Anyway, today's main character is salmon, 鮭. I believe this fish is not unfamiliar for those who love Japanese food eh, the distinctive orange-pinkish texture.
Image by CLF via Flickr
Salmon doesn't have those strong fishy smell, thus most people can accept it.
It's bone can be easily retrieve and that's another plus point considering that we normally would take time to pick the bones out while eating fish.
Salmon can be eaten raw (sushi and sashimi) and cooked in many ways. The theory behind this flexibility is beyond my knowledge, but as long as it taste good, the public can accept it, then it's good enough for me.
I learn a little trick or two to prepare salmon back in KL where my mother showed me how to do it the easy way.
Below is my noob ways of cooking it, it's nothing comparable to those pro chefs or mothers who've been cooking for centuries.... lol.
#1 Microwave salmon.
As the name suggested, it's fairly easy to start with.
Things you need:
- Salmon steak/fillet.
- Microwave oven.
- Oil, sauce etc. (variable, depends on what you had).
1) Get the salmon steak placed on the microwaveable plate (make sure it won't explode lol). It's better that if it's defrosted, if not, just leave the frosted salmon out for awhile like 30 mins until the meat is kinda tender and soft.
2) Add flavouring like soy sauce, oyster sauce etc. that you can get, based on your liken. Back home we usually use both soy sauce and oyster sauce.
If you like you may add a little amount of oil in, or perhaps a butter. Salmon itself produces the fish oil when heated so just a little additional of oil will do. The salmon's oil is good for health by the way.
Oh and a dash of pepper, or pinch of salt is good too.
3) Send the poor fish into the microwave oven. Tentatively, heat it for about 4~5 mins under slightly-above-average heat. When it's done, you can leave the dish in there for awhile before collecting it. Let the heat accumulated inside to further heat the fish.
4) After awhile (5 ~ 15 mins after the microwave done), you may collect and consume the fish.
2 pics here of the final result, with and without flash.
You may noticed the large pile of dried black sauce on the plate is due to the overheating, which is the problem I had. So it's wise to put the heat level around the middle.
Comparing it to the one I made back in KL.
Also, this method may make the microwave oven dirty due to the oil being microwaved, it would splash~ So it's good that you prepared tissue papers to wipe the mess off after finish with the salmon business.
#2 Stir fry salmon.
Another conventional method to cook salmon besides the lazy way mentioned above.
Things you need:
- Salmon steak/fillet.
- Fry pan.
- Oil, sauce, flavourings etc.
1) Again like above, get the salmon steak defrosted before proceed with the cooking. Leave it there for ~30 mins for the flesh to get tender and soft, and you're prepare to cook.
2) Depending on personal preference, you can choose to apply the sauce to the salmon before cooking it, like marinate it to give it a better taste.
You can do so few hours prior cooking it, or maybe let it marinate overnight?
Never really try this before as I normally do without marinating it.
I think soy sauce, oyster sauce are good marinating agents, maybe you have your own secret recipe eh?
3) I personally would prefer to add a little oil and some garlics into the fry pan to heat things up a bit before placing the poor fish in.
For now I would cook under low heat as I still can't control the fire just yet.
4) After the pan is heated up, you can start to fry the salmon bit by bit. You can flip the fish over from time to time. I usually use the stirrer and the fork to flip it over.
5) Also, while stir frying the salmon, add some sauce and water into it so that it won't be too dry up.
6) It should be cooked after 5~10 mins of stir frying. You can check whether it's cooked by poking the flesh with the fork, check out the meat inside.
Do note that salmon doesn't need to be cooked 100% or it will be kinda hard to chew later on.
7) You may stop the fire and serve the salmon when you think it's cooked enough.
Pics from my "experiment".
Salmon is relatively easy to prepare, a good fish to start off for beginners like me.
It might not be the cheapest fish, but it's reasonably available.
Back in Malaysia I think the reasonable price is around RM 25~30/kg at hypermarkets (Carrefour, Tesco, Giant etc.).
Here in Japan they usually cost 80~90 yen (~RM 3.25) for a half U-shape salmon steak. How much it's worth per kilogram I didn't take notice of it.
Also take note that, salmon doesn't need to be 100% cooked. Best is let it cooked around 80~90% to retain the tenderness and juice of the fish itself.
More than that, you'll noticed the fish's texture changed and you may not like the flaky and hard characteristic, in other words, not chewy.
There are still a lot of ways to prepare a salmon dish, and I just shared with you 2 methods which I currently know how to prepare it.
I dunno how to make salmon sushi, but might try salmon sashimi if I had the fresh ingredients.
Cutting the salmon slices into sashimi requires precise knifework, to get the thickness just right, not too thick and not too thin.
That's all for now which I wanted to share about my cooking experience so far. Feel free to share any of your stories or recipes if you have one. :D