Last week my colleague, Renita, gave me a bag full of fuyu persimmons. She had hand-harvested them, climbing up the tree at her mother’s house. While growing up in Korean culture, I used to eat persimmons during every harvest season. My Grandma would sometimes dry the persimmons and make a cold dessert beverage called “Su-Jeong-gua”, a persimmon & cinnamon stick brewed tea sprinkled with pine nuts. High in sugar content, persimmons taste like a mixture of plums and dates. It is not only an awesome dessert, but it can also add layers of flavor complexities to fish, meat or vegetable dishes. Experimenting in my cooking, I’m marinating some salmon fillets with persimmon sauce.
First, I peel the skin & cut the persimmon in half. I then puree one half & finely mince the other half. Next, I mix it with the juice from one orange, 4 Tablespoons soy sauce, 4 Tablespoons sake, 1 teaspoon chopped ginger, 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil, 3 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds & some freshly ground black pepper. And then, I add one pound salmon fillets to the mixture & marinate it for 30 minutes. Finally, I bake it for 15 minutes at 350F.
Salmon is an oily fish with stronger flavors than many white fish. The salmon fillets, marinated in the persimmon sauce, come out very moist and flavorful. The marinade is just perfect for salmon – not too overpowering or too bland.
I paired it with a bottle of Antonin Rodet’s AOC 2010 Beaujolais Nouveau. Located to the North of Lyon, France, the Beaujolais Region is known for its fruity, vibrant, simple red wines made from the Gamay grapes. Every third Thursday in November, Beaujolais Nouveau (i.e. the new vintage of Beaujolais) is officially released to the world. 2010 was a good vintage year for Beaujolais. I’d highly recommend this delicious red berry flavored, fresh, “grapey” wine for foodies who enjoy low-tannic, fruit-forward wines.
Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be drunk by New Years Eve, just like the fresh persimmons that are enjoyed as part of the harvest celebration. Aged Beaujolais Nouveau often smells like out-of-town guests who stay in the house too long. If you see a bottle of 2010 Beaujolais Nouveau on shelf this holiday season, grab it and give it a try. It will delight you and your holiday guests. Happy holidays!