This 2006 recipe came to The Times by way of David Myers, the American chef and restaurateur, when Amanda Hesser called upon him to re-interpret this 1961 Times recipe for Chinese barbecued spareribs. He kept the simple soy-garlic-ketchup (yes, ketchup) marinade intact and applied it to salmon. He then served it with a preserved ginger relish and a cucumber salad seasoned with shichimi togarashi, a fiery Japanese spice blend (red pepper flakes make a fine substitute). If you don’t have the time to make the relish and cucumber salad, serve the salmon with a few slivers of preserved ginger from a jar, a pile of white rice and some sautéed greens. That’s better than your standard grilled salmon by a mile.
Preparation of Salty-Sweet Salmon With Ginger and Spicy Cucumber Salad
Step 1. Make the preserved ginger: The day before, whisk together the fish sauce, rice-wine vinegar and sugar, then add the ginger. Make sure it is covered by the liquid.
Step 2. Combine the honey, soy sauce, garlic, ketchup and 1/4 cup water. Marinate the salmon in this for 2 hours, turning after 1 hour.
Step 3. Meanwhile, prepare the cucumber salad: Bring the vinegar to a boil. Add the sugar, salt, togarashi and ginger. Return to a boil, then let cool to room temperature. Put the cucumbers in a nonreactive container and cover with the vinegar mixture. Let sit at least one hour before serving.
Step 4. Preheat grill to low. Arrange salmon on a hinged grill basket, then cook, basting occasionally with the marinade, over a low flame for 5 minutes per side, or until just flaky. (Or broil, skin side down, 6 inches from the flame for 4 minutes, baste, then turn and broil for 2 minutes.) To serve, use a slotted spoon to place the cucumber salad on each of 4 plates. Lay the salmon next to the salad and serve topped with preserved ginger.