Featured Spice: Shichimi Togarashi
In my neighborhood, there is a cute little shop called Savory that sells nothing but spices. Needless to say, I visit often. The owner always has a pouch or two of free samples to give me. This recipe built itself around one of these sample spices, and now I'm hooked.
Shichimi Togarashi is a salt-free Japanese seasoning which is nutty and bittersweet with warm citrus notes. It is a trifecta of flavor: spicy, citrus, and umami. The ingredient list says it all: Sesame seeds, orange peel, poppy seeds, paprika, Chinese chilis, ginger, nori, and szechwan pepper. If you cannot get your hands on this spice for this recipe, don't fret - add as many of the base elements you have on hand. Furikake goes a long way. Sesame seeds and pepper flakes would work. If nothing else, paprika! Sweet, hot, however you like it.
1-1.25 lb salmon, preferably a single steak with skin
1/4 cup Olive oil
Shichimi Togarashi (or any spices you have on hand that approach this flavor (see notes above)
Chili powder, or a small fresh chili of your choice, finely diced
1 tbsp soy
1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1 large shallot
Pinches of salt and sugar
8 cups of butter lettuce or little gem lettuce
1 cup of cilantro
1/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/4 cup thinly sliced cucumber
Fire up the grill for indirect heat and prepare the salmon: brush the skin-less side with olive oil and sprinkle generously with Shichimi Togarashi.
Toss together the sauce / dressing: Juice the two limes into a small-medium bowl. Add the chili powder of your choice (I used crushed aleppo chilis) or red pepper flakes, half of the sliced shallot (save the rest for crisping and topping), the soy sauce, the rice vinegar, and a pinch each of salt and sugar. Give it a good whisk.
By now, the grill should be good and ready. Place salmon on the grill skin-side down, cooking over the indirect (unlit) side of the grill, covered, for 8-10 minutes, depending on how hot the grill is and how thick the salmon is. No need to flip the salmon.
Toss together the salad fixings, cilantro, cucumbers, and radishes.
Whisk the dressing again and toss ¾ of it with the salad to dress it. Reserve the rest to drizzle over salmon.
Toss and taste, adding additional lime or olive oil as needed.
Plate the completed salad mix as you wait for the salmon to finish cooking.
If time permits, heat some olive oil in a small pan and add the rest of those scallions to it, saute for a couple of minutes for a topping of crispy shallots (if time doesn't permit, they're still a good topping as is).
When the salmon is cooked, transfer it to a cutting board and divide into large steaks per plate. Place salmon steaks directly on top of the plated salad mix.
Pour remaining dressing over the salmon/salad plates, top with crispy shallots, and serve.