We should eat more fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, but many people are afraid of cooking it. Like steak, fish is (rightfully) expensive and rather easily ruined by overcooking. Fear no more, I have a super simple and tasty way to juicy, flaky fish, crispy skin and a great side dish all in one! Give it a try and thank me later.
I saw a big salmon tail at the Turkish supermarket. Fat and glistening in its bed of crushed ice. I had to buy it and I am so happy I did. Especially because it was a bargain! Buying bone on, skin on fish saves a lot of money and allows for a special cooking method rarely used for fish by “normal people” because nobody likes fish bones. I am no exception to this, but pulling the flaky salmon from its bones is child’s play and you are rewarded with an extremely easy preparation and extra flavour.
Because I often get weird looks: yes, you can eat lemons! No, not when they are raw, but baked along the veggies, they somehow sweeten up, almost turning into marmalade. Sometimes the peel turns a little black, but don’t discard them, they aren’t burnt, this is caramelisation!
Invest in a really good, quality curry blend. I strongly advise you visiting a proper spice shop and take a look around. You will find several curry blends, and probably a least one of them especially fits for fish. While you are there, don’t even try to resist the temptation of buying more spice blends, they will serve you well.
Do not be afraid to prepare a little more of the dish. Any leftovers of the fish will keep in the fridge for one to two days. Remove the bones before you put it in the fridge, as this is much easier as long as the fish is warm.
- a 1kg slice of whole salmon, skin on, bone in
- 2kg carrots
- 2 lemons
- salt, pepper, a high quality curry blend
- Preheat the oven to 230°C.
- Cut the carrots into 3cm chunks and add with a few teaspoons of olive oil to a baking dish. Season with salt, pepper and curry and toss thoroughly. Quarter the lemons, slice into 1cm slices and sprinkle over the carrots. Bake for 20-25 minutes (fan on) in the oven.
- Meanwhile, score the salmon skin 1cm deep at 2cm intervals. Rub with a little olive oil, season with salt and curry and place on the carrots as soon as they are done.
- Bake for another 20-25 minutes until the skin is golden.
It is difficult to accurately track the macros of baked salmon, but you can slightly “over-track” the weight of cooked salmon to be on the safe side. Even better, you can divide it into portions and divide the weight of the salmon by the amount of portions. 1kg of bone in salmon provide four very generous portions for Chantal and me. The same is true for the carrots. Don’t forget to track a little olive oil (we used it for the carrots and for the salmon skin)!
I am sure you can use different fish for this recipe, just adjust the cooking time according to the size of the fish. Also try to find a fish that has a skin that turns nice and crunchy when baked. Talk to your fishmonger when in doubt!
You can use all sorts of veggies and citrus fruits for this recipe, just go by what is in season. Avoid watery veggies like courgettes as they release too many juices while baking in the oven. Root veggies are a safe bet. Increase the baking time (before you add the fish) for veggies that need to be cooked through, like parsnips or potatoes.
You don’t have to use curry if you don’t like it. I can see a mediterrean variation with thyme, rosemary or fennel seeds. Maybe smoked paprika for a Spanish touch? And, of course, some garlic! Just go by feel, fish, especially salmon, isn’t complicated!
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