Salmon is lovely to eat only if it's cooked right, medium rare, but not well done. Overcook it and it will be tough, dry and flaky. I always try to choose salmon fillets that have more fat on it. After all, it contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids which are good for you (and especially for the kids). I find that baking salmon fillets in the oven is easiest in order to produce perfectly cooked salmon, as this method ensures that the fish is evenly cooked, compared to pan-frying it which often results in oil splatters all over the stove (in my case anyway). I've heard that if you want to pan-fry it, you should start with the salmon in a cold pan with a little oil, and then slowly heat it up, skin-side down. I have yet to try that method though.
I came across this recipe for baked salmon with a miso and mayonnaise cream, and miso-mayo is a classic combination in Japanese cuisine (I believe). It's really easy to prepare, and you can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge overnight until you're ready to cook it. Great for those busy weeknight meals, and all it takes is 15 minutes in the oven for that perfectly cooked salmon. The creamy miso-mayo with ground sesame seeds and thinly sliced onions go really well with the salmon. It's absolutely delicious with steamed white rice and some miso soup! Find the recipe after the jump.
Adapted from Classic Japanese Cooking Course by Masaki Ko
4 salmon fillets (about 675g or 1 1/2 lb total weight)
1 medium onion, halved and very thinly sliced
4 shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and thinly sliced
30g / 1 oz Cheddar cheese, grated
Ground white sesame seeds
Seven flavour spice (shichimi) (optional)
1/2 cup Japanese mayonnaise
3 tbsp white or red miso
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F. Mix the miso-mayo paste until well combined.
- Make a deep cut along the length of the centre of each salmon fillet, without cutting all the way through.
- Cut four large pieces of foil enough to enclose each fillet completely.
- Spread 1 1/2 tbsp miso-mayo in the middle of each foil. Divide the onions and mushrooms among the four portions and place it over the miso-mayo. Top it with the salmon. Spoon the remaining miso-mayo into the slits made in the salmon. Top with grated cheese and ground sesame Sprinkle with shichimi if used.
- Fold the foil tightly to enclose the contents and prevent any leakage while baking. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Open the foil and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned. You can turn on the grill/broiler for 1-2 minutes if you like.
- Transfer the open foil packets to serving plates and serve immediately with steamed white rice.
Tip: The salmon needs to be served immediately. Don't leave the cooked salmon wrapped in the foil as it will continue to cook from the remaining heat. If the serving is too much, just bake 2 parcels and refrigerate the other two for baking the next day.