Writing a food blog is not as fun (really?) because when a recipe fails, we swallow the dish (with grace) and try the recipe over and over again until we get it right. Believe me when I said that my family has eaten a fair share of failed dishes – sometimes, when my obsessive behaviour takes over, the same dish dinner after dinner after dinner. Foodies like us can’t rest without getting it right, and we can become rather obsessive at times 😉
” Getting a recipe to work and making it work all the time is a remarkable feeling “
This dish is as easy as it looks. But yet, I have tried so many times just to get all the elements perfect. The crispy skin salmon and ginger scallion oil noodles can be enjoyed separately, but I prefer to eat them together because the flavours marry OH so well.
First thing is to get the crispy skin salmon to be, well, crispy outside and beautiful light pink inside. How many times have you pan fry the salmon but ended up with skin that sticks to your non-stick pan? And what about overcook salmon with dry flaky meat or undercook salmon? There are a lot of methods in the net that guarantees crispy skin salmon. I’ve tried many of them and this is one of the methods that work for me all the time – 1. Use a stainless steel fry pan, 2. Stick to the same size and thickness so you get the cooking time consistent all the time, 3. Rub oil and sprinkle sea salt flakes on the skin before pan fry and 4. Practice, practice, practice.
The next element – ginger scallion oil. This recipe is adapted from David Chang’s Momofuku but I prefer to sauté them in vegetable oil until the scallions have wilted and ginger has browned. This brings out their wonderful aromatic flavours which I obviously love to bits!
Lastly, the noodles. After many tests with different types of asian noodles including instant noodles, I finally settled on angel hair pasta. The angel hair pasta has its merits for not possessing strong flavour and when cooked to al dante, it’s springy and even more delicious when generously seasoned with ginger scallion oil.
Go ahead, you must try this dish. It is my go-to dish every week when my craving starts. I am positively sure you will not regret it 🙂
Crispy Skin Salmon with Ginger Scallion Oil Noodles
2 salmon fillets, skin on and pin-boned
Sea salt flakes
(Ginger Scallion Oil Noodles)
3 cups finely sliced scallions (green and white parts)
1/2 cup peeled, finely chopped ginger
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce, to taste
sea salt, to taste
200 g angel hair pasta
Sesame seeds, toasted
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp mirin
1. Pat salmon fillets dry. Brush the skin with vegetable oil and sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Set aside. The sea salt flakes will absorb whatever moisture’s left on the skin.
2. Heat a deep fry pan with 3 tbsp vegetable oil on medium high heat. Saute chopped ginger for 1 minute. Then add chopped scallions and saute until scallions are wilted and chopped ginger has browned. In a clean bowl, mix the soy sauce and sea salt together to taste. Then pour in the sautéed scallion, ginger and oil into the bowl. With a spoon, mix them around and set aside.
3. For the sauce, mix them in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Once the sauce starts to bubble, turn the heat off and set aside.
4. Boil half pot of salted water in a pot. The water should taste like sea water. Once the water is boiling, place the pasta into the water and leave it to boil until it’s al dante. Drain the pasta and generously mix in olive oil so the pasta are not dry. Drain the remaining olive oil away and plate the pasta.
5. While the pasta’s cooking, heat a stainless steel fry pan over high heat. Once the pan is very hot, place the salmon, skin side down on the pan. Immediately turn the heat down to medium. Once the salmon’s cooked to about a third from the bottom, carefully turn the salmon around with a metal fish spatula. Cook the other side for about 3-4 mins, depending on the size and thickness of the salmon. Thicker salmon needs longer cooking time and adjust the heat if you need to. Once it’s cooked, rest the salmon on a plate with crispy skin side up.
6. To enjoy the dish, spoon as much ginger scallion oil as you like onto the pasta. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds. Drizzle the sauce. Mix them around. Place a crispy skin salmon fillet on the plate and eat immediately. By the way, never ever drench the crispy skin part with sauce because this will un-crisp the skin.