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Pan-fried Masala Salmon

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Recipe by Route 79

Description Edit

Today we are going to cook in a slightly "fusion", slightly "gourmet" style in the Route79 kitchen. But we're not going exert ourselves too much - because, like most people, we do not make living as celebrity chefs - we have work to do, household chores, keep the kids entertained etc. So - we are going to "tend towards" slightly fusion and slightly gourmet instead.

I was browsing around our local Safeway on Sunday afternoon - just before it closed - and noticed that the prices of fresh fish seem to plummet in the closing hour. I think this has something to do with the weekly replenishment cycle being Monday to Monday? Anyway - I bought myself some fresh fillets of supposedly Scottish salmon - no bone - but with the skin intact on one side.

Now - this is the "fusion" bit: I'm not sure how salmon is traditionally cooked in Western Europe - but whenever I've cooked it before - I've usually either oven-baked it with some lemon, butter and herb - or else I've pan-fried with some seasoning. Well - we're going to do the latter - i.e. pan-fry the salmon - using a technique called "blackening" - which is where the frying is done on very hig heat - and the idea is to fuse the seasoning to the fish and "blacken" it - i.e. sort of like "burn" it - so that it darkens in colour and has that "barbecue"-like texture.

Ingredients Edit





The seasoning we're going to use is the classic Route79 Indian spice seasoning collection (which if you've been following these recipes you will know very well by now) - and you can see these below:

Directions Edit

Not shown in the photo above is a very important first step: pour on (liberally) some olive oil into the dish with the fish pieces. Then shake on the concentrated lemon juice - plenty of it. Then simply use a teaspoon to sprinkle on some of each spice: 1 teaspoon of each, except the garam masala: use 2 teaspoons of this. When you've sprinkled on all of the spices - it should look something like in the picture above.

Now is the fun bit: using your hands - make sure that each fish piece is thoroughly coated with the spice mixture - ensuring that the powder dows not "clump" together at all - use the fish pieces to evenly mix the spice/lemon-juice/oil mixture. Then finally - place the fish pieces "face down" - i.e. skin side up and cover the dish with clingfilm. Place this in the fridge for an hour or two - that will give you plenty of time to get on with other things that you need to do.


Thoroughly coat the fish pieces


Cover with clingfilm and put in fridge for an hour or so

When you come back - get a large frying pan - and pour in a few drops of olive oil - and get the flame going high to get the pan really hot. If you have an extractor fan above your hob - you should get that going on max as well. Then - when the pan is real hot - place the fishes pieces in - skin-side down - and let them stay in the pan for a few minutes - sizzling away. Shake the pan horizontally slightly (but not too much) - just to ensure that the pieces don't stick and burn on the surface of the pan. It helps to use non-stick frying pan for this method.

After about 6 mins - use a spatula or tongs to carefully turn over each fish piece so that the skin-side is now up. You can see that it is beginning to look quite good now. You may reduce the heat a bit at this point - because by cooking the fish on high heat with skin-side down you have actually very gently cooked the fish right up to the top of the fish - and all you want to do now is to brown the top. However - be warned if you follow these instructions the salmon will be very tender and "just-cooked" in the middle. If you like your salmon very well done, i.e. very dry and flaky in the middle - then you may want to keep them cooking for a bit longer - or finishing off by microwaving the fish on high power for about 2 mins.

Oh - also - if you don't want to serve the salmon onto the serving plate with the skin on - you can remove the skins quite easily whilst they are finishing off frying face-down in the pan. Just grab one corner of the skin and peel it off! It will come off really easily - trust me. If you do this - then be sure to turn the fish over again to colour the other side too - but be warned: once you take the skin off - it till be really hard to handle - and you will run the danger of it all breaking up and falling apart!


Place into frying pan of sizzling hot olive oil - skin down


After 6-7 mins carefully turn over

And now for the attempt at the "gourmet" bit. Just before I put the salmon in the frying pan - I had prepared some Indian style basmati rice - and some thin green beans, plain-boiled and tossed afterwards in some olive oil. You may "sculpt" the rice in a small bowl if you like - turning it upside down onto the serving plate - and take a couple of pieces of the cooked salmon and place on top - or next to the rice. Then arrange the green beans in as artistic a style as you can - over the top of the fish and rice. Well - I tried anyway!


Recipe by Route 79 Edit

Route 79

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