Monday, February 3, 2014

Salmon with Shiitaki and Leek

Lately it seems like I'm always thinking, "Gee, I wouldn't have put those ingredients together!" Obviously, I need to let go of my preconceived notions about pairing ingredients. Oh, I know, some of the traditional pairings are delicious, but that doesn't mean I can't open my mind to new combinations.

When I was preparing salmon for lunch, I knew I wanted to use leek and mushrooms. When I reached for the crimini, the bag of Shiitaki mushrooms leaped at me. Okay, leek and Shiitaki, that sounded good. I added some powdered ginger and soy sauce. All systems go. But while the fish was baking, I opened the honey and something wasn't right. Honey lasts forever, well almost, but this honey went straight into the trashcan.

So, what to use in place of the honey? For some reason, maple syrup came to mind. Now, isn't it peculiar that honey seemed like a natural with soy sauce and mushrooms but I was doubtful about maple syrup? I decided to be daring and this recipe was born. It turns out that maple syrup goes beautifully with soy sauce and mushrooms. So well, in fact, that my mother raved about it.

Use a large oven-safe pan to minimize cleanup. Love these one-pan dishes! Clean the leek by peeling off the outer leaves and making a slit lengthwise in the leek. Don't cut all the way through, just to the midpoint. Wash it under running water holding it open at the cut so that all the inner leaves will be washed.

Salmon with Shiitaki and Leek

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, the firm end only (see above for washing info)
1 2/3 cups roughly chopped Shiitaki mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 salmon filet
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400.

Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe pan. Slice the leek and saute in the oil. Meanwhile, discard the Shiitaki stems and roughly chop the tops. Add to the leek. Mince the garlic and add along with the ginger and soy sauce. Cook until soft, stirring occasionally.

Move the mixture to the sides of the pan and add the salmon. Place pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes. If you like your salmon rare, then bake it for a shorter period.

Remove the pan from the oven. Drizzle the maple syrup over top of the salmon. Place the salmon on a platter. Slice crosswise into portions. Stir the remaining ingredients that are in the pan and spoon them over the salmon.

Slice lengthwise and fan open to wash.

Scoot the mushrooms and leek over and place the salmon in the middle of the pan.

The maple syrup added just the right note of sweetness.


  1. This sounds delightful, and I love the improvisation of the maple syrup. And I happen to have all the ingredients on hand--except the salmon. Do you think it will work with cod?

  2. I love all those ingredients. Oh, yum. Delish. Can't wait to make this. Sheila, I'll bet it would work on cod. That's like a simple flavor, a canvas if you will.

    Daryl / Avery

    1. Yup, tried it with the cod last night and it worked fine. My husband approved.

  3. Well, Chinese cuisine dreamed up sweet and sour shrimp, so I'm guessing maple syrup works well on Salmon. Clever twist, Krista.

    ~ Cleo

  4. I love this, Krista. I do a marinade for salmon with maple syrup and I know that's delish, but I never would have thought of the Shiitake mushrooms. Terrific! Can't wait to try it.