Most of you scored perfectly right in guessing what this dish was all about. We will have to acknowledge that it was not that difficult, c’est vrai non ? Pas de question piège, non ! (No trick question!) You guessed le saumon (salmon) et le gingembre (ginger).
Pas n’importe quel saumon !
Fresh Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon, my favorite!
Are you, like me, a true ginger lover?
In French, we have this saying:
Il n’y a que les idiots qui ne changent pas d’avis.
(Only idiots do not change their minds)
I used to hate ginger.
I changed my mind.
I guess I wanted to prove I was not an idiot. Eh merci, hein ?
When I was a kid, I used to hate ginger! Of course, what did I know about ginger? Let’s face it. In rural France where I grew up, the chances that ginger would show up on my mum and grandparents’ tables were scarce. My mum’s cooking was definitely French with European variants, like Italian—we did not explore English cuisine as we proud French thought that there was none to talk or write about. As to Asian or Indian cuisines, they were too far away to be heard of in a tiny French village with a mere population count of 700 inhabitants. That did not include cows and sheep, of course. You might think that we could have learned about ginger in our biology/history books at school. Probably not, but maybe we should have as my ignorance about ginger was appalling. As a matter of fact, the only form of ginger that I knew was our traditional pain d’épices that we used to eat at Christmas time. At kinder garden and primary school, we, children, used to receive gingerbread on the day of Saint Nicolas—Dec. 6 to be precise. But I hated them. So much so! Wrapped in plastic, this pain d’épices bore the shape of Saint Nicolas or le Père Noël (Santa Claus) with an image of the same shape on it, which was the only thing I liked.
Heureusement, Thank God, times have changed and my travels outside my tiny small village have opened my eyes on the true life of the beautiful fragrance found in fresh ginger. While living in New Zealand, I ate plenty of food with a strong Asian influence, which was enough to get my stubborn self hooked on ginger. Since that time, whenever I can, I use it. A lot. Ginger is an ingredient always on my shopping list. Vraiment ! I use it, again and again, in stir-fries, marinades of all kinds, cakes, cookies, and in the following recipe, my salmon tartare.
Tartare de saumon au gingembre – Ginger Salmon Tartare
Inspired by a love affair I have for lime, fish sauce (nuoc-nam), chives (from my garden) and ginger, I decided to make this simple salmon tartare that can be served as an appetizer or as an en-cas. Remember this word! Un en-cas is a French word which means a snack, in case you once get stuck in a host family in France, and are unable to communicate that you are peckish!
This tartare can be eaten on small slices of German dark rye bread, one of my favorite types of bread, as seen here:
or under the form of an appetizer as the one that follows (patience encore, I will tell you more about the ocean in which the salmon swims here):
- 1 pound freshly caught wild Alaskan Salmon*, skinned and boned (if you can find Alaskan variety, best flavor)
- 2 spring onions
- 1.5 inch fresh ginger root
- 1 lime for juice and zest
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce (use Gluten free soy sauce if intolerant)
- 1 large bunch of chives
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
*The salmon needs to be extra fresh.
- Cut the salmon in tiny cubes.
- Wash the lime and grate its zest thinly.
- Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime.
- Peel the ginger and chop it thinly.
- Chop the spring onions and chives thinly.
- In a bowl, mix the ginger with the lime juice, lime zest, chopped chives and onions, soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil.
- Mix with the salmon.
- Let rest for 10 minutes in the fridge, and eat within 30 minutes.
- 450 g de saumon frais, Alaska, pas d’élevage si possible, sans peau ni arêtes.
- 2 oignons nouveaux
- 3,5 cm de racine de gingembre frais
- 1 citron vert pour son jus et son zeste
- 2 càs de sauce soja (sans gluten pour les intolérants)
- 1 beau bouquet de ciboulette
- 1 càs de sauce nuoc mam
- 1 càs d’huile de sésame
- Coupez le saumon en petits dés.
- Lavez le citron vert et prélevez son zeste. Rapez-le très finement.
- Pressez le jus du 1/2 citron vert.
- Pelez le gingembre et hachez-le finement.
- Hachez la ciboulette et les oignons nouveaux finement.
- Dans un bol, mélangez le gingembre avec le zeste et le jus de citron vert, la ciboulette et les oignons hachés, la sauce de soja, la sauce nuoc mam et l’huile. Ne salez pas car la sauce nuoc mam est déjà salée.
- Mélangez au saumon.
- Laissez reposer au frais pendant 10 minutes mais pas au-delà de 30 minutes.
- Dégustez !