Saturday, February 6, 2016

What To Do with Salmon Bones

I'm really enjoying cooking lavish meals on a reasonable budget recently. First off, it helps that we live close to several great grocery stores with deals on organic meats and produce and wild caught seafood. Thanks, Trader Joe's, Fred Meyer, and Central Market (not the same Central Market chain as the one in Texas)!

Fred Meyer had another sale on wild caught whole sockeye salmon at $3.99/lb. I purchased a $15 salmon and they filleted, scaled, and saved the bones in a bag for me! The service was fantastic! I didn't even have to ask them to save the bones for me! Last time I bought a whole salmon, I opted not to have the fish monger fillet the fish for me because I wanted to try cooking it whole. The problem was that Mike struggled with the bones, and it took me a long time to take out the bones on the remainder of the cooked fish for the fish cakes. Unless my mom, the fish queen, visits, I'm going to stick to filleted salmon.

Salmon Broth
Salmon bones
4-5 Slices of ginger
1 Cup of white wine
A handful of dried seaweed
A medium pot of water

The first thing I did with the fish when I got home was freeze one of the fillets and boil the fish bones with a couple slices of ginger in a pot of water with about a cup of white wine to make fish stock. Once the stock started to boil, I remembered the bag of purple seaweed (dulse) that my mom gave me from her trip to Nova Scotia. I added a chunk of the dried seaweed to the stock to bring in the natural saltiness of the sea. I lowered the heat and allowed the broth to simmer for 30 more minutes and strained the broth. After the bones cooled, I carefully separated the salmon scraps from the bones so I can add the meat to a breakfast omelette or mix it into cream cheese for a bagel spread later.

Salmon Broth

I love making broths because they make a delicious base for so many dishes! After the salmon broth cooled, I used 2 ladles of it for a bowl of chawanmushi and froze the remainder. Chawanmushi is a super simple savory Japanese egg custard dish that's usually filled with some seafood ingredients and a ginkgo seed. We recently had it at Miyabi 45th, and I was eager to see if the homemade salmon broth makes my version even better.

Chawanmushi with Salmon Broth
2 ladles of homemade salmon broth (or 1 cup of chicken broth)
3 eggs, beaten
Any bite-size ingredients you want to put in the custard cooked or raw
A pinch of salt

I put several pieces of frozen shrimp, rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, and broccoli stems in a large bowl inside the rice cooker. Then I whisked the eggs with the salmon broth and strained the mixture into the bowl of ingredients. I should have steamed the custard for 10 minutes, but I overcooked the custard because I had to run an errand in the middle of steaming. You can tell it's overcooked because of the craters on the surface of the custard. Regardless, it's deliciously sweet because of the salmon broth and shrimp! This pairs really well with steamed rice.

Shrimp, broccoli stems, and shiitake

Straining the egg and broth mixture into the bowl

Finished Chawanmushi

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