Husband’s 30th birthday was about a week ago and his former boss gave him a Himalayan Salt Plate. Neither of us had any idea what it was or what it could be used for so we did some Interweb sleuthing and ended up with Surf ‘n’ Surf Dinner of Epicness, and our New Thing for October.
Most of the recipes we found online were for seafood so we stuck with that theme and headed over to AmericasTestKitchen.com, where my mother-in-law had given Husband a gift membership, and got some great advice on selecting and cooking tuna steaks and shrimp. We then carefully read the instructions that came with our Himalayan Salt Plate—there seems to be some disagreement online about what you can and cannot do with salt plates, so we stuck with the package instructions—and put the salt plate on our stovetop gas burner on low for about 10 minutes, increasing the heat a bit every 10 to 15 minutes until the top surface of the plate was really hot. I can’t tell you a temperature because we don’t have a fancypants infrared surface thermometer.
We did the shrimp first. Husband had gone to the meat counter at our local Cub Foods and selected 1 lb of 16/20 shrimp. Something we learned from America’s Test Kitchen is that shrimp is measured with a combination of weight and count. 16/20 means that there are 16 to 20 shrimps in a pound. U/15 means there are under 15 shrimp in a pound (so they are huge). 16/20 seems to be middle-of-the-road as far as size is concerned so that’s what we picked. We tossed the shrimp with a little bit of olive oil so they wouldn’t stick to the plate (they did a little bit anyway), placed them on the super-hot salt plate in a single layer, then sprinkled them with a very light dusting of Penzey’s Cajun seasoning and a teensy bit of fresh ground black pepper. I don’t believe we flipped them, but when they were done we removed them from the salt plate with a spatula and began devouring them because they were just that good. Best shrimp I have ever had in my life!
Next up: the tuna. The shrimp had gotten a little stuck to the salt plate so we scraped off what we could, but there was still a little left that burned on. No worries, forge ahead! For the tuna, we got some fresh yellowfin tuna steaks and all we did was pat them dry, add a very light layer of olive oil to each side, and press them into sesame seeds. Then we put them on the salt plate and “fried” them for a very short amount of time. We wanted it to be very, very pink in the middle, per America’s Test Kitchen instructions. After a minute or so on one side, flipped it to the other for a minute, then off the heat it came.
They turned out perfect. I had made a sauce, again from America’s Test Kitchen, for over the tuna. Very simple; just soy sauce (actually all I had was Tamari), scallion, ginger, rice vinegar and water. It didn’t overpower the taste of the tuna but added a tasty complement.
As a side, because obviously we didn’t have enough food, we did braised potatoes. The were the tastiest, most delicious potatoes we’ve ever eaten, other than Husband’s Mashed Potatoes. Get the recipe at, you guessed it, AmericasTestKitchen.com.