Sheet-Pan Salmon and Eggplant With XO Sauce
XO sauce, a prized seafood condiment from Hong Kong, involves frying pricey dried shrimp and scallops with Chinese cured ham and aromatics until jammy and full of umami. This pantry-friendly version uses smoked mussels to replicate the seafood flavor without breaking the bank. The rich, sweet-salty sauce balances fatty salmon and silky eggplant, but the savory condiment has endless uses: Dollop it on scrambled eggs, fried rice, roasted veggies or noodles. Extra sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for one month.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1(4-ounce) can smoked mussels
- 1 ½pounds Japanese eggplant (5 to 6 medium), trimmed, halved lengthwise and then crosswise
- ¾cup safflower or canola oil
- Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal) and black pepper
- 1shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 1tablespoon minced garlic
- 1tablespoon minced peeled ginger
- 1ounce sliced prosciutto (about 2 slices), finely chopped
- 1tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
- 2tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 1green Thai chile, seeded and minced
- 1tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1teaspoon fish sauce
- 4(6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets
- Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
- Steamed rice, for serving (optional)
Step 1Drain the mussels and reserve the liquid. (You should have about 2 tablespoons of liquid.) Finely chop half of the mussels, reserving the rest for another future use. Set aside chopped mussels and liquid.
Step 2Heat oven to 425 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, combine eggplant and 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat, arrange skin side down and roast until tender, 15 minutes.
Step 3Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup oil and the shallot over medium; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot is softened, 3 minutes.
Step 4Add garlic and ginger to the shallot oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until just light golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add prosciutto and cook, stirring, until well combined, 1 minute. Add Shaoxing wine and cook for 1 minute.
Step 5Stir in chopped mussels and reserved mussel liquid, sugar, chile, soy sauce, oyster sauce and fish sauce, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. You should have about 1 cup of sauce.
Step 6Spread 1/4 cup of the XO sauce on top of the eggplant and move to one side of the baking sheet. Rub salmon with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt. Arrange salmon next to eggplant, skin side down, and roast until it’s cooked through and the eggplant is golden, about 10 minutes longer.
Step 7Divide salmon and eggplant among plates. Spoon some XO sauce over salmon, garnish with scallions and serve alongside steamed rice, if you like.