Mix the sake, mirin, soy, ginger, lime juice and sea salt into a dish, making a marinade. Add the salmon to the marinade and wait 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
When purchased, banana leaves will often be frozen and folded. Thaw the leaf, unfold it, and place in the oven for 30 seconds. This will make the leaf more pliable. Lay the leaf out on a flat surface, then trim off the frayed edges.
The salmon fillet should be roughly 3 x 6 inches.
Place the fillet 6 inches from the end of the leaf. Orient it so the long side of the fillet is parallel to the short side of the banana leaf. Slowly slide the fillet to the centre of the leaf. Then, add the mixture of onions, mushrooms and dill on top.
Fold the leaf over, and wrap the edges as if wrapping a burrito. Then, skewer each side with a bamboo skewer.
If you want to avoid using the skewer’s altogether, fold the leaf flaps down vertically over the salmon fillet, and tightly tuck the sides of the banana leaf underneath. This requires expert folding abilities!
In a steaming basket, steam the package for ten minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the package sit for several minutes. Open and enjoy!
When you pair salmon and Japanese banana leaf steaming techniques your taste buds are in for a treat! The leaf helps the salmon cook up tender and juicy, while at the same time giving the fillet a nutty, slightly buttery taste. The leaf also helps to perfectly infuse the fish with the flavours of shiitake mushrooms, and shallot onions. Yum!
This recipe uses an affordable and often overlooked species, chum or “keta” salmon, and it comes to us courtesy of Chef Hajime Sato of the beloved Mashiko restaurant in Seattle. So what’s Chef Sato’s favorite part of this dish? Not only does it create perfectly savoury salmon — but it’s fun to prepare! Folding the banana leaves just right is part of the challenge here.
It’s not everyday a recipe comes along that simultaneously tests culinary and origami skill, but don’t worry— pleasure, not perfection, is the goal!
Did you know that marine mammals approaching too close to salmon farms are routinely shot and killed by “predator control” workers, accounting for hundreds of animal deaths each year? Click here to lean more!