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.
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.
Tip: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
Serve with Triple-Sesame Jasmine Rice.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: Scott Phillips