Teriyaki salmon and broccolini with crushed black sesame

Toasted black sesame seeds bring extra flavor to this simple meal of salmon brushed with homemade teriyaki sauce.

The Kitchen Paper
Salmon brushed with a simple teriyaki sauce is served alongside broccolini.

Today is the day I eagerly (nervously? anxiously? impatiently?) await the arrival of an email telling me where I’m interning for the next five weeks! I am most definitely impatient! Also excited – more than anything, I’m just so excited to learn where I get to dive into the real world of programming! After five interviews last week – which felt as much like me interviewing them to see who was a good fit for me as it did them interviewing me – I ranked the companies in my order of preference, and they did the same for the students they interviewed. Some matchmaking craziness is happening right now, and I’ll get an email sometime today telling me the results.

So, with that, I’m trying to be as productive as I can and get some stuff done this week before I start! And also binge-watching “Grace & Frankie” as my way of giving myself a mini-vacation and end-of-school celebratory relaxation. After working for myself for the last three years, it’s hard to find that balance sometimes — I know there is ALWAYS work I can be doing, and if I relax and do something non-productive (i.e. watch TV), the guilt sets in. How do I figure that one out!? I’m trying to be nice to myself and recognize some R&R has been earned!

I’m short on words today, so I’ll leave you with the recipe! This is a pretty easy salmon recipe – whip up a simple teriyaki sauce to brush the salmon with, and make this killer crushed black sesame sauce to toss with the broccolini. The black sesame recipe came from Washoku, a Japanese home kitchen cookbook! I’m enjoying learning some new techniques – and discovering new flavors that are amazing! Toasted black sesame!? Wow!

Teriyaki Salmon and Broccolini with Crushed Black Sesame
Recipe: adapted from Washoku and Bon Appetit

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 4

For the salmon:
1/2 cup sake
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 lbs. fresh salmon filet
1/4 cup chopped green onion

For the broccolini:
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
2 teaspoons mirin
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
12 ounces fresh broccolini

1. Mix together the sake, mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey. Bring to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, and cook (whisking occasionally, taking care not to burn it) until it has reduced into a thicker, almost syrupy sauce. Remove from heat.

2. Heat a heavy pan over medium or medium-high heat. Add the salmon, skin-side down, and brush with the teriyaki sauce. Cook for 6-9 minutes, depending on the thickness of your filet, and continue brushing every few minutes with sauce.

3. To make the sesame sauce, first add the sesame seeds to a dry frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally for about a minute to toast the seeds, then remove from the heat and keep stirring or swirling for 30 more seconds. The seeds should be fragrant, but not burned. Pour into a mortar and use a pestle to crush and grind the seeds into a paste.

4. As the seeds begin to release their oil, add the mirin and soy sauce in very small batches, continuing to grind and mix everything together. The final sauce should be a bit sandy, but not chunky.

5. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the toasted sesame oil and cook the broccolini for 4-5 minutes, or until bright green and softening. Do not overcook! Remove from the heat and toss with the sesame sauce.

6. Serve with rice, chopped green onion, and extra teriyaki sauce!

Related post on The Kitchen Paper: Brown Sugar Salmon with Asparagus Strawberry Topping

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