Simply seasoned, pan seared salmon brushed with a scrumptiously sticky sweet sriracha glaze and topped with fresh pineapple salsa.Guess what!? I was nominated for a Liebster. Are you staring at me, through the computer screen, with furrowed brows and a pondering look upon your face? No worries. When I got the ‘nod’ from Amanda, of The Chunky Chef food blog, I was immediately like, “Oh! Super sweet! Wait a minute… That IS a good thing, right?? I’m not being nominated to kick rocks in heavy traffic, am I??”
Turns out, it is a good thing. The Liebster awards are a way to recognize, and bring awareness to food bloggers, especially newbie bloggers such as myself… or at least that’s what my girl, The Chunky Chef says 😉 Along with this nomination, I have been tasked to answer a few of her questions, as a way for all of you to get to know me better. Then I need to tap a few bloggers for nomination and ask them a few questions. So I suppose it is, sort of, a Q & A duck-duck-goose, for food bloggers. In case you want to know my answers to Amanda’s questions and the bloggers I have nominated, I have included all of that at the bottom of this post.
Now, let’s get down to business, and discuss this tasty dish I have for you today. Sweet Sriracha Glazed Pan Seared Salmon with Pineapple-Jalapeno Salsa. Flavorful, glazed salmon that is a combination of sweet and spice and everything nice.
Thick King Salmon filets are simply seasoned in order to allow their innate rich flavor to shine through. Then they get pan seared to obtain a crispy exterior and a perfectly cooked, meltingly tender interior. Drizzled generously, the scrumptiously sticky glaze pairs fantastically with the salmon and does not muddle the crispy exterior. The glaze is sweet from the pineapple juice, brown sugar and mirin, and balanced by the slightly spicy heat from the Sriracha. The addition of soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger produce a glaze that provides serious umami flavor and is so good you could slurp it up on its own.
The accompanying salsa, made with fresh pineapple chunks, minced jalapenos, ginger and scallions further enhances the sweet and spicy combination to create a dish that explodes with flavor. However, this salsa is absolutely divine on its own or as a dip for chips, especially wonton chips!
- Pat the salmon thoroughly dry between paper towels before cooking and using dry seasoning. (Note: If using a marinade, you will not be able to obtain crispy salmon skin)
- Use a stainless steel sauté pan and get the oil HOT! I’m not saying burn the house down, but you want the oil to be shimmering, over high heat. Then immediately turn down the heat, to between medium low and medium, and add the salmon.
- Add the salmon SKIN side DOWN. It will mostly cook on this side and the skin helps protect the fish. If you do not like the skin, no worries, it easily peels off once cooked.
- Depending on the thickness of the salmon, it might try to curl up on you, always use a fish spatula to press down on the salmon. This prevents curling and also allows full contact between the salmon and the pan.
5. Do NOT try to force flip the salmon! If the salmon is still clinging onto the pan, it is letting you know it needs a little bit more time on that side. Think of this as an internal thermometer the salmon was born with. If the salmon is still sticking, give it another minute then try again.
6. Flip the salmon and use an instant read thermometer to cook the salmon on this side until desired doneness is achieved. I highly recommend you do not go over medium (140 degrees F. Once it rests, the final temperature will be about 143-145 degrees).
7. Final note, I recommend choosing King Salmon for pan searing as it yields thick filets, perfect for this preparation.
Now that you have a few guidelines, and helpful hints, for how to obtain perfectly cooked, crispy salmon, you MUST give this recipe a try. If you want to know my answers to Amanda’s questions, and the blogs I nominated, keep reading on. If not, scroll down and print out this recipe, because it is entirely too delicious to pass up. Until next time, cheers!
My answers to Chunky Chef’s Questions:
- Question: What inspired you to start blogging?
Answer: My passion for food, ultimately led me to blogging. However, after graduating culinary school, the demanding hours required by working in a restaurant made it impossible for me to actually follow my dream of starting a food blog. It was not until my father was diagnosed with a terminal illness that I left the professional kitchen in order to care for him full time. Before he passed away I swore to him I would start a food blog. So, here I am!
- Question: How did you come up with the name of your blog?
Answer: Boy and I were sitting around trying to think of funny blog names and somehow this just blurted out of one of our mouths. I’m not even sure which one of us came up with the name, it was an honest collaboration of both of our silly senses of humor.
- Question: What are your favorite TV shows?
Answer: Banshee, Suits, House of Cards, The Walking Dead, The Real Housewives (all of them).
- Question: When you have free time, how do you like to spend it?
Answer: Easy question. In my pajamas with Boy and my two dogs. Either in the kitchen developing recipes or on the couch relaxing with a big bowl of popcorn and one of our favorite TV shows.
