The Condensed Chef S
By Doug Anderson
Reprinted from Bulletin 088, February 15, 2004

        My recipe today is something you can find on the Chanticleer menu and probably will be able to long after I have left. I wish I could take credit for its invent, but sadly, I cannot. In fact, no one is quite sure which past chef gets the credit for this one, and I guess that is not really important. This recipe is a great salad course idea or makes a nice, light summer meal on its own.

Wok-Charred Salmon Salad With Chinese Mustard Sauce

 Fresh Salmon, about a pound feeds four.
Mixed greens, any variety will work, even iceberg.
Vinaigrette, the more nondescript the better. Avoid "fruity" varieties.
Peanut oil (sub okay)
Soy sauce
rice vinegar (sub okay)
Brown sugar, for caramelization.
Chinese mustard sauce, store bought, or concocted by combining:
Dijon Mustard
Spicy red peppers or red pepper-based condiment, even just Tabasco.
Mandarin orange segments, canned okay.
Julienned carrots
Red onions
Diced bell peppers.
Preheat your Wok or saute pan to very hot.
Splash in three drops peanut oil very cautiously. (This recipe requires adult supervision!)
Apply salmon, cut in three-inch strips.
Splash in two Tbsp. soy sauce and 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
Turn salmon, cooking about 8 minutes or until firm.
Add a liberal pinch of brown sugar after turning salmon and cook to a glaze.
While the salmon is charring, mix whatever greens you have decided on (I use
green leaf, red leaf, and Romaine with a mesclun mix) and a Tbsp. of vinaigrette
in a stainless steel mixing bowl and toss.
Present on medium salad plate with the vegetables and orange segments arranged attractively
around the outside of the greens, with the salmon strips and mustard sauce
"on the side."  The mustard sauce is a dipping sauce for the salmon, so it is
best served in a small glass ramekin or similar container.

        Simple, but elegant and very tasty! The Chinese mustard sauce is open to interpretation. I emulsify egg whites, but mayo will suffice. I buy Asian peppers and puree them with white wine and cracked peppers, but most Asian co-ops sell a very tasty hot red pepper sauce, called "rooster sauce," that subs very well and saves a lot of time. Use whatever you have lying around that has a little zing, even if it is only buffalo wing sauce. When it is combined with Mayo and Dijon mustard, it will create a reasonable facsimile.
        I hope you enjoy this one and tell me all about it.
        I was pleased to receive some feedback on my first recipe from my sister Marlene who writes: "I just finished making (and eating) your Portabella mushroom caps with pesto and cheese. Wonderful!  I actually found the mushroom caps at Cub. I grated some Belgioioso Parmesan cheese and used Buitoni pesto. I think that the pesto I used would be too salty for you... but I loved it. Kim went to get Mark from school, but when she gets home I'll have her try this; she's my adventurous eater! I bet she loves it!"
        Poor Kim, the family Guinea pig! I hope she will send along any comments she may have, good or bad. As far as the pesto being too salty, I am also a fan of salt, much to the chagrin of my internal organs. Excellent choice on the cheese, Marlene; tell me, did you grill the mushroom caps? Any cooking method would work, but grilling is preferable. Thanks a lot for the input, Marlene! It is exciting to see people actually using your recipes! See you next time!

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