It’s a good thing I’m a psychologist. Because when I wake up at 3:30 am thinking about cooking fish, I can reassure myself that I’ve been assessed by a competent clinician and don’t need to worry that I’m losing what’s left of my mind.
I am well aware that this blogging endeavor has made my temporally inappropriate, obsessional, arguably frivolous thinking about food much worse. If only I could figure how to channel all this creative energy into keeping Donald Trump out of the White House or reversing global warming. Speaking of which, Brian said that if The Donald gets elected he will eat his shoe. Which was supposed to comfort me, but instead kept me awake trying to come up with a delicious recipe for Shoe Parmesan.
But this salmon recipe! I did spend many, many sleepless nights working on this one. It was a puzzle I knew I could solve: every salmon cook’s quest for tender, silky, buttery, flavorful flesh and shatteringly crisp skin. The folks at ATK and Serious Eats have come very close; their recipes are excellent and I make them often. But…I wanted terrific flavor and greater extremes in texture and I knew it was possible.
And then it came to me: Cook the filet separately from the skin! This revelation was inspired by sushi-the wonderful Salmon Skin Hand Roll. When you cook skin that is not backed by flesh, both sides can become crisp. Removing the skin allows the fish to be marinated without the skin getting sogged out in the process; and this miso marinade (based on one from CI), is nuanced and perfectly balanced.
I am so delighted to share the results of my revelation with you; I know you’re going to love it. Please leave me a comment here or post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you make it!
Miso Glazed Salmon Revelation
This recipe serves 2, but multiplies easily.
1 pound center cut salmon filet
¼ cup white miso
2 tbs. organic cane sugar
3 tbs. white wine or sake
salt to taste
drizzle of neutral oil or oil spray
Cut the salmon into two portions and then remove the skin from each piece. Place the skin flesh side up on a paper towel lined plate and refrigerate.
Whisk the remaining ingredients in a bowl until a smooth paste forms. Place the fish in a shallow container and rub with the paste, coating all the surfaces. Refrigerate for at least 6 and up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a sheet pan with parchment and spray or rub with a bit of oil. Season both sides of the salmon skin with salt and place flesh side down on one side of the parchment (leaving room for the fish). Bake for 10 minutes.
Now, turn the oven down to 250°. Scrape most of the marinade off the fish and place on the other side of the parchment. Bake for 12 minutes. The salmon should be barely cooked in the center. If you like it cooked through, give it an extra minute.
Serve the salmon immediately, topped with the crispy skin, accompanied by lemon wedges.
Natural accompaniments are roasted veggies, done while the oven heats and the skin cooks. Here, I’ve done red cabbage, carrots, and white sweet potatoes. Brussels sprouts, green beans, fennel, and/or asparagus would all be wonderful.