- Question: Are you a fan of spicy food?
Answer: Hell yes
- Question: Do you have a favorite alcoholic (or non-alcoholic drink)?
Answer: Mimosa, Skinny Margarita or Fre Red Wine Blend (an alcohol removed wine that is quite delicious)
- Question: Who inspired you to start cooking? To start blogging?
Answer: See answer to question 1 – My dad.
- Question: What are some goals you have for yourself this year?
Answer: Work on my food photography skills and continue to improve NSN as a food blog.
- Question: What is something about you that people might consider odd or quirky?
Answer: I have a ‘voice’ for both of my dogs and we have very in depth, intellectual conversations on a daily basis.
- Question: What is one food you just can’t get tired of eating?
Answer: popcorn… or egg whites… or yellowfin tuna. Or Chateaubriand. Sorry, I can’t pick one. I’m a rebel without a cause.
- Question: Do you have a vehicle? If so, what kind is it?
Answer: In my head, Aston Martin Vanquish. In real life, Toyota 4- Runner
My 5 nominations:
- What is your favorite part of blogging?
- What is your least favorite part of blogging?
- Are you organized or chaotic in the kitchen?
- Name one pantry staple you cannot live without.
- What camera and lens(es) do you shoot with?
- What is your favorite dish you have prepared on your blog?
- Do you have any food allergies?
- Is there any food you absolutely refuse to try, ever?
- If you had to live off one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- If you were stranded on an island and you could only take 5 things, what would you take?
- What is one piece of advice, or tip, you would give someone who is about to start a food blog?
- 1 pound King Salmon Filet(s)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 TBS Canola Oil (can substitute vegetable oil)
- ½ Cup Pineapple Juice
- 1 TBS + 1 tsp Sriracha
- 2 TBS Light Brown Sugar, packed
- 1 TBS Soy Sauce
- 2 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 TBS Mirin
- 1 large clove of Garlic - minced
- 2 tsp Ginger - grated
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 2 tsp Cornstarch
- 2 tsp Lime Juice
- Pineapple- Jalapeno Salsa:
- 1 Cup Pineapple – peeled, cored and small dice
- ¼ Red Onion – small dice (about ½ cup)
- 1 small Jalapeno – seeds and ribs removed, finely diced (about 2 heaping TBS)
- 3 TBS Scallions, white and green part – chopped (about 2 large stalks)
- 1 tsp Ginger - grated
- 1 TBS Lime Juice
- 1 tsp Honey
- 2 tsp Mirin
- Splash of Pineapple Juice
- ⅛ tsp Salt
- ⅛ tsp Pepper
- Lime Wedges
- Scallions – sliced
- Sesame Seeds
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- For the Salsa: In a small bowl combine ginger, lime juice, honey, mirin, splash pineapple juice, salt and pepper. Set aside. In a medium size mixing bowl, gently combine remaining ingredients for the salsa (pineapple through scallions). Pour the wet ingredients over the fruit/vegetables and gently toss to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Cover and place in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to develop.
- For the Glaze: In a small saucepan, whisk together the pineapple juice, Sriracha, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, garlic, ginger, pinch of salt and pepper. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Mix together cornstarch and lime juice. Add to the sauce pan, stirring. Bring sauce to a boil and immediately reduce back to low. Continue to cook over low heat until sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
- Meanwhile cook the Salmon: Pat the salmon filets thoroughly dry between two pieces of paper towels, this will ensure a crispy sear. Season both sides of the salmon liberally with salt and pepper.
- Add oil to a large stainless steel skillet (do not use a nonstick skillet) and heat over medium high until oil starts to shimmer. Immediately reduce the heat to medium low, not allowing oil to burn.
- Add the salmon, skin side down, to the pan. Use a fish spatula to gently press on the filets to prevent them from curling up and to create full contact with the skin and the skillet. Cook until the skin is crispy and easily releases from the pan, about 6 minutes. If you have to force the salmon from the skillet, it is NOT ready to be flipped, continue cooking another 45 seconds-1 minute and try again. DO NOT force the salmon.
- Flip the salmon over and cook until a thermometer, inserted into the thickest part of the salmon, reads 125 degrees F for medium rare (about 3-4 minutes depending on thickness), or 130 degrees F for medium (about 1 minute longer). Transfer the salmon to a plate lined with paper towels. Allow to rest 2-3 minutes.
- To serve: Plate the salmon, drizzle with glaze and top with salsa.
*Serving suggestions: Rice, Asian noodles, steamed or roasted vegetables. I served mine with Sushi Rice and Roasted Asparagus Tips.