I had a few blunders in the kitchen last week, so much so that when I was hosting a dinner party at my apartment, I decided to forego new recipes and serve a tried-and-true quick and easy, tasty dish: Salmon Fillet Wrapped in Phyllo Pastry. Despite sounding incredibly French, I actually got the recipe from a wonderful Japanese cookbook, The Japanese Kitchen by Kimiko Barber. Barber explains that the phyllo dough is a substitute for yuba sheets, which can be hard to find in North America.
The trick for this kind of dish is to use thick pieces of salmon so that the fish cooks the same length of time it takes to bake the phyllo dough.
This salmon is incredibly tasty and great for a spiffy meal on a weekday as it bakes up quickly. I figured working with phyllo could be pretty fool-proof, but as I learned, not when you forget to thaw it beforehand. We had the phyllo overtop the oven, hoping to thaw it faster, and still had to deal with holes as we were incredibly inpatient and ripped it apart. The holes can be easily hidden, though. We ended up eating dessert first (Cranberry Buckle with Vanilla Crumb), which stole the show, in my opinion.
Salmon Fillet Wrapped in Phyllo Pastry
12 sheets phyllo pastry
1 egg white, beaten to soft-peak stage
2 oz (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 salmon fillets, 4 oz each
4 tbsp sake (I used white wine)
4 cilantro leaves (I used garlic leek, super tasty)
1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. Put a sheet of phyllo on an oiled baking sheet.
3. Mix the beaten egg white with the melted butter and brush over pastry. Do this with 2 more sheets of pastry, then start again on a new baking sheet, repeating the process until you have 4 piles of phyllo pastry, each with 3 sheets.
4. Lay a piece of salmon n the middle of each pile. Pour a tbsp of sake over each salmon fillet, season with salt and pepper, and place a cilantro leaf on top. Wrap the salmon up in the pastry, seal, and brush the surface with the egg and butter mixture. Bake the 4 parcels for 10-20 mins until the pastry is crisp. Serve immediately.