Lemon Crusted Pan-Fried Salmon with Asparagus
There is no marriage that makes more sense than the coming together of fresh salmon and lemon. The fatty fish shines in this simple recipe - beautifully pan fried and served with a side of grilled asparagus.
As I learn more about cooking, I am beginning to understand the importance of technique. I've watched almost every episode of Masterchef Australia - and learnt a whole bunch through the yells and advice of Gary, Matt and George. 3 years ago I would have never bothered pan-frying fish because I always ended up with either soggy fish, or broken up pieces. But the magic is in the heat - a little patience - and some know how. I got mine from watching others cook!
A little background behind the photo - we spent 2 weeks living in a campervan in the South islands of New Zealand where eating out is expensive but market produce is incredibly fresh (still not cheap though!) I came up with a series of quick 'campervan cooks' and this was one of the meals I made - eaten at sunset next to Lake Pukaki on a freedom camping night ♥
Recipe serves 2 people. 5 mins prep time, total cook time approximately 20 mins.
2 salmon steaks
Rind of 1 whole lemon, grated
1 bunch asparagus
1 teaspoon chili flakes/powder
4-6 whole garlic, skin off
2 tablespoon olive oil for frying
Salt & black pepper to taste
Lemon wedge for serving
1. Season salmon with half the lemon rinds, chili flakes, salt and pepper.
2. Heat up oil on medium heat until the pan sizzles at a drop of water. The pan is now ready - gently place the fish on the pan skin side down. Do not touch and let it cook for 6 - 7 minutes.
3. Add whole garlics in the pan, turning occasionally so it does not burn.
4. Once fish skin is crispy, gently turn and let it fry for another 5-6 minutes. Avoid picking on the fish and moving it around too much.
5. Once browned and slightly crispy, set aside and remove the garlics. In the same pan, quickly fry the asparagus with some butter and salt.
6. Serve warm with a dusting of that yummy lemon rind, fresh black pepper and lemon wedge.
ALY'S COOKING TIPS
1. Always cook your fish skin side down first. This allows the bulk of the cooking on a side that will not burn, and will give you that delicious crispy skin.
2. Avoid picking and moving the fish around when frying. This limits the chances of it breaking up, and results in an even golden brown. Remember the secret to delicious salmon is its crusty brown exterior!
3. Grated lemon rinds are a great seafood seasoning. I make my own lemon salt by adding salt with the grated rinds, leaving it out in the sun until the moisture in the rinds have are removed, and bottling for future flavouring.