Learning to Cook with 'Basically 10x10' Recipe 9
The thought of eating salmon is always kind of “meh” to me. I’m not a fan of its smell and i’m certainly not a fan of it in my sushi. I am, however, a fan of its health benefits and how simple it is to cook. So, with that in mind, I finished up my day of work, threw on my workout gear, went to spin class, and happily came home to cook a quick-and-easy recipe for my roommate and I to enjoy. This one probably won’t go into regular rotation for me, but it’s a good, light, New Year, New You recipe.
Recipe 9: Crispy Skin Salmon with Miso-Honey Sauce
**Assistance images from Basically
1 2” piece fresh ginger
2 Tbsp white miso **I actually used RED miso (whoops!!)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
4 4-6-oz. skin-on salmon filets
What you’ll Need
Spoon ** I didn’t need this - you’ll see why!
Cast iron skillet
1. Start by assembling the honey-miso sauce: Peel 2" piece ginger with a spoon. (We find that a spoon is better for navigating the bumpy exterior of a knob of ginger than a vegetable peeler, but you do you.) Finely grate ginger with a Microplane into a small bowl.
** Pro Tip: Don’t bother peeling that ginger! You can eat the skin and it’s just more work than necessary - microplane away, baby!
2. Add 2 Tbsp. miso, 1 Tbsp. oil, 1 Tbsp. vinegar, 1 Tbsp. honey, and 1 Tbsp. water to the bowl with with the ginger. Whisk to combine and set aside. This is a great all-purpose sauce, so making extra wouldn't hurt! Use it to top grain bowls, roasted vegetables, or any other simply-cooked protein.
** Pro Tip: I’m probably incredibly ignorant when it comes to Asian ingredients...the International market only had red miso and so that’s what I bought (and the nice woman working let me know there’s no difference) - the sauce still turned out to be really great!
3. Heat a small skillet over medium. Toast 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, tossing frequently, until seeds are a light golden color and slightly fragrant, about 2 minutes. Seeds you toast yourself are always going to be more flavorful than the ones you buy already toasted, but we won't judge if you don't feel like going the extra mile.
4. Trim the root ends from 3 scallions and thinly slice crosswise.
5. Lightly season the flesh of 4 salmon fillets on all sides with salt. Place pieces skin side down in a cold—as in not preheated; you don't have to refrigerate it or anything—cast-iron skillet. (This might seem a little weird, but trust us—the skin will render nicely and get way more crispy this way.) Heat skillet over medium and let the salmon cook undisturbed for 5 minutes.
6. Press down lightly on flesh with a spatula to ensure all parts of the skin are making contact with the pan. At this point it should be opaque at least halfway up the flesh side. Continue to cook skin side down until fish is opaque all the way through and skin is crispy, about 5 minutes longer. If the skin is still sticking to the pan at this point, don't try to un-stick it—you'll know that it's ready to flip when it releases on its own.
7. Using a fish spatula, gently flip the fillets, then remove the pan from the heat. Continue to cook off-heat (the pan will still be plenty hot) until flesh is juuuuuuuust cooked through, about 1 minute longer for regular-sized fillets, but very thick ones might take up to 3 minutes more—you can use a fork to flake the fish slightly to check for doneness; you're looking for the inside to be still a little pink and translucent.
8. Spoon miso-honey sauce onto a platter. Place salmon fillets skin side up on top of the sauce. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and scallions. Et voila! Dinner is served.