Confusion and creativity: a salmon recipe

Before I get into the meat of the post (or the fish, as it is in this case) I simply have to talk about the circumstances that led to the creation of the recipe. Without going into unnecessary details, all I’ll say is that it is a reflection of just how scatter brained I am these days, and how incapable I am of giving coherent instructions. Whatever be the reason, it so happened that I ended up having three good fillets of salmon, two of which were lying in the chiller when they should have been marinated and wrapped in foil, and the other one lightly salted and grilled and stored in the microwave of all places, when it is the fridge where it should have been instead.

Saturday evening, back from a long yet fruitless shopping trip, I really didn’t have the patience to deal with forgotten salmon. Okay, I guess now is a time as good as any to admit that I really don’t like salmon. Or any fish, for that matter, unless a specific fish is cooked in a specific way. And as luck would have it, I am sandwiched between two hardcore fish lovers: the husband and baby girl. Which basically means I am condemned to come up with creative ways of cooking fish so I enjoy eating it as well. Which led to this brilliant (if I may say so myself and I am saying it) recipe that would be amazing as a starter.

The thing about salmon is, it is rather delicate in flavour, and you wanna make sure you don’t let anything overpower it. You want a really simple way of cooking to celebrate its simplicity, and it is exactly what this recipe is: a celebration of the simple joys salmon can bring.

Ingredients:  salmon fillets (I had one and half, and I made it work), soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice, olive oil, onion, spring onions, and finally a lemon based salad dressing (I used Heinz lemon and black pepper salad cream)

Preparation before actual cooking (that also involves cooking, sorry): Mix soy sauce, sugar, olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl (please don’t expect actual amounts, I eyeball everything like a seasoned Indian cook) and give the salmon pieces a good rub a dub. If you have a grilling pan, now would be the time to bring it out and heat it up. If you don’t, don’t sweat. Just use an ordinary nonstick pan and it will work just fine. Once the pan is heated, place the salmon pieces skin side down first. The salmon will start sizzling, and release all of the wonderful fat and oil. If you look carefully, you will actually see the salmon cooking, and the translucent pink turning opaque, and the first time I noticed it, I was quite amazed at how fast it really happens. Salmon doesn’t take much time to cook, and after about 6-7 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fillets), flip it so the skin side is up. If using the grill pan, you should be able to see the beautiful grill marks on the fish. Cook the salmon until the fish is completely opaque and pink, but don’t overcook it or else it will become hard and we really don’t want hard salmon for the next part, believe me.

Remove the salmon fillets from the pan (don’t throw the pan into the sink yet; we need all of that oil) and transfer to a shallow bowl. Using two  forks, start “shredding” the salmon, and it should beautifully disintegrate into delicate thin flakes. Set it aside while we move onto the next step.

The actual cooking (if you can call this cooking): In the same pan, throw in chopped onion, and toss until the onion no longer smells raw, and is slicked in all of the salmon-y oil. Now add the flaked salmon and toss until everything is mixed.

Serve hot in a shallow dish, topped with freshly chopped spring onion and a drizzle of salad dressing (I liked mine a little heavy on the dressing, the husband liked it without)

Simple, right? Now I don’t know if such a recipe exists from before but I came up with this all by myself so for now I will take all the credit, thank you very much.

Salmon starter


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