Baked Salmon with Chilli Pork
The idea of mixing fish with meat may seem slightly odd, but think of this as Chinese surf and turf and it all makes sense. In a lot of Chinese dishes, as here, the ingredients all come together like a choir: bass, tenor, alto and soprano all joining together to create one beautiful, harmonious whole.
|For the salmon:|
|1 x 1.5kg||salmon, gutted and scaled|
|4 tbsp||Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry|
|Salt and ground white pepper|
|2cm||piece of fresh ginger, sliced|
|3||spring onions, trimmed and bruised|
|3 cloves||of garlic, peeled and bruised|
|For the sauce:|
|1 tbsp||groundnut oil|
|1 tbsp||Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry|
|1-2 tbsp||light soy sauce, to taste|
|1-2 tsp||chilli bean paste, to taste|
|300-400ml||chicken or vegetable stock, warm|
|3||spring onions, finely sliced and roughly chopped|
|1||fresh red chilli, deseeded and cut into matchsticks|
You will need a wok.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
Roll out 2 big pieces of foil and overlap them so that you have a piece big enough to wrap the whole fish in. Place the foil in a roasting tray large enough to fit the fish and rub the foil with a little oil. Slash through the skin into the flesh of the salmon at 3cm intervals along the fleshy part, at right angles to the spine.
Holding the fish over the roasting tray, rub it inside and out with the Shaoxing rice wine, allowing any left over to drip on to the foil. Repeat with a sprinkling of salt inside and out. Put the ginger, spring onions and garlic into the stomach cavity, then seal up the foil to enclose the fish, leaving a little room around it for air and steam to circulate.
Place the fish in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cooked through - the flesh should be opaque and flaky close to the bone at the thickest part. Remove from the oven and leave to rest, still in the foil, while you make the sauce.
Heat a wok over a high heat and add a dash of oil. When it’s hot, add the minced pork and stir-fry until lightly browned. Add the Shaoxing rice wine and cook for 30 seconds. Add the soy sauce and season with a little pepper. Stir and add the chilli bean paste if using. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
Add half the warm stock and bring to a simmer. Keep simmering until the stock reduces. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Take the wok off the heat.
Carefully unwrap the salmon from the foil. Peel off the skin from one side of the fish and slice the salmon into pieces, 2cm thick. Arrange on a serving platter, sprinkling over the chilli pork, spring onions and fresh chilli. Serve immediately.