I would call this salmon kabayaki, but I didn’t actually use salmon. I used some other pink/salmon colored fish which I no longer remember the name of. About the only place I trust around here to get ‘fresh’ fish is Whole Foods, and salmon was well out of any price range I was willing to spend. So I ended up with some other salmon-esque type fish that was cheaper and the fish monger said had a similar flavor to salmon. When I first mentioned wanting to make this dish, I couldn’t decide what to make with it. As I had plenty of sweet potatoes, I went with sweet potato latkes. I figured the flavor of them would be sweet yet mild enough to complement the kabayaki sauce, and I was right. They pair perfectly for my taste buds.
First, the sweet potato latkes. They don’t really need a recipe. If you’ve made latkes before, this isn’t all that much different.
1. Peel the sweet potato (I used one massive one).
2. Shred the potato.
3. At this point for regular potato latkes, you usually squeeze out the shredded potato to get out as much liquid as you can. I tried doing that with the sweet potato and found it didn’t really make much of a difference; sweet potatoes aren’t as ‘wet’ as regular potatoes and I didn’t get much liquid out.
4. Sprinkle the shredded potatoes with flour (I used whatever random flour mixture I had in the cabinet). I think I might have used 1/4 c for the entire batch. You don’t want to over flour, but you could also probably do this without the flour.
5. Heat up your cooking fat of choice in your pan of choice, in my case bacon fat in my cast iron skillet. When it’s nice and hot, place a small handful of potato in the middle and flatten it down with your spatula. I made mine a bit on the thinner side so that they’d cook faster. Cook until the underside is browned, then flip and cook the other side until it too is browned.
This was an ideal recipe for me to try on my own. We rarely eat fish these days, living in land locked WI. Both the ManBeast and I grew up near the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and know what fresh fish can taste like. While we can get fresh fish here, isn’t much more costly than even what I would pay when I lived in DC. So we rarely eat it. The 1/2 pound of whatever mystery fish I ended up with cost me over $7. Not something I’d be willing to spend to buy enough to feed two of us. This was truly my splurge meal of the week.
This recipe came from Elana’s Pantry.
1. While your first sweet potato latke is cooking, in a small pan combine 1/8 c honey with 1/8 c ume plum vinegar. I had a bit of a hard time finding the ume plum vinegar, but I also never got a chance to make it to the Asian market. I ended up probably spending more buying it at Whole Foods, but it also meant I didn’t have to go to another store just for this.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil and turn to low. Stir it every once in a while.
3. Heat 1/2 T olive oil and 1/2 T grapeseed oil in a skillet that has enough room for your fish (I used 1/2 lb). When it’s reasonably heated, add the fish. In hindsight, I should have removed the layer of skin on my piece of fish, but it worked out fine in the end.
4. Cook the first side for 3-ish minutes. Fish cooks fast.
5. Right before you flip it, brush the side that is up with the ume plum vinegar/honey mixture, then flip and brush the other side. Cook for another 3-ish minutes. Fish is done when it flakes.
6. If you had the skin on, now is a great time to peal it off and brush some more vinegar/honey mixture on that side.
7. I reboiled the honey/vinegar mixture and poured it over the fish after it was out of the skillet. The sauce had a very interesting tang that I felt went well with the sweet potato latkes.