Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nigella's Low-Effort, Big Flavor Mirin-Glazed Salmon

I freely admit it, I like low-effort. As much as I love to cook, spending hours laboring over a dish with lots of steps bores me rather quickly so when I can find a dish that is almost effortless but tastes great, I am all over it. It's "Potluck" week at I Heart Cooking Clubs and since that means we can pick any Nigella recipe to make, I chose the perfect low-effort, big flavor dish; her Mirin-Glazed Salmon. Bonus--it's a pantry dish for me as I keep a bag of Costco frozen wild salmon fillets in my freezer (need to get those mighty omega-3's in the diet), and I always have all of the other components on hand. Nigella recommends serving the fish with sushi rice but I was really craving Nigella's Soba Noodles with Sesame Seeds that I made last month, so I whipped up a batch. (You can find the recipe for the noodles on that previous post here, they are so simple and tasty it is always worth making a batch).

The Mirin-Glazed Salmon recipe can be found in Nigella Express or on her website here.

Nigella says, "This must be the fastest possible way to create a culinary sensation. You do scarcely a thing--just dip some salmon steaks in a dark glossy potion, most of which you get out of jars--and what you make tastes as if you had been dedicating half your life to achieving the perfect combination of sweet, savory, tender, and crisp.

If there are only two of you eating, I would be inclined to stick to quantities, letting a couple of pieces or whatever you don't eat cool, as it makes a fantastic salad the next day. My favorite accompaniment here is sushi rice, and since I am wedded to my rice cooker, this is no work and needs no skill whatsoever. Just cook rice of your choice – or noodles if you prefer- according to the instructions on the package if you are cruelly rice-cookerless

Mirin-Glazed Salmon
"Nigella Express" by Nigella Lawson
(Serves 4)

1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used low-sodium)
4 (4 oz) pieces of salmon, cut from the thick part of the fillet so that they are narrow but tall rather than wide and flat
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1–2 scallions, halved and shredded into fine strips

Mix the mirin, brown sugar and soy in a shallow dish that will take all 4 pieces of salmon, and marinate the salmon in it for 3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second. Meanwhile heat a large skillet on the stove.

Cook the salmon in the hot, dry pan for 2 minutes and then turn it over, add the marinade and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the salmon to whatever plate you’re serving it on, and add the rice vinegar to the hot pan.

Pour the dark, sweet, salty glaze over the salmon and top with the scallion strips. Serve with rice or noodles as you wish, and consider putting some sushi ginger on the table, too.

Notes/Results: Excellent--the glaze is sweet, salty, tangy and rich, and works perfectly with the salmon which stays tender and moist. The sauce does evaporate a bit as it cooks, but I just added a bit more rice vinegar and it was fine. Although sushi rice would have been great, the soba noodles were a nice compliment and are quick and easy too. This is a dish that is so simple to make it is almost embarrassing, but it looks and tastes like you got it at your favorite Japanese restaurant. A keeper recipe for sure.

You can check out what the other IHCC participants selected as their Potluck dishes and see what they thought of them by going to the website here and following the links.


  1. another of ur delicious recipes bookmarked for nigella bites....u chose fantastic recipes always!!!!!

  2. Sweet and savory salmon recipes are my absolute favorites. I need to hit up Costco for some of those fillets. Way more cost-effective than buying them from TJ's. Bookmarked!

  3. I can only take the complicated recipes once in a while. Easy is good!
    Love the salmon and the noodles - and the way you sliced your green onions - you will have to teach me that!

  4. This looks so good!! I've been wanting to make this recipe for awhile now. I wish I had a Costco around here. I have a hard time finding good looking salmon.
    This was a great pick!!

  5. That sounds so good! I keep meaning to eat more salmon. And I totally agree, low effort FTW!

  6. simple is my favorite too :) this looks great!

  7. Deb, I'm with you about "keep it simple"! And here you have shared a terrific example of how one can have a delicious entrée with just a few flavorful ingredients.

    Many thanks...

  8. Deb, this dish is amazing. I'm not big on eating seafood, but this looks too good to pass up. First time I hear of mirin. I'll try and look for it and work up your recipe. Thanks.

  9. I have some salmon in the freezer right now and I really need to get more creative with how I cook it. This would be perfect.

  10. It's gorgeous! The mirin glaze sounds fantastic!

  11. I love salmon!!!It is my favorite fish. That looks delicious!

  12. Wow, the pictures make me wish I liked fish!

  13. WowEee Wow Wow! That's looks and sounds wonderful. I love salmon.

  14. It may be low effort but the results are stunning!

  15. What a great recipe - Nigella is a genius, isn't she? I could eat salmon every night - this will get a try out soon.

  16. Can you tell I'm just now catching up on food blogs? I just started cooking with mirin, and I'm liking the results. Salmon, being my favorite fish, is the perfect vehicle for this sauce. Yum!


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)