At our home, Monday nights are almost always fish nights. We tend to crave something healthy and easy to prepare at the beginning of the week. Salmon is one of my favorite ingredients because it’s an excellent source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, it’s quick, easy to cook, and very versatile.
I decided to infuse some Asian flavors into the fish dish, so I selected a few of my favorite vegetables and seasonings to make Atlantic salmon with citrus soy glaze.
There are many ways to prepare salmon; grill, broil, poach, bake, and so on. However, tonight I was in the mood for a nice a crispy skin, so I grabbed my saute pan.
I like a little crunch…
The key to a nice and crispy skin on your fish is to make sure the surface is dry; moisture is the enemy. The next step is to make sure to heat the pan with about 1/8 inch of oil over medium heat, and then the oil will be nice and hot so the skin will fry instead of boil. You can tell the oil is ready when you start to see the oil slightly move, and you can feel the heat above the pan.
If the pan is too hot, the oil will smoke, and your product will darken too quickly. When the temperature is right, the oil sizzles softly and the bubbles from the moisture releasing can be seen. Make sure to press gently down on the surface of the fillet with a fish spatula immediately after it enters the pan; this prevents moisture pockets from being trapped and causing a soggy skin.
After about 3 to 4 minutes in the pan over medium heat, the fillets are turned over and seared briefly. The skin should be crispy and the top and edges of the fish a beautiful golden brown. I like my fish medium rare, so I only cook the fish for another minute or two.
As the fish is continuing to cook on the other side, I like to coat the fish with the oil from the pan to add a little extra texture and crispiness to the skin. This method is called poêlé; by tilting the pan slightly towards you to easily scoop the oil, then rhythmically pouring the hot oil over the fish helps to add texture and completes the cooking. My instructor in culinary school recommended us to add butter to the pan to enhance the flavor, yum!
At the Old Towne Orange Farmers and Artisans Market, I picked up some beautiful trumpet mushrooms from Mountain Meadow Mushrooms. This variety is meaty in texture, and I thought it would be nice to saute the slices of mushroom until golden brown on each side and simply season with salt and pepper.