• Tanya Carneiro

Chilli Lacquered Salmon

Salmon lovers rejoice!

Let me be frank here, because as far as my tastebuds know – this is as good as salmon is ever going to get! My Chilli Lacquered Salmon is one of the most mouth-watering salmon dishes you will make and taste.


No, I am not saying this because it’s my recipe, I am purely stating this based on all the salmon dishes I have tasted whether it be poached, fried, baked or cured.

Bottom line – you are going to LOVE this fish dish!


This salmon is succulent and tender with the most incredible glaze that kisses your lips as soon as you lift that fork. The delicate mild flesh provides the perfect complimentary canvas for the sticky sweet Asian inspired glaze that is painted on layer after layer to form a delectable lacquered soft crust with crispy edges which provide the perfect amount of char.


Now you may look at the crimson hue of this beautiful fish and think ‘its spicy!’ but you couldn’t be further from the truth. The colour comes from the layers of dark red glaze smothered onto the deep coral pink coloured fish before being baked and set.


Warning – this salmon heaven recipe is addictive and will be on heavy rotation if you make it for fish-lovers!



Another bonus for this recipe is that you control the heat! The recipe is perfect for those who cannot eat spicy, just omit the chilli flakes and use a hot sauce that is on the milder side.

Frank’s Hot Sauce is what I recommend for those who want hot sauce but cannot handle heat.

All you need is a few pantry ingredients and some quality fresh salmon. The rest is up to the magic of time and the oven!



Choosing the best Salmon:


Give it a very gentle poke! Press the fillet with your index finger- the flesh should spring back, not leave a deep fingerprint in it. The salmon should have a bright orange-red hue with nice fat marbling (the white lines). You definitely should not be offended with a fishy smell, a mild salty sea-scent should be the only aroma around.


Appearance:

•Avoid salmon filets that have breaks or cracks in the flesh. This indicates mishandling and potential degradation.

•Avoid any packaged salmon that has water pooling, this is another sight of degradation.

•Choose fillets that are bright and evenly pigmented in colour (no patchiness).

•Salmon filets should have a bright contrast between the muscle and the fat.


Texture:

•Choose filets that are glossy and firm to the touch. If a dimple is indented when gently poked – avoid it like the plague!

•Avoid filets that are chalky, dry, or slimy when touched.


Aroma:

•Salmon filets should smell fresh and slightly briny or like the sea.

Fresh fish should never smell “fishy” or have an offensive odour that makes you question its quality.


Storage

Raw salmon can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Raw salmon can be stored in the freezer for up to three months


 

Wild vs Farmed Salmon

I am often asked about seafood, actually on a daily basis – all questions range from where I purchase from, how to cook it and how to pick the best species.

One of the most controversial questions I get asked is ‘Do I have to fear farmed fish?

Let’s get something straight – not all seafood is created the same. Some are wild (the most natural form), and some are farmed (in commercial hatcheries).

Quality wise, Health wise and Taste wise there is a WORLD of difference between the two!


Farmed fish are often grown in highly crowded environments which can breed illness and disease – you can imagine why. They are fed a diet of genetically modified soy pellets, wheat by-products and some even antibiotics. To make things worse, some salmon farmers even inject colour dyes to give them that pink shade. You don’t need to be a scientist to understand that unhealthy fish + human consumption = unhealthy humans.

A farmed fish is never going to be as nutritional as a wild caught fish


- All Ocean Trout sold in Australia is farmed.


- All Salmon sold in Australia is farmed other than the 100% Wild Salmon imports from Canada/Alaska


That being said, there are some high quality farmed-fish companies in Australia that I buy fish from and believe are top quality in taste and freshness.

Do your research on the salmon brand you buy, and make your decision based on that.

If you buy wild salmon, please ensure you are buying sustainably caught salmon!


Source : https://www.harvestbundle.co.uk/


 

This salmon looks gorgeous on the table, with other side dishes and some herb garnishing.

A real festive piece that can be dressed down for a evening meal during non-festive season too!


Drink Pairings:

Serve with a crisp Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio. A dry Rose would pair well too.

 

Serves : 8-10

Ingredients:

1 X 1.5kg Salmon-Side Skin On, Boneless (Or 8 Regular Fillets of Salmon)

3 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/3 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1/3 Cup Chilli Sauce (I Used Sri-racha But You Can Use Your Heat-Preference Brand)

1.5 Tbs Garlic Paste

1 Tbs Ginger Paste

1 Tsp Crushed Red Chili Flakes (Mild-Medium Heat)

1 Teaspoon Sweet Paprika (Not Smoked)

2 Tbs Soft Brown Sugar

½ Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Black Pepper Ground

2 Tbs Fine Sliced Spring Onions For Garnish


Directions:


1.In an extra large bowl, big enough to fit the salmon side/ fillets in – whisk together all the ingredients except the spring onions and salmon, until well combined and smooth.


2.Add the salmon into the bowl and gently use your hands to pour over the marinade, repeating several times until the salmon has had ample enrobings of the sauce.


Ensure you do not press or massage the salmon as you would with other meats because the salmon flesh is very delicate and can have indentations if too much pressure is placed.


3.Marinate this salmon for a minimum of 6 hours, in the fridge. I marinate mine for 12 hours, overnight. The salmon should be near/completely submerged in the mixture.


4.To cook, preheat oven to 180deg C fan forced, 200deg C no fan (or 390deg F no fan) and line a baking tray with double layered foil, followed by a layer of baking paper.

Crimp the edges of the foil into a border so it's like a boat holding the marinade near/on the salmon side

(see picture of foil boat below).

depicting foil boat in step 4
Image from www.littlespicejar.com (step 4 depiction)

5.Place the whole salmon fillet on the baking paper inside the tray and pour over remaining marinade so it is on the salmon fillet, trying to ensure the marinade does not run onto the tray or it will catch and burn.


NOTE : If using salmon fillets, keep the fillets snug together in a fitting baking dish and pour over the sauce so the salmon is coated in a thick layer of the marinade, not running onto a flat tray.


Bake for 15-25 minutes until the glaze has firmed up, sticky and a crusty layer has formed. You want to see a little char on the edges.


6.Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then garnish with fine sliced spring onion.



Notes:

-You can garnish with chopped chives, coriander, red chillies - any green foliage!

-For those of you who cannot eat spicy, I would recommend using: Franks Hot Sauce

-Keep leftover salmon in the fridge after cooking, and add it to your fried rice or a green salad for a delicious lunch


 

I hope you enjoy this spectacular salmon recipe, do let me know how you go!


Tanya.

 



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