Theres nothing new about wrapping food in a sheet of something, and applying heat. Its a convenient, portable method of cooking food thats been used for millennia, but it also happens to be delicious! The food cooks in its own juices, making for a tender, moist dish thats full of flavor.
While many traditional methods of wrapping food involve using leaves such as banana, lotus, bamboo, or corn, aluminum foil works just as well. It may not impart as much flavor as using leaves, but its a lot easier to find if you dont live in a part of the world that happens to grow these plants.
Once the food is wrapped and sealed in the foil, it creates a chamber that puffs up with steam as it heats that will gently steam the salmon and mushrooms. To bump up the umami of this dish, I like using a variety of Asian mushrooms such as shimeji, enoki and shiitake, but you can use any mushrooms that suit your fancy. You could also go wild and add other vegetables into the pouch such as asparagus, bell peppers, or thinly sliced potatoes.
The sauce is a combination of earthy miso and sweet mirin, giving the contents of the pouch a depth of flavor that belies the small number of ingredients. Leaving out the butter will make this healthier, but personally I love the richness it adds to the nutty miso.
Perhaps the best part of this dish is that you can wrap the pouches ahead of time and store the in the fridge, making this the perfect dish for a dinner party. It not only looks impressive and tastes great, all you have to do is pop a tray of these in the oven while you and your guests have the first course.
Miso Salmon with Mushrooms
This miso salmon recipe is cooked in aluminum foil, and allows the steam to heat the salmon in its own juices. Food blogger Marc Matsumoto breaks the flavor combinations for this dish in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.
- 2 salmon fillets (about 12 ounces)
- 6 ounces assorted mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons miso
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons butter
- minced chives or scallions for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a small bowl combine the miso and mirin and stir until smooth.
- Cut two sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. If your aluminum foil is thin, just fold over a large sheet to make it double layered.
- Place a salmon fillet in the center of each piece of foil. Salt and pepper the salmon. Top each piece of salmon with half the mushrooms. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to each package, and then divide the miso sauce between each one.
- Fold the top and bottom of the package up and over the salmon until the two sides meet, then fold that edge over at least 3 times. Fold the left and right edges over at least three times each to make a sealed pouch for the salmon and mushrooms to cook in.
- Place the packets on a baking sheet and put it in the oven for 15 minutes. When the salmon is done, use some scissors to cut the tops of each pouch and garnish with chives. Be careful when you cut into the packets, as the trapped steam can be very hot. Serve the salmon with some plain rice or boiled potatoes.
Yield: 2 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marcs been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.