Grilled Salmon with Cucumbers and Black Bean Sauce

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Of the hundreds of ways to serve grilled salmon, the following offers one of my favorite taste combinations. For a wonderful variation, put basil leaves, salt, pepper, and olive oil under rashers of bacon laid across a fillet, and then place under the broiler. The salmon comes out moist and perfumed with basil and the smoke from the bacon. A mint hollandaise on poached salmon is also very good, and Chinese black bean sauce made quite mild is haunting in taste and beautiful in color against the pale pink fish.

Ingredients

  • 4 8-ounce fillets salmon, about 2 inches thick
  • 6 large sprigs mint
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup black bean sauce
  • 2 cucumbers, preferably English
  • 8 thick slices bacon or pancetta
  • cups fish stock
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup tomato concasse

Method

Skin the salmon fillets.

Pull the leaves from the mint sprigs and set aside. Chop the stems coarsely and mix with the olive oil. Smear the mixture over the salmon fillets and marinate for 30 minutes.

Start a charcoal fire or heat the broiler or grill.

Heat the black bean sauce and keep warm.

Peel the cucumbers and cut lengthwise in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and cut crosswise into ⅙-inch slices.

Lay the bacon on a rack and bake or broil until just crisp. Keep warm.

Wipe the marinade off the fish and put the fish, skin side up, on a hot grill at a 45° angle. Cook 2 minutes, turn 45°, and cook another 2 minutes. Flip the fillets onto the other side. Cook another 4 to 6 minutes for medium rare.

When you flip the fillets, put the fish stock in a sauté pan over high heat. Bring to a boil and put in the cucumbers. Turn the heat to medium and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the mint leaves and stir in the butter until it is incorporated. Check the seasoning.

Spoon the cucumbers and sauce onto warm plates. Put the fish on top of the cucumbers and then the bacon on the salmon. Drizzle the black bean sauce over the fish and dot the plates with the tomato.

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