The Chef: Ann Kim
Her Restaurants Pizzeria Lola, Hello Pizza and Young Joni, all in and around Minneapolis
What She’s Known For Skillfully and creatively interweaving strands of Korean, American and Italian cuisines. Unexpected flavor combinations that nevertheless make perfect sense.
“WHEN I EAT at home, I like to eat healthy,” said Ann Kim. “Salmon is something I cook a lot.” At this time of year, the Minneapolis chef also spends a lot of time browsing local farm stands. For her second Slow Food Fast contribution, she serves oven-roasted salmon over the contents of a typical August haul—corn, radishes, snap peas and purple cabbage—sautéed to emphasize their high-summer sweetness. Bacon brings savory richness to the mix, and a little cabbage kimchi adds its own fermented zip.
Ms. Kim recommends buying salmon fillets veined with a good amount of fat, which will melt down to help protect the fish from overcooking. “I prefer Norwegian salmon because it’s fattier and more forgiving,” she said. The tangy kimchi balances the sweetness of the summer-vegetable succotash, but if you don’t happen to have any on hand, no problem. “Just add more acid, like lemon juice,” she said.
Not that Ms. Kim could imagine a scenario in which her kitchen would ever be without kimchi. “Growing up we’d always have it on the table,” she said. “Fresh kimchi is so mild I eat it straight.” As kimchi ages, its fermented fizz and flavor intensify; sautéing it in butter, as she does here, mellows its bite. But it still provides enough of an edge to make all the other flavors pop.
Roast Salmon With Kimchi Succotash
Total Time: 20 minutes Serves: 4
- 4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 bacon slices, cut into bite-size pieces (optional)
- 1 whole clove garlic
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, sliced into ½-inch pieces
- Kernels cut from 2 ears sweet corn
- 1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 1 cup ½-inch diced radish
- 3 tablespoons cabbage kimchi, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ lemon
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange salmon on a baking sheet and season with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. Bake until fillets are flaky and tender, 10-12 minutes depending on thickness.
2. Meanwhile, set a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until evenly crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and discard most fat from pan. Add remaining olive oil to pan and return to medium-high heat. Stir in garlic, snap peas, corn, cabbage, radishes, kimchi and butter. Cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, 2-3 minutes. Return bacon to pan and toss until combined, about 1 minute. Turn off heat and season with lemon juice and salt.
3. To serve, distribute succotash among plates. Top each helping with a salmon fillet and serve warm.