Gingered Pickled Salmon with Wasabi Sauce

This recipe was given to us from a friend, but originally comes from Staff Meals from Chanterelle by David Waltuck and Melicia Phillips. It's mostly made in advance, so not much last-minute work is required. Make sure to tell guest that the wasabi sauce packs a punch!

Serves 8 as a first course or light lunch 

FOR THE PICKLED SALMON:

  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless salmon
  • Pickling Brine

PICKLING BRINE:

  • 1 3/4 lbs. fresh ginger, scrubbed and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups cider vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tbsp. coarse (kosher) salt
  • 1 tbsp. black peppercorns

WASABI SAUCE:

This brine can be used to pickle vegetables as well as salmon.

  •  1/4 cup wasabi powder
  •  1/4 cup  rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup  water
  • 1 tablespoon  Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup  canola oil -- or other vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon  coarse salt
  • finely snipped fresh chives -- for garnish

PICKLING BRINE PREPARATION

Place all the ingredients in a large, nonreactive saucepan and bring to boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and cool at room temperature. Transfer the bring to a storage container, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

PREPARATION FOR PICKLED SALMON

Run your fingers lightly over the salmon, feeling for bones. Remove any
you find with tweezers or your fingers. Place the salmon in a large glass
or ceramic bowl, and pour the pickling brine through a colander into the
bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Place a small plate on the salmon to hold
it under the brine. Refrigerate for at least 48 hours and as long as 3
days. The longer it stays in the brine, the more “cooked” its texture will
be.

While the salmon is pickling, prepare the wasabi sauce: Place the wasabi
powder, vinegar, water, and mustard in the bowl of a food processor, and
pulse a few times to combine. With the machine running, slowly pour in the
oil through the feed tube, and process to form a slightly thickened sauce.
Add the salt, pulse a few times, then transfer the sauce to a container.
This sauce will keep for 1 month, covered, in the refrigerator.

When ready to serve, remove the salmon from the brine, and pat it dry with
paper towels. Using a sharp knife, slice the salmon crosswise into
1/8-inch-thick slices.

To serve, fan out several slices of the salmon on a plate, drizzle with
the wasabi sauce, and garnish with the snipped chives.

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