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Sweet and Salty Salmon With Edamame Grits in 30 Minutes

Salty-sweet bulgogi sauce does wonders for succulent fillets of roast salmon. With a side of “grits” made from edamame, this recipe from chef Edward Lee makes a quick and wildly flavorful meal.


Kitty Greenwald

The Chef: Edward Lee

His Restaurants: 610 Magnolia and MilkWood in Louisville, Ky., Succotash in National Harbor, Md., and Succotash DC in Washington, D.C.

What He’s Known For: Highly personal takes on Southern dishes, often referencing the Korean cooking he grew up on.

THE SALTY-SWEET sauce used to marinate bulgogi, the Korean dish of grilled beef or pork, is shamefully underutilized according to chef Edward Lee. “In Korea, you would never use it on anything but bulgogi,” he said. “People would run out of the room if you even tried.”

In his third Slow Food Fast recipe, Mr. Lee asks us to fly in the face of convention and apply the sauce to salmon instead.

The blend of soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, brown sugar, onions and garlic not only flavors the fish but also helps keep it moist as it roasts in the oven. Served with a fresh take on grits made of edamame puréed with tahini and lemon juice, the luscious salmon will have you wondering what other foods might benefit from the liberal use of this lip-smacking sauce.

Bulgogi Salmon With Edamame Grits

Total Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1¼ tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons minced onions
  • 6½ cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons grated ginger
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 2½ teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 10-ounce bag shelled edamame beans
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup tahini
  • Juice of 1½ lemons
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 (6-ounce) boneless wild salmon fillets
  • Salt

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Make marinade: In a food processor or blender, pulse 3 tablespoons soy sauce with sesame oil, brown sugar, onions, 1½ cloves garlic, ginger and black pepper until smooth. Stir in sesame seeds and scallions.

2. Pour marinade over salmon and cover with plastic wrap. Let fish sit 10 minutes at room temperature. (Fillets can marinate up to 14 hours in the refrigerator.) Arrange salmon, skin-side down, on a medium baking pan. Bake until flesh is a flaky medium-rare and glaze sets on top, about 12 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make edamame grits: Set a medium pot over medium heat and swirl in olive oil. Once shimmering, add shallots and remaining garlic. Sauté until shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add edamame, water, tahini, juice of 1 lemon, remaining soy sauce and cumin. Simmer until edamame is fully tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer everything to clean food processor or blender and puree to the consistency of hummus. Season with salt and extra lemon juice, to taste.

4. Divide edamame grits among 4 plates and serve salmon fillets on top or alongside.

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