My sister and I took a few trips this past Spring and on one of them, we ended up in Austin, Texas. Can I just say, that Austin is now my new favorite place in America. I fell in love with everything about that town, especially the food. We were given several restaurant suggestions, but our collective favorite was a Japanese spot, called Uchi. If you have plans to go to Austin any time soon, do not, I repeat, do NOT miss eating at this place. Ya’ll have heard me rave over the food at Blackberry Farm in the past, but let me just tell you, this was the best meal I’ve had since Blackberry Farm back in 2009.
When we got to Uchi and got seated, we perused the menu and both decided that with all the amazing options, it was best to just let our waitress bring us what she thought was good and keep it comin’ til we threw in the towel. That’s exactly what we did. Our waitress was pretty pumped that she landed a table so open to trying whatever she brought and she did NOT disappoint. I won’t go into every single thing that we ate, but me being the HUGE food dork I am, wrote everything down so I didn’t forget the flavors.
One of my personal favorites was a raw salmon dish that was served with fresh cut pears, blueberries, flash fried kale and drizzled with green tea dressing. The salmon was so fresh that it literally tasted like candy. Yes, you read that right, raw salmon that tasted like candy!!!! I didn’t know such was possible until I had this particular salmon, but it’s true. Candy… It was absolutely divine. Now, I knew full well that I’d never find salmon that fresh at home and I’d also never be able to replicate the awesomeness that was that dish, so I took a couple elements of the Uchi dish and made my own. This is not only super easy to make, but it’s perfect for summer. A little sweet, a little spicy and super healthy.
Sriracha Maple Salmon and Pickled Blueberry Salad
4 4-6 oz salmon filets, skin removed (optional)
1/4 cup good maple syrup
juice of 1 -2 limes
1-2 Tbsp of sriracha sauce, depending on how spicy you like it
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup of blueberries
3-4 persian cucumbers (the little ones), or 1 regular
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp your choice of sugar. I used coconut sugar, but feel free to use what you like. Regular white sugar is fine.
To make the pickled salad; peel the pear and chop into small, bite size cubes. Thinly slice the cucumbers. If you’re using a regular cucumber, peel it first. If you’re using the tiny persian cucumbers, it’s fine to leave the peel on. Add the pears, cucumbers and washed blueberries to a bowl. Cover with the vinegar, water and sprinkle with sugar. Mix everything to combine and then cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to an hour.
In a measuring cup or small bowl, mix together the maple syrup, lime juice and sriracha sauce. Set aside.
Heat a grill pan to medium high heat. Brush the pan with a little bit of olive oil.
Brush the fish filets with a little bit of olive oil and then brush with the sriracha glaze.
Place the fish on the hot grill pan at an angle to create grill marks. Cook for about 3-4 minutes and then rotate the fish the opposite way to create cross marks. Cook for another couple of minutes. Flip the salmon and repeat the process until it’s cooked through. Total cooking time should be about 15 minutes.
Plate the salmon with a big scoop of the pickled salad and some extra sriracha glaze on the side.