The Secret to Better Salmon Is Salt

Credit…Gentl and Hyers for The New York Times. Food stylist: Hadas Smirnoff. Prop stylist: Rebecca Bartoshesky.

Good morning. J. Kenji López-Alt went full Kenji recently and dove deep into the process of dry-brining salmon to achieve firmer, juicier, less albumin-stained cooked fillets. I admire the tenacity of Kenji’s reporting, and I’m absolutely thrilled to report that while he calls for an overnight cure on the fish, I’ve achieved excellent results in just an afternoon’s time.

Which means if I can get to the store early today, I can make Ali Slagle’s new recipe for teriyaki salmon or my old one for pan-roasted salmon with jalapeño (above) this evening, and eat it with steamed rice and Mark Bittman’s salad of asparagus ribbons tossed in sesame oil and rice vinegar. Here we go!

As for the rest of the week. …


Eric Kim’s recipe for cold noodles with tomatoes is a magical cross between gazpacho and the Korean dish naengmyeon, and the perfect use of a pint of hothouse cherry tomatoes from the supermarket. “Just made this and mid-meal felt the urgent need to come here and rave about it,” one subscriber noted on the recipe. “Super easy and super quick to make!”


Are Ali Slagle’s chicken nuggets actually meatballs? Maybe technically? But use your fingers to drag one through some homemade ranch dressing and see what you think.


More asparagus: Kay Chun’s recipe for black pepper stir-fried tofu and asparagus is a controlled riot of flavors and textures, best made with pencil-thin spears (and snap peas to counter the heat of the sauce). Some substitute shrimp for the tofu. You do you.


I love Jamie Oliver’s recipe for black bean burgers, and you can certainly make those for dinner. But when I’m jammed for time, as I often am during the week, I just roast portobello caps in a mixture of soy sauce and a little balsamic vinegar, then treat them as I would beef in a smash burger. Fantastic.


Then you can end the week with Susan Spungen’s ace recipe for a hoisin-glazed pork bowl with vegetables. The glazed tenderloin is essentially a shortcut char siu, so if you (like me) know a char siu spot on your route home from the office, you might just buy some and use that in place of the tenderloin. Sneaky!

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Now, it’s a far cry from anything to do with brioche or the scent of freshly grated ginger, but Sally Williams has a terrifying read in The Guardian about the Clipper Round the World sailboat race. It’s adventure travel for amateurs that costs more than $60,000 a sailor, and not everyone makes it home.

The artist Matthew Barney has a new five-channel video exhibition, “Secondary,” on view at his gallery in Long Island City through June 25. It’s about football and violence, so really it’s about America. Siddartha Mitter wrote about Barney and the show for The New York Times.

Of course you should read Tad Friend’s latest for The New Yorker, an accounting of a nongovernmental organization set up to combat wildlife trafficking by hunting the hunters.

Finally, Jon Pareles turned me on to this new track from Fatoumata Diawara, “Blues.” Listen to that while you’re cooking your salmon. I’ll be back next week.

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