This is a special occasion recipe that my husband requested for Valentine's Day. (Generally I'll bake salmon with fresh dill if I can find it cheaply.) My family just calls this dish "Salmon with Yummy Sauce." I used to coat the salmon with just the sesame seeds, which makes this recipe adaptable for the wheat allergic, but added the panko to appeal more to The Kid.
salmon fillet without skin
toasted sesame seeds
1/2 C soy sauce, preferably light
1/4 C lime juice
1/4 C mirin (sweet rice wine for cooking)
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 large or 3 small cloves garlic, crushed
thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 C cool water
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 green onions, sliced
In a large skillet, begin heating just enough sesame oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan over medium high heat. Stir together all sauce ingredients except water, cornstarch, and green onions in a 2 C measuring cup or a small bowl and set aside. Pour about 1 C panko onto a large plate. Cut salmon fillet into individual serving sized pieces. Sprinkle top side of salmon with sesame seeds then place one piece sesame seed side down in the panko. Sprinkle nude side of salmon with more sesame seeds, then turn over in panko so that both sides are covered. Gently place salmon in skillet, repeating until out of fish or room in the skillet. Do not allow salmon fillets to touch each other. (You may need to make more than one batch.) Turn salmon with tongs once the bottom is a nice golden brown. Remove to a plate once both sides are done. (They shouldn't be greasy, but if you do want to drain the fish, place them on a cooling rack above some paper towels.)
Once all the salmon has been removed from the skillet, mix cornstarch and water separately from the rest of the sauce. Pour sauce into the hot skillet. The smell of the garlic and ginger hitting the hot pan is simply amazing. Add the cornstarch mixture and whisk the sauce together until it bubbles and thickens. Remove pan from heat. Either stir in green onions to cook (slightly more kid friendly) or use as a garnish (adds to the wow factor for company). I serve this with rice, pour the extra sauce on it, then watch it all get gobbled up!