I've always had a bit of a phobia cooking fish at home.
Sure, I can lightly bread and oven bake a tilapia filet just like the next person, but cooking fish well freaked me out. The anxiety increased the more expensive the fish is.
Tilapia = low anxiety
Wild-caught salmon = fairly high anxiety
A new grocery store opened near our house today, and they have some of the most amazing seafood I've seen without going to Whole Foods or a designated fish market. Wild caught Alaskan salmon (besides making me think of Laura) made me want a big piece of salmon on a gorgeous salad. I decided to go with it since I usually crave healthy foods when my body needs healthy foods.
That, and the fact that I desperately need to lower my cholesterol, triglycerides, and weight… but that's another story.
Back to salmon salads. I went for broke (but not literally, the salmon wasn't terribly expensive!) and got organic greens and avocado, a delicious balsamic vinaigrette, and 1.25 pounds of salmon.
Here's the final product:
I think I've got this cooking salmon thing down.
First, the marinade/rub, it's not really a recipe but more of a "procedure" adapted from Cook's Illustrated. I didn't butterfly my filets though.
1. Salt the salmon.
2. Mix together equal parts of:
- maple syrup (or agave)
- soy sauce
Then add the same number of teaspoons (1 Tbsp maple syrup = 1 teaspoon of the following ingredients)
- ground ginger
- garlic powder
- sesame oil
3. Pour 1/2 of the mixture on top of the salmon and rub into the flesh
4. pour the remaining mixture on top of the salmon and allow it to sit on top.
5. Marinate at least 10 minutes
6. Heat a frying pan with 2 teaspoons olive oil until the oil shimmers.
7. Add the salmon, skin side down, to the oil. It will smoke, sizzle, spatter, and smoke some more. Don't worry, this is normal. Cook until the bottom half of the salmon is opaque, about 4 minutes.
8. Gently flip the filets and cook until the flesh side is browned and the the flesh is firm but not hard.
9. Add to a salad (or just put on a plate) Enjoy!
The few things I learned today are easy:
- Don't be afraid of marinating salmon. The right flavors just complement it!
- A little smoke is a good thing! Too low of heat and there won't be that delicious crust
- Take the salmon off the heat before it's actually cooked through. Medium-well is almost over cooked.
…The more you know