Friday, March 1, 2013

Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon – Sometimes Cooking’s Not Pretty

I wouldn’t exactly call this baked lemon pepper salmon a failed experiment, as the cooking method shown herein is a very useful tool in the ongoing battle against boring salmon; but my attempt to fuse lemon and pepper flavor onto the surface with a quick pickling suffered from lack of sweetness. 

Such is cooking. Live, learn, and occasionally eat too tart and peppery salmon. Anyway, every time we’d post one of our broiled salmon recipes, I’d get emails from people without broilers asking how they can get the same results, so I figured my little trial by acid would make for a good excuse to show how easy baked salmon is. 

As long as you get your oven nice and hot, and aren’t afraid to poke the fish with a fork to check, you should be enjoying tender, moist, flaky meat every time. You can always cook it more, so check after 10 minutes and go from there. If you test in the filet's natural seams, the evidence of your breaking and entering will hardly be noticeable, and easily covered by a sauce or slice of lemon.

If you use my recipe, you may want to adjust the pepper and acidity of the lemon with something on the sweet side. Pretty much any kind of glaze or marinade will work with this easy technique, and many of them (most of them) will look better than this. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2:
two 8-10 oz center-cut salmon filets, boned, skin on
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp miso paste
2 tsp mustard
1 1/2 tbsp mayo
cayenne to taste
salt to taste
*Next time I’ll add some Hoisin sauce or something sweet to balance the flavors better.
Bake at 450 degrees F. 10-15 min or until done.

View the complete recipe

15 comments:

Monica Boules said...

It doesn't look THAT bad...

K-anne Jacoba said...

I basically tried this with my canned tuna :P

I also didn't have miso so I substituted it with chili garlic

I also didn't have mayonnaise so I put in creamy yogurt.

I put in 1 tsp honey because I wasn't able to read the hoisin sauce note.

It was delicious! It's good to eat as a dish if I had a real block of salmon but since I didn't it was soooo good as a salmon wrap. :)

I hope my taking liberty on this recipe doesn't offend you, Chef :( I love your cooking.

Chef John said...

Offend me?! Never! Sounds good!

Paul Thatcher said...

Hey Chef John on the fish topic I have a challenge for you! on that show top chef they made a potato wrapped fish dish. I do a lot of spearfishing(I get a lot of hogfish) I tried the famouse "Le Cirque potato wrapped fish" and it was a disaster. Are you up for the challenge??

megalita said...

I would sack the mayo, definitely add hoisin. The Moosewood people did a healthy cookbook and one of their recipes is a backed salmon in a miso-hoisin sauce and it is delicious. This video reminded me of that and I need to go back to it. If you really wanted the straight lemon-pepper route, I would again sack the mayo (ok, not a fan of baked mayo here, though I love it on sandwiches and in tuna/chicken/lobster/crab/egg salad) and add honey. If you add buckwheat honey, it will give some of the earthiness that hoisin brings along with the sweet but won't interfere with the lemon/pepper/dijon thing.

Unknown said...

Thank you for posting about a recipe that wasn't quite right for your tastes. So many times I think about blogging a recipe I tried but I run into a similar problem and I hesitate to post about it since I don't feel it's quite right.

IMHO one of the best things about cooking is getting the recipe just right for your personal tastes. You've inspired me o blog my " not quite right but still yummy" attempts as well.

Coco said...

Actually I think wild salmon is flash frozen when caught to preserve the freshness during transportation. So frozen wild is your best option!

This still looks good! Maybe a little paprika on top for color and a little honey in the glaze.

Joshua Reeder said...

A good flavorful beer like a locally brewed amber works well in the marinade. The sweetness will balance out the flavor profile and beer will give the fish a nice carmelized color. Cheers.

Unknown said...

I'm just going to confirm that this recipe is amazing with the hoisin, salmon was perfectly cooked after 15 minutes.

Another gem from Food Wishes !

Jeff Ironmonger said...

Try white pepper next time

Jeff Ironmonger said...

Chef John,

Try white pepper next time.

Xavier Ng said...

Hey chef John. Recently i tried your recipe but something turned out wrong. The sauce, turned yellow instead of white. Can you help me with that? Thanks.

Chef John said...

Sorry, no idea!

Shirley said...

Hello chef John!! I've always loved watching your cooking videos & find them very entertaining, makes me hungry every time I watch them haha, your cooking techniques are very useful too!! I tried your reciepe on the lemon pepper salmon & turned out perfect!! Thank you so much & keep up the great work :)

M Din said...

Thank you! I was always baking my salmon at too low of a temp, now I know! Your videos are so helpful!