A host’s dream, this dish is quick to assemble and ready to place on the buffet table straight from the oven. The recipe is also very flexible: I have made it with whole fillets of salmon that weighed between a pound and a half and two pounds, and I have used smaller pieces, less than a pound—both with the same amount, of glaze. I have let the salmon soak in the glaze for a few hours in the refrigerator before cooking, and I have placed it right into the oven without marinating it. Any way you prepare it, people rave about it. Thanks to Jess Hill and Sally Bailey of Nashville for the recipe, which Sally adapted from a chicken recipe in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.
Yield: Serves 6
1 salmon fillet (about 1½ pounds)
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 medium-size cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
1. Place the salmon in a 13 by 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish and set it aside. Place the soy sauce, honey, ginger, add garlic in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the salmon, lifting it up with a fork so that the marinade can run underneath and coat the salmon well. If you have the time, cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 2 hours. Or set the salmon aside while the oven preheats.
2. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.
3. Uncover the salmon and bake it until the soy sauce mixture forms a glaze and the fish flakes around the edges, about 18 minutes. If the fillet is thicker in the center than at the edges, the center will cook less quickly; add a few minutes more baking time if needed. If you cut the salmon into pieces, the edges will be less likely to overcook. Remove the pieces of salmon from the oven as they test done. Or, do as we do in my house-cook the salmon all at once, saving the edges for the kids and the more rare center for the adults who prefer it that way. The salmon is also delicious served cold.