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Gochujang Glazed Salmon

By Captain George Nippell, F/V JIMANI

Gochujang is a savory, sweet and spicy Korean chili paste made with fermented soy beans. There are any number of glazes which feature gochujang, from a basic gochujang, mirin, sesame, and soy, to more complex recipes adding ginger, garlic and scallions to a basic glaze. I wanted to try something a bit different, but not too far out of the lane. Since I like my ginger/coconut/pineapple rice, I wanted to complement that by adding crushed pineapple and ginger to the basic glaze.

The glaze:

½ cup Gochujang

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1 tbsp chopped/crushed ginger

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tbsp mirin

1 tbsp lite soy sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar

¼ cup crushed pineapple

Blend ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer gently, adding pineapple juice if it needs thinning. If you draw the back of a spoon through the sauce and it leaves a track, it’s about right.

The salmon:

Copper River sockeye filets work best, but Copper River coho and Prince William Sound pink wild Alaskan salmon are good, as well.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the upper third. Season fish with salt and pepper, paint a tablespoon or so of glaze on each filet and bake for 12-13 minutes (for ½-inch filets, a minute or two more for thicker filets). Plate and paint another tablespoon of glaze onto the filets.

The rice:

Add ¼ cup crushed pineapple, 2 tbsp sweetened coconut, 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp minced/crushed ginger, or ½ tsp ground ginger to your usual rice preparation. Try it, you’ll like it.

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