for a weeknight meal. I made this by layering the ingedients in our electric vegetable steamer, set it to 10 minutes and kicked back. I needed to add a few minutes at the end, but that was it. Then finished the dish with the soy sauce + hot oil. Will definitely make this again.

It was absolutely fabulous! My husband commented it was the best salmon he'd ever eaten. I would put more mushrooms in also. Will be doing this dish over and over.

Instead of steaming it in a wok, I sealed individual servings in foil packets and baked at 450 for about 20 minutes. Delicious, super-easy, very healthy! I increased the leeks and shiitakes and that worked well. I added a little water to each packet but next time I wouldn't as the salmon ended up slightly mushy.

Absolutely delicious and so simple. More shitakes would be better. Leeks came out sweet and soft -- very thin slicing is importatnt. Loved steaming the salmon as it came out very moist -- hard to resist raising the lid to check on it! My first attempt I didn't have enough water and didn't keep it boiling so the fish took a little longer to cook.

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