BLACK AND WHITE SESAME SALMON
When it’s in season, my favorite salmon is wild king. Packed with Omega-3 oils, this is one of the healthiest fish choices you can make. Sesame seeds can be found in the Asian aisle of your grocer or an Asian market. Store sesame seeds in the refrigerator as they have a high oil content and can go rancid if not stored properly. Serve salmon warm on roast or grilled asparagus spears or cool on a bed of baby spinach leaves with orange segments and a sesame-orange vinaigrette.
- 1 14-16 ounce (454 grams) salmon fillet (skin yourself or have the seafood counter do it for you)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (or vegetable or grapeseed oil)
- Salt & pepper to taste (I use Penzey’s Szechuan Pepper Salt blend)
- 1 tablespoon neutral flavored oil (I use grapeseed)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives (optional garnish)
- If the salmon is refrigerated, allow it to sit on the counter about 30 minutes to get the chill off.
- Place salmon skin side down on a cutting board. With a thin, sharp knife (filet knife if you have one), slip the knife blade between the skin and salmon flesh with the blade facing away from you. Hold the edge of the skin on the board tightly and with your knife blade angles slightly down, slice between the skin and fish all the way to the end. Remove the skin completely. You should have a clean piece of skin to discard with little salmon attached.
- Next, turn salmon over with the bottom up. Carefully trim any dark purple bloodline. Gently run your fingers along the sides of the filets looking for pin bones. Remove bones with pliers or tweezers.
- With rounded side up, season salmon with salt and pepper blend.
- Mix sesame seeds and place on a small flat plate. Drizzle a few drops of sesame oil on each salmon filet and rub to coat the surface of the fish. Place salmon rounded side down in the sesame seeds and press gently to adhere. Remove salmon filets to a clean plate or waxed paper until ready to cook. Discard any leftover sesame seeds from the plate, as they have touched raw fish and cannot be saved.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat with about 2 teaspoons of oil. When hot, place salmon filets sesame side down. Cook until sesame seeds are golden and a crust has formed. Gently turn the salmon over and turn heat to low. Cook salmon just a few minutes longer. It will be firm to the touch but until still a little translucent in the center. Timing will depend on the thickness of your filets, but it doesn’t take long. My 1″ thick filets were done in about 7 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped chives for garnish if desired.