The idea of cooking fish used to daunt me. After a full day of work and working out, I’d think up every excuse not to make it. My two biggest worries were that it would take too long and that I’d overcook it.
Then, I realized that if I can master three sports, cooking a piece of salmon should be a piece of cake. I surfed around the web looking at recipes and discovered that cooking fish is actually pretty speedy. Roasting seemed the most foolproof, since the cooking time is relatively predictable.
After a bunch of experimenting, I settled on this tangy salmon as my staple fish dish. I often eat it over a big salad or in fish tacos. It’s particularly delicious when cooked in Follow the salsa directions up through simmering the rice vinegar. Then turn off the heat, stir in the black pepper and chopped jalapeno, nestle two salmon filets into the salsa, and roast at 400° F. for 10 to 12 minutes. The filets absorb the salsa’s flavor as they cook. To maximize flavor absorption, ask your fishmonger to skin the filets for you.
Braggs Liquid Aminos, which flavors the salmon, is a natural, gluten-free alternative to soy sauce. It smells a bit like fish sauce right out of the bottle, but the fishiness fades with cooking. You can find it near the soy sauce in the grocery store.
Do ahead: Rub the salmon with the brown sugar and Braggs Liquid Aminos or soy sauce up to four hours ahead.
Sweet & Salty Glazed Salmon
Time: about 25 minutes
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 8-ounce salmon or Arctic char filets
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Braggs Liquid Aminos or 2 teaspoons soy sauce
Freshly-ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly oil the foil.*
Pat the filets dry and use a pliers to remove any pin bones (Chow.com’s handy video illustrates how to do this). Rub each filet with 1 teaspoon of the brown sugar and ½ teaspoon of the Braggs Liquid Aminos. Season each filet with a turn of black pepper.
Place the filets on the foil-lined baking sheet and roast until the salmon is just cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Slice into the center of the largest filet to check if it’s done. The fish should be a light salmon color on the outside half-inch or so, and a brighter pinkish orange at the core.
*I use an olive oil mister to grease pans, and Melissa uses a spray bottle that she found at the hardware store. We use less oil when we spray it on than when we pour it, and the mister/spray bottle lets us avoid chemical-laden commercial cooking sprays.