Crispy-Skin King Salmon is the Star

Crispy-Skin King Salmon

Crispy-Skin King Salmon
Israeli Couscous with Feta, Herbs, Tomatoes
Smoky Garbanzos

This is king salmon season, and the star of this mouthwatering, vibrant dish is Wild King Salmon from Alaska.

Wild Alaska king salmon are the gourmet’s salmon because of their large luscious flakes and high fat content — sometimes twice that of sockeye and coho. King salmon store this fat for their journey up North America’s longest river systems. When you eat wild Alaska king, you’re tasting the anticipation of this river journey in the fish’s flesh.

Like a well-marbled steak, this fat melts into the salmon, giving king salmon an unrivaled mouth feel. And remember, these are the good fats: the natural, marine-derived omega-3s that heart doctors celebrate. Because of this fat, king salmon is perfect for grilling and searing with just salt and pepper. King salmon needs little else. (from Sitka Salmon Shares)

In today’s dish, the salmon is first rubbed with an olive oil blend then simply seasoned with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. It is cooked until the skin is perfectly crisp and the flesh is just perfectly cooked through.

King Salmon Recipe

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Blackened Salmon-Skin Chopped Salad

Alaskan Copper River King Salmon was selling at our nearby market for $40/lb. The local Whole Foods fishmonger told me that their store was not carrying Copper River this year because it was too expensive. Luckily we discovered another fabulous source for King Salmon (aka Chinook): Youngs Bay, Oregon. Copper River King Salmon is still a treat, the world’s finest salmon, the ultimate fish luxury due to its very high oil content stored for the long journey in pristine icy waters. But the less expensive Youngs Bay does come in a very close second…

This past Saturday I shared a recipe for a steamed filet of Salmon with Meyer Lemon Cream. Before steaming a filet, the skin must be removed. Here, the skin removed from that filet is made into a spicy crunchy chopped salad. Youngs Bay Chinook may be less expensive, but it’s not cheap, so we don’t want to waste any bit of it!

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Salmon & Salmon Skin Spinach Salad, Miso Chile Lime Dressing

Wild King Salmon Filet & Crispy Salmon Skin
Baby Spinach
Black & White Sesame Seeds
Bonito Flakes
Kizami Nori
Miso Chile Lime Dressing

My Citrus Salad Tree was planted a year ago. The first fruit to ripen is the Bearss Lime Tahiti Seedless, also known as a Persian Lime. This is a citrus tree that has 5 varieties of fruit grafted onto one trunk. In addition to the Persian Limes, there are Valencia Orange, Honey Mandarin, Late Lane Navel, and Minneola Tangelo (a cross between grapefruit and tangerine).

Each arm is tagged.
I’m using the Persian Lime in this dressing.
Cannot wait for the rest of the fruits to ripen!

Miso Chile Lime Dressing:

  • 2 t. Miso (shiromiso, white soybean paste)
  • 1/2 c. Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 T. Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 t. Soy Sauce (low-sodium)
  • 2 T. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 t. Red Chile Pepper Flakes
Whisk all ingredients together. Miso dressing is one of my favorites, I like to make different versions for different salads. In this version I substituted white miso for red, lime juice for lemon, and red chile flakes for ginger. My original recipe here.

Buy Fresh Wild King Salmon filet with skin on. Rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Slice off the skin leaving about a half inch of meat attached. Toss with salt and pepper.

Separate the dressing; one part for salad,  one part for marinade. Marinate the filet.

Place salmon skin slices (skin side up) and filet on a broiler pan. Broil under high heat for about 8 minutes until the skin is crispy and the filet is just cooked.

Toss the warm crispy salmon skin slices with baby spinach and miso chile lime dressing.

Sprinkle with black and white sesame seeds, bonito flakes (shavings from dried smoked bonito, a type of tuna) and kizami nori (roasted shredded seaweed). Top with salmon filet.

The spinach wilts slightly amidst the crispy skin and warm filet. Really enjoyed the different textures and bright flavors here. I’m looking forward to creating more citrus-based dressings as the fruits on my Citrus Salad Tree ripen! Please let me know if you have an interesting recipe using any of the fruits mentioned above.