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Chinese Tea Poached Wild Salmon

with Tamarind Glass Noodles

YIELD: Serves 100

6 cups kosher salt
4 qt water

(If using Sous Vide Method,
omit wine and water, add 1 cup olive oil)
4 cups dry white wine
4 cups water
1/8 cup Lapsang Souchong tea leaves

1 cup minced ginger
4 cups lime juice ( approx. 32 limes)
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup tamarind paste
2 cups fish sauce
2 cups soy sauce
2 cups sesame oil
2 cups rice wine vinegar
¼ cup hot sauce (Sriracha works well)
1/8 cup dried red chili flake

3 1/2 lbs glass noodles - dry
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup garlic cloves, minced
24 cups shelled, cooked edamame
32 green onions, sliced
1 1/2 cups cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 cups mint, chopped
1 1/2 cups sesame seeds, toasted
salt to taste

Preparing the brine (optional first step):
1. Bring water and salt to a boil until salt is dissolved. Chill mixture until it is very cold.
2. Brine salmon in liquid for 20 minutes. While you can omit the brine, it does give the salmon a vibrant pink colour and inhibits the secretion of the white albumen in the cooking process later. If you brine the salmon, do not add any additional salt to the poaching liquid.

Poaching the salmon:
1. Heat wine and water over medium high heat in a large enough pan to hold all salmon filets in one single layer.
2. Once the liquid comes to a slow boil, add the tea leaves and then slowly slide in the salmon filets.
3. Keep the liquid at a simmer and poach the salmon until the flesh is firm, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Sous Vide Method for Salmon:
1. Marinade salmon with olive oil and lapsang souchong tea.
2. Place salmon in vacuum bags, keeping filets flat. Make sure to include the olive oil in the bag with salmon. Vacuum lightly and seal.
3. Sous vide salmon at 127 F for 9 minutes. Place bags in ice bath and cool completely before removing from bag.

Making the tamarind glaze and dressing:
1. Whisk together the minced ginger, lime juice, vegetable oil, sugar, tamarind paste, fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, hot sauce, and dried chilies.

Making the noodles:
1. Soak glass noodles in hot water for 5 minutes, drain.
2. Heat vegetable oil in frying pan over medium heat and add garlic. Cook until golden.
3. Add dressing and noodles and stir together.
4. Add edamame, green onions, cilantro and mint. Warm through and add salt to taste.
5. Can be served room temperature or chilled.

When ready to plate:
1. Top noodles with salmon filets.
2. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.


Recipe courtesy of Karen O'Connor, Executive Chef, Daniel et Daniel Event Creation & Catering, Toronto, ON, CAN as presented at the 2014 Art of Catering Food conference in Atlanta, GA.

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