Braised Salmon with Tamari and Ginger

March 11, 2015



We have been visited by the Home Appliance Poltergeist here at Chez T., and it’s not pretty. Things currently amiss: an oven door that mysteriously decided to lock and not open, and it’s making a hissing sound; the built-in fan over the range won’t turn on, a broken microwave that makes ominous “zzzsst, zzzsst” noises, a clothes dryer that emits a hideous, high-pitched squeal when you start it, and a gas fireplace that’s kaput.

What the Hell, man?

Is it because the house is ten years old? When your house has its tenth birthday, does everything decide to go on the fritz? Simultaneously?

When I called the appliance repair company, the receptionist writing down the work order started laughing out loud. She also said that it’s going to be five days before someone can come out to fix this assholery. Hmph.*

I have a cheapo emergency microwave from Target that I can use, and luckily the weather is supposed to be fairly mild so I don’t mind the fireplace issue, but the locked oven and the screaming clothes dryer are pissing me off.

Actually, the screaming clothes dryer is more of an issue for the Mozz-man–his sensitive little ears can’t handle the noise and he scrambles for cover whenever I have to do laundry. Because even if the noise coming out of that thing makes me insane, laundry needs to get done. This is the house of never-ending laundry. No WAY can we survive five days without laundry service. I’d consider investing in ear plugs, but I still have that stinking tinnitus, so I already have one kind of squawking in my head, what’s one more variety?

Pray for me, readers. I may not survive the week.

On the bright side, at least my slow cooker still works.

Did I just curse myself by saying that? I probably did. I can just hear the slow cooker and the refrigerator cackling together, planning their future demise.

“That will really drive her batshit crazy,” they snicker. Heck, the dishwasher probably wants in on the action, too.

Anyways. The slow cooker it is. I guess it’s a good thing I got a few slow cooker cookbooks for Christmas, eh?

The one thing I’ve been reluctant to make in the slow cooker is fish, because it seems counter-intuitive to me. Fish is super fast to make in the oven or on the stove top–why bother with a slow cooker method? Plus, wouldn’t the fish overcook that way?

But, with a broken kitchen fan and an oven that won’t open, I decided to try the slow cooker method. I had two pretty fillets of salmon in the refrigerator and not many other options at my disposal, so I flipped through my cookbooks and found an Asian-inspired recipe that sounded interesting.

I love Asian flavors in anything, but I especially love them in seafood. I think the pungent flavors of ginger and garlic and soy really enhance seafood, because let’s face it, sometimes seafood can be pretty bland. A blank canvas, if you will. It needs a little jazzing up before it hits the dinner plate, and this recipe fit the bill.

It actually doesn’t take long for salmon fillets to cook in the slow cooker–less than an hour, in fact. The recipe asks for salmon fillets with the skin still on, and I definitely recommend that advice. The skin is just that little extra barrier; it helps keep the fish from drying out or falling apart.

I also took the extra step of placing the salmon fillets on a bed of thinly sliced lemon, and I was pleased with the result. The lemon subtly infused the sauce and insured that the fish wouldn’t stick to the bottom of the cooker.

After the salmon was cooked, I took the extra step of boiling the sauce on the stove top for a few minutes to thicken it, because it seemed a little thin otherwise. After a minute or two, it was the perfect consistency to coat the salmon.

The verdict? Salmon in the slow cooker is genius. The gentle heat and the steam of the slow cooker renders incredibly succulent, tender fish. Who knew? I’m really sold on this method, and I can’t wait to try other types of seafood in my crockpot.

I’ll be doing just that, evidently, until the repair guy arrives at my doorstep, and knowing my luck, he’ll need to order seven gazillion parts for the damn oven. Le sigh. At least I have my crockpot.

Even if you aren’t plagued by the Household Appliance Poltergeist, you should give this recipe a try. Accompanied by steamed rice and some snap peas or other crisp vegetable, this makes a satisfying meal that’s quick enough for a weeknight but tastes special.


Braised Salmon with Tamari and Ginger

serves 6

from Quick Slow Cooking by Kim Laidlaw


1/4 cup tamari or low-sodium soy sauce

grated zest of one lemon

juice of two lemons

1 heaping tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

6 salmon fillets, skin intact (each about 6 oz.)


In the slow cooker, combine the tamari, lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger and brown sugar and whisk until sugar dissolves. Add the salmon and turn to coat the fillets evenly with the sauce, the turn skin side down. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on the low heat setting for 45-60 minutes. The fish should be opaque but still firm.

Transfer the salmon to a platter,  and strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve. If the sauce seems thin, put it in a small saucepan and boil it for a few minutes to thicken it up. Serve sauce on the side.

*Another thing that’s broken? The comments section on this blog. For some reason, comments are no longer showing up? Thanks to those readers who’ve alerted me to the problem. Alas, I haven’t been able to fix it and I’ve tinkered endlessly. Does anyone have any brilliant ideas for me to try? Pretty please? It’s making me barmy. GAAAA.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

C. Troubadour March 11, 2015 at 10:43 am

No suggestions on the comments, alas. I’m leaving this one anyway.

Our house, which is now about 14 or 15 years old, went through the everything’s-falling-apart thing over the last three years. It was a rental before we bought it, so that may have accelerated some of the deaths of our appliances, namely the

1) fridge
2) washer
3) water heater
4) furnace
5) faucet valves in every sink/shower we own (they all leaked badly).

Oh, and the oven is showing signs of illness.

I guess the question is, do you prefer to have things go all at once and then get it all fixed in one fell swoop, essentially restarting the play clock for another decade, or would you rather have it drag out an appliance at a time over several years? :P


Jody March 11, 2015 at 8:28 pm

testing testing?


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me March 11, 2015 at 10:04 pm

I would never think slow cooker for a meal in under an hour. That IS genius and I need to try that next week. Pinned.


Alison March 15, 2015 at 3:24 am

Don’t you just love slow cookers? When I got married, that was the gift my mother gave me. She told me it’d save my life!

This salmon looks yummy.


Sherri March 16, 2015 at 10:42 am

Just noticed that with the comments thing. This happened on a recent site / blog that I work on for content – though… will have to consult and get back to you on what to try. Is it maybe a simple browser update issue – i.e. not on your end at all – but ours – and will require some craft programming magic (usually easy) to fix – ??

I don’t think it’s your house, btw – I think all the appliances get together and stage a protest. A bunch of ours went at the same time (started with my 1st grader mentioning that the microwave was “making lightening” – shortly after, the dryer went then the dishwasher….).


Tiffany March 17, 2015 at 4:21 am

I only have one working burner on my stove…sigh…here’s hoping everything gets fixed for you soon…or it’s warm enough to grill!


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes March 17, 2015 at 5:09 am

Now might be a good time to check if your house wasn’t build over an ancient burial ground or on a former gathering place for witches…


Biz March 18, 2015 at 8:01 am

What happens to me is that my appliances like to stop working RIGHT before a major holiday:

Easter one year – dishwasher completely died
Christmas two days before I was hosting 10 people – oven completely died
Thanksgiving – day after with all my delicious leftovers, the fridge died!

I wish I liked salmon – it looks so good!


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