This is a simple dish that is easy to make and uses relatively few ingredients. It doesn't take too long to make, either, which is a huge help if you're stoopid-busy like me. Here's whatcha do:

  • Salmon steaks. Four of 'em. I usually buy two big ones and chop them ever so gingerly in half with a large cleaver, leaving me with four steaks, each about 5 oz.
  • One cup of mirin. This is rice wine. Sushi vinegar also works well. Sushi vinegar is rice vinegar with a little sugar, which is nice in this dish. If you're using straight rice vinegar, I would advise adding a pinch of sugar to it, but you can certainly go without.
  • Ancho chili powder. Ancho isn't spicy, but has a wonderfully gentle earthy flavor that goes well on pretty much anything. You are going to want AT LEAST 2 tablespoons for this dish, but feel free to add more liberally.
  • Powdered ginger. Yeah, you could use fresh stuff, but you really only want a hint of it to mellow the vinegar a little. Just a pinch will do.
  • Garlic. As with the ancho, go buck-wild. For four steaks, three cloves is probably good. ALWAYS USE FRESH GARLIC.
  • Black pepper. A quarter teaspoon is good (this is about eight turns on my pepper mill, but mills vary greatly). GRIND IT YOURSELF, LAZYBONES. The amount is really up to you, and depends largely on whether or not you like pepper. Duh.
  • Lemon zest. I've found that you only need a fat pinch of zest for this. Like the ginger, you're just cutting the vinegar down with this, so a pinch will do.
  • Shoyu. That's soy sauce. About 1.5 tablespoons is enough.
  • Salt. The Kosher kind. Just a pinch.


Put the cup of wine or vinegar in a pan. Bring it to a boil, and boil it until it's reduced to about a quarter of a cup. This really doesn't take very long, because vinegar and wine both evaporate quickly. What this will do is make your house smell, so open up some windows. No, really, open some windows. And if you're having company over, do this part before they arrive, or you'll drive them away. Do not be concerned about this, it's gonna be really good. By the time the base has reduced, it will be much thicker than before. I add the chopped-up garlic to it about a minute before I turn the burner off, which helps open the garlic up and makes for lots of good garlic yummyness.

Add the rest of the ingredients (no, not the salmon, dumdumhead) to the base and stir it up until it's all mixed together. Let it cool for about ten minutes. Stick a finger in it. Lick your finger. Surprised? Tasty, yeah? Told ya.

Your glaze should now be about the consistancy of wood varnish, thick and syrupy. Glaze the salmon steaks. You could use a basting brush, I suppose, but I've found that a standard teaspoon works just fine for this. Don't pour the stuff all over the place, but give each piece a good coating. Use about half of the glaze. Preheat your broiler (500 degrees F) and a large skillet. In the skillet, put a fair amount of oil, enough to cover the bottom generously. Go ahead and turn the heat up pretty high (if you have a 1-10 scale on your knob, about 8 is probably good).

When the oil is hot, place the steaks in the oil, brown (flat) side down. Let them cook in the oil for about 3 minutes (give or take), until the bottoms begin to turn golden. DO NOT FLIP THE STEAKS. Instead, pull them out of the pan and place them same-side-down on a baking sheet. Cover them with the rest of the glaze and stick 'em in the broiler. Let them cook for 6-7 minutes, until the tops begin to look crispy. At this point, they should be just medium or medium rare in the middle. If you don't like properly cooked salmon, go ahead and leave them in for another couple of minutes. They should still be pink in the middle. Plate and serve. Feeds four. Good with peas and rice.


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