Confit of Salmon

With marinated tofu and crispy kale

Chef Debbie Gold
The American Restaurant, Kansas City, Missouri

4-5 oz. portion of salmon, freshest possible, skin removed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
1 star anise
1 qt. olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked white pepper

Remove salmon from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

In a stainless steel saucepot, combine garlic, peppercorns and star anise and place over low heat. Using a thermometer, slowly bring the oil up to 145 degrees. Place fish in the oil and maintain temperature at 145 F.

Watch closely to make sure the temperature doesn’t exceed 145 F, or fish will overcook. Poach salmon for 10 minutes. When properly cooked, the center will still be rare, but the fish should be warm overall and a similar color throughout. (It may not look cooked, but it is.) Remove from pan with a spatula and place on paper towels to let rest. Season with salt and pepper.

Marinated tofu
2 blocks of tofu
¼ c. sake
¼ c. soy sauce
¼ c. mirin

Drain tofu and place in several layers of paper towels. Remove as much liquid as possible by placing a small cookie sheet and couple of large plates on top to press it. Let sit about 30 minutes. In a small bowl, combine sake, soy sauce and mirin. Cut tofu into 1” cubes and place in marinade, making sure the tofu is immersed or gets turned over. Let stand for 10-15 minutes.

Heat a small sauté pan with cooking oil over medium heat. Gently pat tofu dry and place in sauté pan (do not overcrowd). Sauté until caramelized, then remove from pan.

Crispy kale
1 head kale, washed and dried
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Remove ribs from the kale and tear into 3-4 pieces. Toss with olive oil and salt, then lay on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes.

Scallions, thinly sliced
Toasted sesame seeds