Recently, a celebrity chef and Momofuku Founder David Chang subscriber Simple salmon recipe weekdays with followers on TikTok. For the most part, it looked pretty simple—it’s hard to find fault with a piece of flaked salmon dipped in a delicious sweet sauce. But the only thing that shocked people was how Zhang prepared it: in his microwave.
In the caption to the video, Chang describes Chef Mike’s (also known as the microwave) method as a “delicious way to cook,” adding that it’s especially useful when you’re pressed for time. “I have a little time for dinner at the table for my kids,” he adds, so microwaved salmon seems to be a favorite in his house when he needs a satisfying five-minute meal.
Given David Chang’s prominence in the food world, there were frankly not many commentators in dissent. Some people were concerned about the potential smell of cooking a piece of raw fish in the microwave, but Zhang himself emphasized that it “no smell.”
Others saw the space age microwave — I mean, the thing opens automatically, people – and assumed that his cooking method would only work with his wonderful microwave. But he was able to allay those fears, too.
Most people were only happy to see a celebrity chef like Chang share a simple and time-conscious recipe like this one. Recipes for real busy people! What a concept.
And I, personally, was very shocked to see actual The chef promotes the microwave method after me wrote about (And try!) Stephen King’s microwave salmon recipe earlier this year—which the internet totally tore up.
While King’s “recipe” didn’t quite sell the method as Chang did, I was still obsessed when I tried it myself…and TBH, I’ve made it a few times since then. So I was really curious to put together Chang’s slightly different recipe and settings against the King of Horror.
To get started, I grabbed the ingredients. Per Chang’s instructions, the only ingredients you’ll need are salmon fillets, some soy sauce (or tamari), seasoned salt, and agave nectar.
Step one: Place the salmon in a microwave-safe glass bowl. This is where Zhang’s recipe truly It differs from King’s – the latter advocates placing the salmon on a plate and wrapping it in a damp paper towel, so I was curious to see what effect, if any, this method had on texture…and smell.
In the original video, David Chang actually uses the brand’s microwave-safe cooking pot any daywho works with him a lot. If you have $40+ to spend on microwave cookware, go for it! Having said that, I don’t do it often! So I used a very regular glass food storage container with lid, hoping for similar tasty results.
Step 2: Next, I poured about 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and a teaspoon of agave nectar over the salmon.
Zhang used his hands to smooth the soy sauce mixture around the salmon, making sure it was evenly covered; I used a silicone brush. For salmon the choice is yours. I did.
Step 3: Sprinkle ½ teaspoon or so of the seasoned salt evenly over the piece of fish.
Step #4: Nervously, you put this baby in the microwave next loosely (Not tight!) Cover the container with a lid.
Chang specifies that three and a half minutes will get you a medium-cook salmon, while five minutes will get you closer to well-done. Hope for something wet but no so far Medium rarity, I chose four minutes.
Step #5: When the four minutes were up, I opened my microwave door to find a perfectly pink piece of fish and a bubbling thick sauce. Even better: there was hardly any fishy smell.
Unlike King’s salmon, which was simply marinated with lemon wedges and olive oil, I’ve found that soy sauce really lends a delicious, flavorful aroma to microwaved fish. Like, I kind of enjoyed the smell coming from the microwave, if I’m totally honest.
I let the salmon rest for exactly 1 minute, as instructed. Then, to test its maturity, I used a fast-reading thermometer to measure the temperature. As if by magic, it was recorded in a perfect medium for salmon: 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
When I walked in with a fork to see how things turned out, in terms of texture, I was pleased to see that it was as tender as King’s recipe – if not more so. I was really impressed with how even the cooked whole piece of fish was. There were no cold spots in the middle and the edges were not exaggerated at all. Only wet and flaky salmon all the way through.
But apart from the texture, I am happy to report that the taste…
Without any seasoning, I was really shocked by the amount of flavor the soy sauce, agave, and seasoning salt mix added, especially compared to Stephen King’s version which was objectively on the bland side. TBH, it’s an excellent reminder that sometimes you don’t need to shake an entire bowl of seasoning mix over your food to make it taste good. The deliciously simple contrast between soy sauce and agave made everything irresistible, and honestly, I would Start I know it was made in the microwave if you didn’t tell me.
For a more complete dinner, I ended up layering fish scales over some white steamed rice, David Chang suggested, and topping it with some thinly sliced green onions and furikake rice seasoning. It was easily the best meal I’ve had all week, and definitely the quickest meal I’ve had…all year?!
Verdict: You have to try this recipe. In addition to being incredibly easy, they are also ridiculously delicious. Without any sides included, everything was assembled in just over five minutes, with no need to wait for any appliances or pieces of cookware to preheat. The best part: there is hardly any cleaning. Next time you need a five-minute dinner or feel like putting the least amount of effort into the meal you’re cooking, this is David Chang’s salmon.
If you try this method, let me know what you think of it. And if you have any other cooking methods (or recipes) that are somewhat unconventional but completely Worth a try, I want to hear about them! Drop them in the comments below. 👇
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