A gourmet fish appetizer from the chef at Oru restaurant, located in Vancouver's Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel.
1 stalk of lemongrass
1/2 oz. fresh peeled ginger
2 lime leaves, julienned
Juice of 2 limes, plus extra for garnish
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup salt
5 oz. piece skinned sockeye salmon fillet
2 tbsp grape seed oil
Salt and white pepper
Fish sauce (optional)
Step 1: In a food processor, blend lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, lime juice, sugar and salt.
Step 2: Place mixture in a shallow dish, and put skinned fillet of salmon into the mixture so it comes halfway up the side of the sockeye salmon fillets, with the (formerly skin) side down. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.
Step 3: Remove from refrigerator and pat dry.
Step 4: Heat a frying pan on high for one minute, and then reduce to medium heat. Add grape seed oil and heat until the pan is slightly smoking.
Step 5: Season fish with a sprinkle of salt and season both sides with ground white pepper. Carefully place fillet in oiled pan non-skinned side down. Do not touch the fish or shake the pan. Allow to sear for 4 minutes or until fish is cooked to medium. The cured half of fish is a great contrast to the beautifully seared side of salmon.
Step 6: Serve with jasmine rice, vegetables, a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of fish sauce.