Salmon in Gingered Lemongrass Broth with Snow Peas and Shiitake Mushrooms
Piquant lemongrass stock is used to steam salmon rolls and vegetables. The same stock forms the base of the final broth ladled over the salmon and vegetables into the soup plates in which the dish is served. Snow pea shoots -- with their tendrils -- are very lightly steamed to serve as the garnish. This is a light and delicious appetizer.
- Salmon fillet - one, 1-pound, bones removed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Gingered Lemongrass Stock (recipe below) - 3 cups
- Leek - 1, white part only, cleaned
- Snow Peas - 3/4 cup
- Snow pea shoots - 1/2 cup
- Gingered Lemongrass Broth
- Unsalted Butter - 1 teaspoon
- Shallot - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Shiitake Mushrooms - 1/2 cup, quartered
- Carrot - 1 small, peeled and cut in small dice
- Celery Root - 1/2, peeled and cut in small dice
- Gingered Lemongrass Stock (recipe below) - 1 cup
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Soy Sauce - 1 teaspoon
- Chives - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Flat leaf parsley - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Gingered Lemongrass Stock (Makes 4 cups)
- Lemongrass - 4 stalks, green parts trimmed off
- Fresh Ginger - 4 tablespoons, minced
- Onion - 1, thinly sliced
- Celery Stalks - 2, strings removed, sliced thin
- Whole black peppercorns - 1 tablespoon
- Chicken Stock - 4 cups (see Cooking Basics)
To prepare the salmon: Remove the skin from the salmon. Trim off any very thin edges. Remove about one fourth of the fillet at the tail end of the fish; cut this piece in half lengthwise. Using a long sharp knife, cut the large fillet almost in half horizontally, leaving about 3/4-inch still uncut; open the fillet like a book. Place the trimmed tail pieces along the center lengthwise. Roll up the fillet, enclosing the tail pieces in the roll. Tie at approximately 2-inch intervals with cotton string and cut into medallions between the strings; you want to end up with four tied rolls of salmon. Season with salt and pepper.
Prepare a steamer: Fit a tall rack into a baking pan. If the rack has large holes, cover half of it with foil and poke many holes in the foil. Cut the leek into 4-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the gingered lemongrass stock into the bottom pan. Place over two burners and heat the stock until gently simmering. Place the salmon rolls on the rack, cover, and steam 3 minutes. Add the vegetables to the rack; if you have placed foil on your rack as described above, place the vegetables on the foil portion. Cover and steam 6 minutes. Lay the snow peas over the leeks, cover, and steam for 3 minutes. Take the salmon out of the steamer; add the snow pea shoots, cover, and steam 1 more minute.
To prepare the broth: Melt the teaspoon of butter in a heavy saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook 1 minute, until starting to soften. Add the shiitakes and toss; cook 2 to 3 minutes, until barely tender. Add the carrots and celery root; toss and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the broth, lemon, and soy. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the chives and parsley. Add the butter, a piece at a time, shaking the pan until the butter is melted and incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve: Pile leeks and snow peas in four soup plates. Place a piece of salmon on each and remove the strings. Ladle the broth over the top. Garnish with snow pea shoots.
Gingered Lemongrass Stock
Cut the lemongrass into 1-inch pieces. Place all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, skim any foam, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, strain through a fine-meshed sieve, and reserve. The stock may be made ahead of time and kept in a non-aluminum container, covered, in the refrigerator.