Sake Poached Salmon with Somen and Fennel Salad

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings
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1 cup sake

1 celery, sliced

1 peeled carrot, sliced

1 small onion, sliced

1 tablespoon sugar

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon toasted black peppercorns

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Water, to cover

4 (8-ounce) salmon fillets, skin removed, center cut

Salt and white pepper

1/2 cup ponzu

3 large sliced shallots

1 tablespoon togarashi, save some for garnish

2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon sugar

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 fennel bulbs, shaved, fronds reserved for garnish

1 pound blanched somen noodles

1/2 cup sliced scallions


  1. In a salmon poacher or large saucepot, mix the sake, celery, carrot, onion, sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, soy sauce, and water, to cover. Add the seasoned salmon and slowly bring the liquid to a simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes then turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes depending on doneness desired. I prefer medium rare (5 minutes).
  2. In a blender, add ponzu, shallots, 1/2 tablespoon togarashi, soy, and sugar. Blend on high speed and drizzle in the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together fennel, somen, and scallions and toss with enough vinaigrette to coat the salad. There will be some left over for plating. Check for seasoning.
  4. Plating: On a large plate, place a mound of the salad and top with hot salmon. Drizzle on a little of the vinaigrette and garnish with remaining togarashi and fennel fronds.
  5. Drink Suggestion: Wakatake Daiginjo "Onikoroshi" Sake