Salmon is one of my favourite fishes, healthy, tasty and easy to prepare. We get crunchy skin and incredible soft, pink flesh. Glazed with soy sauce and mirin for an extra punch and a refreshing cucumber salad to go with it. The best of it is that it is cooked in about ten minutes and you only need one pan and one bowl!
This recipe was created casually, almost by accident as I found some nice quality salmon at the supermarket and had to finish up some leftover fresh dill before it slowly dies in the fridge. I was in the mood for a light, crunchy salad to go with the delicate fish and dill works great with cucumber and mustard, so they were an obvious choice. I also wanted to deglaze the pan after frying the fish to save all the fishy goodness that stuck on the bottom of the pan, so the soy and mirin glaze was born. Sometimes you just don’t need a recipe.
- salmon filet, skin on (150-300g per person)
- 1 medium sized cucumber per person
- olive oil, mustard, dill, vinegar, soy sauce and mirin
- Remove the salmon from its packaging, pat dry with kitchen towel. Check for bones, which are quite easy to find in salmon. Drizzle the skin with a little olive oil and rub it in.
- Place a skillet on medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, place the salmon in it, skin side down and fry without moving it for about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop the cucumber in small chunks, season with mustard, fresh or dried dill, a little vinegar (red wine vinegar works great here), salt and a little pepper. Stir thoroughly, check seasoning and let rest until the salmon is finished. I like to serve this dish in the same bowl that I use for making the cucumber salad. Less washing up 😉 .
- Check the salmon. The skin should now be golden brown. Turn the filet around and fry on the other side, again, without moving it around. You can check the “rawness” of the samon at the sides of the filet. When it is done to your liking (I like mine pink in the middle), remove it from the skillet and place it, skin side up, on the cucumber salad.
- Now it’s time for the glaze. Add a generous glug of mirin and soy sauce (don’t overdo the soy sauce, it is very salty) to the skillet you used for the salmon and let reduce over medium to high heat until it starts to thicken significantly. Pour over the salmon and dig in!
I won’t give you exact macros for this recipe, as it mostly depends on the size of the filet you use. Choose the salmon regarding to your protein and fat demands. It has more fat than most “dieting foods” but it is so healthy that this is worth the trade off. Cucumbers have very little macros, so add as much as you feel you need to have a satisfying meal. After this, you just have to log the remaining condiments, like olive oil, mustard, mirin and soy sauce. As you don’t need much of these ingredients, very little calories are added to the salmon fillet in the end.
Change it up
You can easily change the salmon for any other fish that is appropriate for frying in a pan. Make sure that the skin goes crispy and doesn’t fall off or stick to the pan easily. I know that fresh herring and mackerel work well, but talk to your fishmonger in case of doubt.
The cucumbers can be swapped out (or mixed with) any other vegetable fit for eating raw. Tomatoes or bell peppers come to mind.
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