I rarely measure any ingredients while I’m cooking, so this recipe will be an estimation. The real trick to cooking is to taste as you go wherever possible. I buy frozen salmon fillets and cook them from frozen, so they defrost in the pan or the oven. This recipe is for one serving, but it is easy to double or triple as long as you have a pan that is big enough.
- 1 salmon fillet
- soy sauce
- brown sugar
- vinegar, any kind that you have
- sesame oil (optional)
- squeeze of lemon
- any green vegetable. I like to use green beans, but broccoli would be really good here.
1) If you want to serve with rice, start cooking it first. Noodles can also be good, but you should rinse them with cold water to remove excess starch, so you can make them in advance as well.
2) Start by popping your salmon into a frying pan. If it is frozen, let it defrost for a while before cooking, or let it do so in the pan, just make sure to check that it’s completely cooked before eating.
3) When the outside of the salmon is beginning to cook, add a splash of soy sauce, about 1 tablespoon, along with half a teaspoon of vinegar and a whole teaspoon of brown sugar. Move it around to mix and let the sugar dissolve, then leave it to thicken and caramelize on one side of the salmon.
4) If you are using a frozen vegetable, you can add it directly to the pan so the sauce sticks to it. Frozen vegetables bring more water to the pan, so the sauce will need more time to thicken up again. If you want to add more soy sauce or any other ingredients to make the dish saucier, now is a good time. I also like to add sesame seeds and some ginger and garlic powder. If you have chili powder or fresh chili, add it now as well. Black pepper is also always a good addition to any dish.
5) Turn the salmon as you see fit, and stir the vegetables until you are happy with them. It may be necessary to cut into the salmon to ensure it is fully cooked. A green vegetable should be a more vibrant green, and the salmon should be opaque all the way through, especially if it was previously frozen. When it is cooked through and you are happy with the consistency of the sauce, you are pretty much done. This is when you should add a tiny drizzle of sesame oil.
6) Put your rice or noodles into a bowl or on a plate and remove the salmon from the pan along with the vegetables. At this point I like to add a squeeze of lemon juice and some more sesame seeds and dig in.
Like most things I cook for myself, this is a recipe that you can change as much as you like. Brown sugar can be substituted for any sweetener. You can start with a clove of garlic and some oil in the pan or add some fresh ginger. Scallions would be really nice to finish the dish. Salmon can be switched for chicken or any protein, and you can use any vegetables you like.
You could even pop all the ingredients onto a baking sheet and into the oven, but cooking in a pan gives you more control over the consistency of the sauce. As you make this, you can make adjustments and figure out the flavours and method that you like.
Featured image: Cookipedia