This salmon with crispy skin recipe is in dedication to Tamara Harp, one of my Patreon producers who donated to a tier that has me make a custom recipe video. Today I show you the method behind how to make salmon with crispy skin. I'll also show you how to make a light lemon vinaigrette that works perfectly for fish. If you're interested in becoming one of my Patreon producers, there is a link right below!
16 oz of Salmon with skin on (measure 6-8oz per person)
2-3 Tablespoons of Canola Oil
A few sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 Cloves of Garlic, Smashed
Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette:
1 Lemon, Juiced (1/4 cup)
3-4 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
2-3 Tablespoons of Honey
1/2 cup Olive oil
1 Tablespoon of Vinegar (Red Wine, Champagne, White Wine)
Salt and Pepper
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves
To prepare your salmon, make sure there are no scales or pin bones still in the salmon. Have your fishmonger remove it all, or use tweezers to remove the bones. Just run your finger on the meat and if you feel any things hard, its likely a bone that needs to be removed. If the scales remain, use your knife a run it against the grain of the scales in order to get them off. They will get everywhere so try to have your fishmonger take care of it.
Then flip it over so the skin side is facing up. Then pinch the salmon so the skin curves upward equally. Then run your knife across the hump you created in the salmon and score the skin. Don’t go too deep but its okay to score a bit of the skin as well.
Then season with salt and pepper and let it dry brine in the fridge to help season the fish well.
While that's in the fridge, you can make the vinaigrette. The lemon I used in the video was quite large, large than I anticipated so I had to balance out the vinaigrette at the end. But remember the basic proportions of making vinaigrettes. If you like its more on the acidic side, use a 1 part acid to 2 parts oil ratio. If you like it less acidic, a 1 part acid to 3 parts oil ratio. Just squeeze the lemon in a bowl, add the mustard and the honey and whisk until combined, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the vinaigrette emulsifies. Depending on how it tastes, you may need to adjust it, I added more mustard and a touch of vinegar to balance it out as it was tasting a little too much like a sweet lemon. Adding the mustard adds a nice flavor for the fish and thickens it up and the vinegar mellows out the lemon flavor. When it's where you want it, season with salt and pepper and then add some plucked thyme leaves to the vinaigrette, about a tablespoon. Set aside and get your fish ready to cook.
Take the salmon out of the fridge and pat the skin dry. Smash some garlic and prepare a few sprigs of thyme leaves.
In a pan over medium-high heat, cover the bottom of a pan in oil, and make sure it gets nice and hot. Place the fish, skin side down in the oil and then using your hands, apply gentle pressure, not too hard, just enough to be gentle with the fish while still flattening out the skin to ensure its super crisp. Then don’t touch it and let it cook for about 5 minutes. You will be able to see the heat creeping up the side of the fish as it cooks giving you an indication of where you are in the process. When the fish looks about 50-60% cooked and the skin looks crispy when you peek, give it a flip, add the garlic and thyme, and baste the fish skin. Cook until the internal temperature of the fish hits about 125 before giving it a good rest. This should carry over to a perfect medium rare. If you prefer your salmon cooked a bit more, pull the fish at 130-135 for a nice medium-medium well, where the fish is cooked through all the way and hopefully still moist.
After resting, plate the salmon skin side up and then spoon the sauce around the fish, not on the skin, the vinaigrette will make the skin soggy and you don’t want that. Top with some more fresh thyme and a lemon wedge and enjoy!
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