Spicy Gochujang Salmon Steak
My hub is in a weight loss contest at his work. Four or five guys at his work are in this competition and tomorrow is the grand finale! The hub lost quite a few pounds (about 20 in 4 months) and he only has about a pound to lose to win the competition. He is super worried that he won’t win. He hardly even drank water tonight. He went to bed way earlier than normal. I hope he wins! Since he was so worried about not winning tomorrow, he requested that I make some fish for dinner tonight since fish is healthy and light in calories.
I thought about what kind of fish I could make for dinner… I had salmon, shrimp, and tilapia (yes, we love seafood!) in the fridge. I wanted to make something Korean (of course) so I got creative and made some gochujang sauce for salmon. Gochujang sauce is usually spicy and kind of sweet at the same time, made from Koran chili pepper paste. The sauce is also used for spicy pork. But I was pleasantly surprised by how great it was with salmon.
I love salmon and there are so many great ways to cook it, too. I had never really tried cooking salmon using Korean sauces. But after tonight, I think I will explore more Korean ways to cook our favorite fish. Thank goodness, salmon is so easy to get around here where I live. Koreans eat a lot of fish. My mom always reminds me how obsessed I was with all kinds of fish dishes that she used to make when I was little. I really miss my mom’s fish dishes made with fresh fish everyday. It is hard to get a variety of fish here in the States. Which is kind of a bummer.
But I should be grateful that I can make adjustments with what I have. At least I can enjoy these delicious salmon at home, the way I want. The sauce was spicy with a hint of little sweetness. It was flavorful, not overly spicy. It was great with fresh salad. You won’t even need salad dressing for the salad since the salmon already has so many wonderful flavors.
So to make this yummy salmon dish, you will need gochujang. Have you noticed a lot of my Korean recipes call for gochujang? It is a very basic ingredient in Korean cooking. Most spicy Korean food calls for gochujang or gochugaru (fine chili pepper flakes). It might be a good idea to grab some of them the next time you visit a Korean or Asian market.
Here are all the sauce ingredients you need. Do not be overwhelmed by this. It’s really not that bad. :)
The gochujang sauce for this recipe is pretty easy to fix. Just combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl. It shouldn’t be overly thick. Thinner than normal gochujang paste but not too thin.
Grill salmon in a large pan or a skillet, skin side up first, then down, until the salmon is cooked through.
Brush the salmon with the gochujang sauce all over. Bring down the heat to low so the sauce doesn’t burn.
- 1 fillet salmon, cut into 4-6 pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons gochujang
- 3 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean chili pepper flakes)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon rice wine or sake
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- In a bowl, mix all ingredients except salmon and oil. Stir well with a spoon to make it a smooth, thinner sauce.
- Heat oil in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, cook salmon until fully cooked. Place the salmon skin side up and cook for about 3-5 minutes and then cook the skin side.
- Reduce heat to low and brush the salmon with the sauce thoroughly and continue to cook both sides once again, about 2 minutes each side (the heat still on low).
- Remove from heat and serve with fresh salad.