Salmon & Fennel with Ponzu Sauce
Ponzu is a light Japanese soy sauce combined with a touch of citrus. The citrus juice used is either yuzu (a small Japanese citrus fruit) or regular lemon. It is commonly used in Japanese cuisine as a marinade or dip for fish and meats. Ponzu is available in the Asian section of most supermarkets these days with Kikkoman being the most common brand. I use it frequently to marinate fish and chicken.
This recipe uses ponzu in both the brief marinade for the fish as well as the stir-fried fennel. The citrus in the ponzu is an amazing compliment to the licorice notes of the fennel and all three come together beautifully for a quick & easy dish that is something special.
Salmon is used here but any, firm, thick fish, skin on, works very well. I have also prepared the fish in a sauté pan but grilling is an excellent alternative. A green salad, a simple rice pilaf and crusty bread makes this a light, elegant meal.
2 six ounce fish filets, skin on
½ cup bottled ponzu sauce
1 fennel bulb, washed and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
Freshly ground coarse black pepper
Pat the fish filets dry with paper towels and place in a shallow dish. Pour the ponzu over the fish reserving 2 tablespoons and turn to coat. Marinate the fish for 15-20 minutes turning occasionally.
In one medium sauté pan melt one tablespoon butter over medium heat. Season the fish with black pepper. When the pan is hot add the fish skin side down and sauté till the skin is browned brushing lightly with additional ponzu. Turn and fry the other side, again brushing with additional ponzu and continue to cook till the fish is firm.
In another medium pan, melt the other tablespoon of butter over medium high heat and add the sliced fennel. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons of the ponzu sauce and stir fry just till the fennel becomes tender.
To serve plan the fennel on a plate, top with the cooked fish and garnish with a reserved sprig of the fennel top.