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Roast salmon with smacked cucumber (serves 4).

FOR THE SALMON: 4 x 250g salmon fillets 3 tsp Kikkoman dark soy sauce 3 tsp good local honey A splash of fresh lime juice A few teaspoons sesame seeds FOR THE CUCUMBER: 2 medium cucumbers 2 bulbs pak choi A handful French beans, trimmed 6 tsp Maldon salt 2 heads garlic, peeled and finely minced 1 small piece fresh ginger, very finely minced 8 tsp unrefined golden caster sugar 4 tsp Kikkoman dark soy sauce 8 tsp white wine vinegar 4 tbsp chilli oil 1 tsp Szechuan pepper (optional) METHOD Prepare the salmon by mixing the marinade ingredients and pouring them over the fish in a glass bowl or tray. Chill for at least half an hour, flipping the salmon occasionally.

Lay the cucumbers on a chopping board and smack them hard a few times with a rolling pin or a heavy book.

Trim off the ends, and cut the cucumbers lengthways into two, then cut the two halves lengthways once more.

Cut these lengths on the angle into nice thick slices.

Place them in a bowl with the salt, mix well and tip into a non-reactive sieve or colander, set over a wide bowl and leave to drain for about 10 minutes.

This process acts to remove the excess water from the cucumber.

As the cucumber drains, make the dressing; in a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, sugar, soy, vinegar and chili oil to make a light emulsion.

Add the Szechuan pepper if you want a heftier kick.

Chop the pak choi into bite-size pieces. Quickly rinse, then pat the cucumber slices dry.

Tip them into a bowl, along with the chopped pak choi and pour over the sauce.

Quickly blanch the beans in boiling salted water, and toss into the salad.

Stir well, and allow to marinate for a few minutes while you cook the salmon. Heat the oven to 190oC / Gas 5. Remove the salmon from the marinade.

In a pan, quickly sear the salmon pieces, skin-side down, until the skin is crisp and golden.

Transfer, skin-side-up, to a tray and bake for a further 7-10 minutes, until the fish is almost cooked through.

Leave to rest in a warm place. It will continue to cook a little as it rests. Spoon some of the cucumber salad into the centre of a bowl and set a salmon piece on top.

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jan 23, 2015
Words:396
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