Soy-Glazed Salmon Hand Rolls
Unagi sauce is a sweet, thickened soy sauce traditionally used on grilled eel. Here, the simple sauce of soy sauce, sugar and mirin is enhanced with the addition of aromatic garlic and ginger, transforming it into a savory glaze for buttery salmon. Once the salmon is roasted and lacquered in the sauce, it becomes the perfect filling for customizable hand rolls. A perfect roll is assembled with the flaked salmon and some creamy avocado and crisp cucumbers for bites that are rich, fresh and crunchy all at once. Including cooked short-grain rice in the filling is traditional, but these rolls would be a great place to use other leftover grains like farro or quinoa.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3tablespoons neutral oil, such as safflower or canola
- ½teaspoon minced garlic
- ⅓cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ⅓cup mirin
- 3tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼teaspoon black pepper
- ¼teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more for seasoning
- ½teaspoon peeled grated ginger
- 1(1 1/2-pound) skinless salmon fillet (preferably center-cut)
- Toasted seaweed sheets, quartered
- Cooked short-grain rice and wasabi paste (optional), for serving
- 3Persian cucumbers, halved crosswise and cut lengthwise into thin spears
- 1to 2 avocados, pitted and thinly sliced
Step 1Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a small saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium. Stir in garlic until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add soy sauce, mirin, sugar, black pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced by about a third and has thickened slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in ginger and remove from heat. You should have about ½ cup sauce; reserve half of the sauce in a small bowl for serving and set aside.
Step 2Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place salmon on the prepared sheet, rub with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt. Coat the salmon on both sides with the other half of the sauce.
Step 3Roast salmon for 5 minutes, then baste with the sauce that’s dripped onto the sheet tray. Continue to roast until salmon is just cooked to medium, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer salmon to a large plate.
Step 4Flake salmon into bite-size pieces and drizzle with the reserved sauce. To build hand rolls, top seaweed with some rice (if using), cucumbers, avocado and salmon. Wrap and enjoy. Serve with optional wasabi on the side, and dab a little onto the salmon for a spicy hit.