Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pan-Seared Salmon with Sesame Seed Crust

Source: Cook's Illustrated

I have a penchant for smothering most of my seafood in cream-based sauces. As one of my favorite comedians Jim Gaffigan has said, "You know what's good on fish? Anything that kills the taste of fish." 

When I saw this recipe, I had originally planned on making the suggested chutney, too, but had to skip it when I was missing several key ingredients. I ended up being glad I didn't, because this was SO GOOD. It came together incredibly quick. I ended up using skinless fillets, and I just loved the crust that the pan-searing left on both sides of the fish. The combination of salt, pepper, and sesame was heavenly.  Simple and filling. You must try this recipe!

Being that my fish was skinless, I kept the sesame seeds to one of the tops and sides, and started searing the fish on the seedless side first. 

Pan-Seared Salmon with Sesame Seed Crust

1/4cup sesame seeds
4salmon fillets skin-on, each about 6 ounces and 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick
Table salt and ground black pepper
3teaspoons canola oil or vegetable oil


1. Heat a 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet for 3 minutes over high heat. Spread sesame seeds in a pie plate. Rub salmon fillets with 2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then press flesh sides of fillets in sesame seeds to coat.

2. Add remaining oil to pan; swirl to coat. When oil shimmers (but does not smoke) add fillets skin side down and cook, without moving fillets, until pan regains lost heat, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium-high; continue to cook until skin side is well browned and bottom half of fillets turns opaque, 4 1/2 minutes. Turn fillets and cook, without moving them, until they are no longer translucent on the exterior and are firm, but not hard, when gently squeezed: 3 minutes for medium-rare and 3 1/2 minutes for medium. Remove fillets from pan, being careful not to break sesame crust; let stand 1 minute. Pat with paper towel to absorb excess fat on surface, if desired. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

FJ said...

I'm trying this!