Orange Ginger Glazed Salmon
Please pardon me a moment to tell you about sustainable fish. Please try to eat healthy, sustainable fish when you select seafood as a dining choice. This is a more powerful tool than any government regulation: the power of the consumer. If you make the choice to eat fish that are either farmed safely with minimal pollution OR fish that are relatively more abundant, you put the pressure on fisheries to make wiser choices. I’m a huge fan of aquaculture when done correctly and *gasp* despite being a biotechnology major I have some major issues with farmed genetically modified fish. I love the concept–farmed GM fish grow faster, quicker and therefore have less time to absorb mercury. Mercury in the oceans is a very real concern. Unfortunately there is a common problem with sea-adjacent aquaculture: escape. It is very common for hundreds of fish a year* to escape from the farms. There’s no major issue usually but genetically modified fish currently produce less viable offspring. Since they get larger faster, those that escape will get a higher proportion of matings and therefore if enough were to do this, the fish population would decrease.
I am not in anyway, shape or form suggesting that GM fish are not safe for human consumption; they are. I am a huge fan of consuming GM foods because they are NOT some freakish monster of Frankenstein’s imagination. Someday maybe I’ll do a post in favor of GM foods but that’s not an issue I’m currently in the mood to debate.
If you want help choosing your fish please visit the monteray bay aquarium website. You can even print out a region specific brochure to take with you when you go to the fish market/grocery store!
*This number was taken from a study in a biotech and agriculture public policy course. Feel free to correct me if you have better information.
Salmon w/Orange Ginger Glaze
Inspired by recipes in “Fish Without a Doubt”–wonderful book if you are new to fish like me!
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 Salmon Fillets (7-8 ounces each) skin on
- Salt and pepper (and a smidgen of cayenne pepper)
- Pinch of flour (any kind this is just for a cooking trick)
- 2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
Clean and prep the saute pan for the fish. Season both sides of the fish with salt/pepper/cayenne; skin on is going to be what’s on top so sprinkle some flour on this side. The flour helps crisp the skin and also keep it from sticking to the hot pan during the initial sear.
Heat the saute pan over high heat and add the butter to melt. You want the butter at room temperature for a specific reason. When the butter is cold out of the fridge, the outside will melt much faster than the more compact, chilled inside. This means by the time the butter melts completely the outer layer will turn brown. Room temperature butter aids in even heating.
Set in the salmon fillets, vertically with skinnier end facing you will reduce splatter, skin side down. Press down on the fish to flatten it if it curls and reduce the heat to medium/high heat. Cooking time depends on thickness of your fish. Mine was about 3/4 an inch thick and I left it to sear for approximately 3 minutes. I’d occasionally baste the top with some butter from the pan.
After 2-4 minutes (depending on cut thickness) flip your fish. This side will cook faster, 30 seconds-1minute, and I washed the top with my orange glaze continuously while it ran down the sides during this time. Remove your fish and set it on a plate to rest. Any extra glaze in the pan can be poured over the fish when you serve it. Yum! I did that on top a bed of blanched chard which made the veggies yummy too!