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The Kitchenless Cook
Not quite teriyaki salmon
By Bill Knutson

That’s it, I’m done. I will no longer order salmon teriyaki at a restaurant ever again. I am tired of digging through that pasty, thick, cloyingly sweet sauce that restaurants pass off as teriyaki. If it weren’t for the color of the fish, you couldn’t even be sure you were eating salmon. When I order salmon, I want to taste salmon, not high fructose corn syrup.
I have been making teriyaki sauces for years and have come up with many variations. But this time I was looking for a way to infuse the flavors of teriyaki while maintaining the delicate flavor and texture of the fish. I worked with the proportions of the ingredients to create a much milder flavor. I was planning on poaching the fish, but didn’t want it soaking in the sauce, so I placed a layer of sliced leeks and shiitake mushrooms under the fish and baked it instead.


Baked Salmon with Shiitake Mushrooms and Leeks
(Serves 4)

¼ cup dried seaweed
1 cup mirin (sweet rice wine),
plus additional for soaking
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup crushed pineapple or
pineapple juice
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
1 leek
¼ pound shiitake mushrooms
2 pounds salmon fillet
white pepper

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Soak the seaweed in just enough mirin to cover for 30 minutes. Combine mirin, soy sauce, pineapple, and ginger in a bowl. Mix well and set aside. Remove white end of the leek and cut in half, then slice lengthwise into quarters. Spread leeks evenly over the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Thinly slice the mushrooms and spread over leeks, reserving a fourth. Cut salmon into four even pieces and place skin side down over leeks and mushrooms. Pour sauce evenly over the top, and garnish with remaining mushrooms and seaweed. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 25 minutes. Serve over rice.

Read more of Bill’s recipes in COOK by subscribing to “the Yummy letter,” a weekly food and wine e-letter that also features Susan Dyer Reynolds on DINE, GraceAnn Walden on SCOOP, and master sommelier Catherine Fallis on SIP; E-mail:

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