Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
If I were stuck on a deserted tropical island with an oven, this is what I would make. On a deserted tropical island, life seems to stand still, there’s no crinkly shirts to iron, no snarly traffic and most importantly, no alarm clocks or Microsoft Outlook. You’ve got time and you’ve got plenty of fish. I’m going to teach you about the magic of low ‘n slow tropical island salmon – once you try this method, you’ll never cook fish another way. Welllll….unless you want to try:
But I digress…. Low and slow is the ticket to most tender, succulent and true-to-flavor food, just like my number one favorite recipe in the whole wide world Baby Back Ribs with Asian Orange-Ginger Glaze proves.
When you cook fish on high heat - the proteins immediately seize up – which is why it’s so easy to overcook fish, and end up with dry, chalky and tough piece of seafood. I mean, if you were set on a blazing hot bed of coals, you’d seize up too, screaming, “HOLY SHIT THAT’S HOT!”
Now…lets think sauna…jacuzzi…You see, gentle cooking breaks DOWN the meat, giving it a chance to relax…chill out…have a margherita….get a tan. For fish, low and slow creates the most dreamy, silky-smooth, melt in your mouth texture. And the surprise…the cooking is so gentle that the fully cooked salmon looks almost EXACTLY like it did before cooking.
A little peek at the inside – yes, it looks exactly like it does pre-cooked, but it’s cooked to a silky texture.
Those purple flowers are from my Ginger Mint Herb. The lavender color is just gorgeous!
This recipe is SO easy and lazy that I’m not even going to give you the traditional formatted recipe. Improvise, make it your own and have fun. This is truly lazy at its finest. The salmon cooks on a bed of either sliced onions, citrus or herbs – the bed serves a purpose. When you slow cook salmon, some of the proteins break down and can cook out. The bed helps any fats and proteins drain away. Plus, the fish gets gently perfumed with whatever you use for the bed
4 (6 ounce) salmon fillets (1 per person)
Choose ingredients below:
||Bed||Finishing (after cooking, top with)|
|(PHOTO ABOVE) brush w/cooking oil, salt, pepper, ground coriander, top with orange slices||thin sliced oranges and onions||crushed macadamia nuts, mint|
|brush w/oil, salt, pepper, brown sugar||sliced ginger, green scallion sections||minced scallions|
|brush w/honey, salt, pepper||thin sliced fennel pulb||parsley, more thinly sliced fennel|
|(PHOTO BELOW) brush with honey, salt, pepper||sliced oranges, lemons||sweetened coconut flakes, diced mango, papaya, red onion, golden raisins|
|brush with oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder||sliced red onions||fresh mango salsa|
1. Preheat to 250F. Season salmon and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. <- important. Otherwise the time in the oven will be devoted to un-chilling your salmon, instead of cooking it. Grab a pan big enough to hold all fillets in single layer. Make bed of whatever ingredients you’ve chosen.
2. Place the salmon fillets on the bed you’ve made. Cook for 30 minutes. [if you're cooking more than 4 fillets, just add another 2 minutes per additional filet] To test for doneness, stick a sharp paring knife in, if it goes in an out very easily, its done. Even if you leave it in the oven for an extra few minutes, don’t worry, it is impossible to overcook the salmon this way….unless you, uh, leave it in the oven for a week.
3. Top with whatever finishing herbs, spices or ingredients you’ve chosen. After cooking, the salmon is going to look almost exactly the same as when you first put it in. Don’t worry, after 30 minutes in the oven it is cooked.
If you generally like your tuna seared, or you like your salmon “medium rare” – you must try this recipe. Low and slow really does capture and deliver what the ingredients should taste like exactly. The salmon still retains all of its gorgeous color, even when fully cooked. The texture and flavor is sublime!
p.s. I found a can of spices at my local gourmet market. Its called JUNGLE BOOGIE!!! Isn’t that just too cool? With a name like that, who cares what kind of spice it was, I just had to try it! <– see, I wasn’t joking! “Naturally organic. Fresh dried granulated mango, banana, pineapple, coconut, herbs, roasted garlic and roasted red/green bell peppers” Naturally, its made by a company called Bad Bone. Sadly, Bad Bone is a goner. No longer in business. Someone, quick, create a spice blend with those same ingredients and sell!!! I will be your number one fan.
If you like this recipe, I know you’ll love: