These salmon and asparagus bundles always catch my eye each time I see them in the showcase of our local favorite seafood market Merrick’s in Cape Coral, Florida. Merrick’s is one of southwest Florida’s finest purveyors of fresh seafood (they service over 250 local restaurants) and they also have ready-to-go seafood dishes for take-out. Take a glimpse inside the seafood market here and you’ll see why we are so proud to have them in the area. In a large room behind the retail counter you can see fish cutters busily filleting freshly caught local fish from the Gulf of Mexico. Last year they opened Fish Tails, their own fabulous seafood restaurant next door to the seafood market, photos of some of their gorgeous dishes here. Now you can understand why we eat a lot of fresh seafood and why you see a lot of seafood recipes on My Carolina Kitchen. Both Merrick's Seafood Market and Fish Tails restaurant are a "do-not-miss" if you are in the greater Fort Myers / Naples area.
I finally decided to make my own salmon and asparagus bundles. The ones at Merrick’s have a bourbon glaze (see here), but I was in the mood for something a little tropical, so I chose Soy Vay’s Island Teriyaki sauce for my glaze. The glaze is made of made with 100% pure pineapple juice, zesty ginger and fresh garlic and even if I tried, I don’t think I could do better if I had made my own. I always have a bottle in the refrigerator and use it often as a glaze on salmon or grouper, as an example. Soy Vay’s Island Teriyaki is available in many supermarkets, including Fresh Market, and on line at Amazon.
|Soy Vay Island Teriyaki
These bundles can be made in advance and cooked at the last minute, which makes them convenient for entertaining. The salmon should be skinned before wrapping the asparagus. Your fishmonger can do this for you or it’s relatively easy if you have a sharp boning knife. I sprinkled my bundles with some black and white sesame seeds before popping them in the oven.
Salmon & Asparagus Bundles
Inspired by Merrick’s Seafood in Cape Coral, Florida, easily doubled or tripled, serves 2
Fresh asparagus spears, about 5 to 6 per person depending on size
½ to ¾ pound fresh salmon, preferably the tail end that isn’t too thick
Freshly ground black pepper
Soy Vay’s Island Teriyaki sauce for brushing, about 1 tablespoon per fish
Black sesame seeds
White sesame seeds, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the asparagus up so the ends are even and using a sharp knife, cut off the bottom inch or so to remove the dried ends. Peel the remaining ends with a vegetable peeler, then separate into two bundles.
If the salmon has skin, remove with a very sharp filet knife (your fish monger can do this for you if you wish). Sprinkle the salmon with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then wrap around an asparagus bundle. Brush the salmon with the teriyaki sauce and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds. Place on a sheet pan that has been lined with heavy duty foil (for easy clean-up). Bake for 20 minutes, then remove and check for doneness. Serve right away.
Cook’s notes: If your asparagus is thick, you may wish to parboil it for a minute or so before wrapping it with the salmon. If the asparagus tips are dainty, you might want to brush their tips with a tiny bit of olive oil to prevent their drying out.