A while back, I featured Miso in a ‘Foodstuff’ post, but, though I have used the product in several previously posted recipes, this is the first since then. I mentioned, in that post, that Miso can be used as a marinade, and the Japanese often use it that way, especially with salmon. Here I am using Arctic Char, which, for those unfamiliar, is a pink-fleshed fish that is very similar to Pacific Salmon. If you wish to try this recipe, you can use either without fundamentally changing the result … Continue reading “Miso-Grilled Char”
Today’s post features a recipe for a very simple but tasty little Appetizer using fillet of salmon. The flavoring is vaguely Indian in spirit, but, really, you could use this as first course for any type of meal… Continue reading “Spicy Salmon Bites”
Most westerners when preparing a nice sized fish will simply hack off the head and neck and then discard it before utilizing the rest of the flesh as fillets or steaks. The more frugal will sometimes use the head, along with the tail and bones, for making fish stocks, but generally, the head end largely gets ignored despite the fact that it contains quite a bit of delicious meat.
The ‘collar’ of certain fish (salmon, halibut and ling-cod, especially) is actually the ‘neck’ of the fish. Indeed, the one you see pictured above was served to me at Ken’s Japanese Restaurant in Ottawa, where it was described on the menu as ‘Grilled Salmon Neck’. The neck consists of the narrow strip just behinds the gills and includes the pectoral fins and the thick, solid collarbone. There is not much meat here (only about 2 or 3 tablespoons on the one you see above), but, as Asian cuisine has long appreciated, the high fat content of the flesh from this area makes it an especially delectable treat. For my money, in fact, this little tidbit is far superior in texture and taste than the succulent meat near the tail on a salmon.
Ken’s salmon collar is grilled with a sweet soy and mirin glaze, which is a typically Japanese way of preparing this treat. It was garnished with sesame seeds but these were clearly added after grilling and there was no trace of sesame taste, whether from oil or the fresh seed, in the finished dish. It was, I have to say, very nicely done, being tender and succulent, but I did also think that the presentation, at least for a Japanese restaurant, was a bit lacking.
Anyway folks, if you haven’t tried this particular cut yet, I urge you to seek it out. If you live in a larger center with a decent fishmonger, particularly one serving an Asian clientele, it is possible to purchase collars individually. Failing that, the next time you have a nice size salmon to cook, save this piece and try it on the barbecue…