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Broth Poached Salmon with Cabbage Slaw

Today's recipe is adapted from one by Jimmy Schmidt, chef/owner of the Rattlesnake restaurants in Detroit and Palm Desert, California, which specialize in sustainable and organic foods and contemporary American cuisine.

Schmidt says that using locally produced foods is the secret to his recipes. So it comes as no surprise that he's the founder of Chef's Collaborative, and a member of the Seafood Choices Alliance.

As he told the Alliance in an interview, “I've been interested in sustainability, both land- and water-based, for many years. I had been watching what was going on with pesticides and pollution and it seemed to me that as a chef, I had a duty to make other chefs and our customers aware of environmental issues.

“My philosophy is to sustain the current fish population and biodiversity through choosing fish for my customers that can be harvested in a manner that is beneficial to the environment” (SCA 2006).

Crimped Salmon with Warm Napa Cabbage Slaw

Serves 4

Like poaching, “crimping” involves cooking the fish in liquid
in this case, a flavored brothexcept that you turn the heat off once the fish has been added to the simmering broth.

Season the broth with at least a little salt, so it doesn't suck all of the natural salts from the fish by osmosis.


8 cups cold water
2 cups white wine vinegar
1 cup onions, cut into 1/4-inch batonettes*
1/2 cup shallots, peeled and cut 1/8-inch thick
1 medium carrot, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch batonettes*
Bunch parsley stems
2 bay leaves
Crushed red pepper flakes or organic cayenne to taste
Sea salt

*Batonettes are slices the size of thick matchsticks. This will ensure rapid, thorough cooking and a full release of their flavors into the broth.

  • Start with a medium, acid-resistant pot that will fit the fillets comfortably, allowing a little room in between. 
  • Add the liquids, vegetables, bay leaves and crushed red pepper, bringing to a simmer over medium high heat. 
  • Reduce the heat to a slow simmer for about 1 hour to release the flavors. Season with salt.


4 (6 oz each) skinless-boneless wild Alaskan Salmon fillets

  • Add the fillets of Salmon while the broth is simmering, allowing the broth to return to a simmer if it slows. Turn off the heat, cooking the fish until done. Test with a skewer or small instant thermometer to about 130 F for medium-rare-to-medium.
  • With a slotted spoon or spatula, gently remove the Salmon from the broth, using a pastry brush dipped in the liquid to wash the fillet as necessary of any aromatics and spices. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to draw up the last moisture. 


tablespoon organic extra virgin olive or macadamia nut oil
2 cups green or Napa cabbage, sliced julienne
1 cup fine julienne of red onion
tablespoons mirin (rice wine vinegar)
tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (naturally brewed)
tablespoon minced fresh ginger (or 1/2 tablespoon dried organic ginger)
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

  • Meanwhile, in a large nonstick pan over high heat, add the oil. Add the Napa cabbage and onions, cooking until slightly wilted, about 4 minutes. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and red pepper flakes to your taste, cooking until reduced to coat the vegetables. Remove from heat and add the chives and half of cilantro leaves.


  • Spoon a mound of the cabbage onto the center of your serving plates. Position the Salmon atop. Sprinkle the remaining cilantro over the Salmon. Serve.

Per serving: 198 calories; 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat; 32 percent calories from fat); 10 g carbohydrates; 63 mg cholesterol; 517 mg sodium; 24 g protein; 2 g fiber.

Source: SCA at © 2006 Seafood Choices Alliance

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