Earlier this year, I got to spend four days in Anchorage participating in a food styling photo shoot with Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, cooking and styling some of the most incredible seafood and local produce alongside my talented friends Kim Sunée and Ash Adams.
I loved the hustle and bustle of it all -- the gathering of ingredients, the rhythm of the prepping, chopping, dicing and shredding, and the sizzle and pop of seafood in a hot pan. I loved the music playing in the background, the aroma and intensity of a kitchen filled with beautiful food and a hard-working team and the urgency of timing everything just right to create the perfect plate and the perfect photograph.
I came home to the Kenai inspired to develop a new recipe highlighting our beautiful local salmon and more fresh, seasonal produce. I seared off the salmon, made a quick, spicy-sweet glaze with Sriracha and honey and wrapped it all up in crisp lettuce cups topped with cilantro, green onions and carrots, finished with a squeeze of lime (and if you're crazy like me, even more Sriracha).
The combination is amazing -- light and bright, bursting with texture and flavors.
Honey Sriracha salmon lettuce wraps
Yields 2-4 servings
2 (4 ounce) wild salmon fillets, pin bones and skin removed
salt and pepper
For the honey Sriracha sauce:
oil for the pan
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch stirred into 1 tablespoon cold water
For the lettuce wraps:
10 leaves of butter lettuce, separated
1 carrot, thinly sliced into 1-inch strips or matchsticks
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, torn
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
Sriracha, for serving
1. Place a frying pan over medium-high heat. Swirl the pan lightly with neutral oil like avocado or canola. Pat the salmon fillets dry and season them well with salt and pepper. Sear the salmon about 3-4 minutes per side, or until browned on the outside and cooked to medium on the inside.
2. Meanwhile, to a small saucepan over medium heat, add a small amount of oil and saute the garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the water, Sriracha, honey, sugar, and soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then gradually whisk in the cornstarch and water mixture, stirring until thickened, forming a glaze. Remove from heat.
3. Spoon some of the glaze over the salmon fillets, coating them. Reserve any remaining glaze to drizzle over the lettuce wraps. To assemble wraps: flake the salmon in large chunks with a fork. Fill each lettuce cup with salmon. Top with carrots, cilantro, and green onions. Serve with lime wedges, Sriracha, and remaining glaze. Glaze recipe adapted from Creme de la Crumb.
Maya Evoy lives in Nikiski and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com. Have a food question or recipe request? Email email@example.com and your inquiry may appear in a future column.