Pu'erh Dante Grilled Salmon with Snow Peas
With its earthy, deep taste and what many tasters have referred to as a nearly fishy aftertaste, Pu'erh Dante can be challenging to even the most experienced palate. Its bold, smoky flavor profile match well to grilled foods, and what better way to match (or mask) the fishy taste than to pair it with a firm, flaky salmon steak. Prep time: 1 hour Cook time: 20 min.1 h 20 m 2
- Brine: 4 c. brewed Pu'erh Dante tea
- 4 c. water, chilled
- 1 c. salt
- 0.5 c. sugar
- 4 salmon steaks, .75" thick.
- Sauce: 2 c. brewed Pu'erh Dante tea
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. dashi broth (or fish stock, vegetable stock)
- Salad: 2.5 c. snow peas
- 1/2 c. pine nuts
- 1/2 c. olive oil
- 1/2 c. lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
For the brine, put the tea in a saucepan and add sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer while stirring, until the salt and sugar have completely dissolve. Remove from heat. Add the chilled water and stir. Chill the mixture in the fridge until it is cool to the touch. Place the salmon steaks in a sealable plastic bag, and pour the brine over it, making sure the salmon is submerged completely. The time of the brine is based on thickness and desired flavor level. For .75" thick salmon steaks, brine the fish for 30 min. Thicker steaks require longer brining.
While the steaks brine, prepare the sauce by reducing 2 c. of brewed Pu'erh Dante by half on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scalding. Then add soy sauce, brown sugar, and broth. Dashi is the classic Japanese stock and would be preferred, but you can sub fish or vegetable stock. Keep on medium-low heat and reduce until it is a sauce consistency: should be thick enough to brush onto the salmon but not so thick it resembles a jelly.
There are 2 options for preparation. If you have a gas or charcoal grill without a smoker, then prepare your grill by oiling the grates, then starting it on medium high heat. Remove the salmon steaks from the brine and pat dry. Place on the grill, diagonally against the bars of the grill itself. Brush sauce on to the salmon. Grill about 4 min. each side until done (depends on grill heat).
If your grill is running hot, or the salmon is cooking on a hot spot," it may be done sooner. If you prefer more doneness or are dealing with wind and/or rain, 5 min. per side may be necessary. Turn the salmon over and grill another 4 min., brushing the sauce on the recently grilled side. Remove from the grill and set salmon on a platter. Cover with foil and let rest 3-4 min. before eating.
Place pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat to toast. Stir constantly and heat until subtly browned. Once toasted, remove from the skillet and allow to cool.
Boil 2-3 c. water in a saucepan. Trim ends of pea pods, and when the water reaches a solid boil, place peas in the water. Blanch for about 2 min. Remove from the water and rinse with cool water.
Julienne the peas into long, thin strips. Set aside.
Whisk together oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Toss with pea pod strips and pine nuts. Serve with grilled salmon.