29 January 2009

Salmon with Soy Mirin Sauce

I'm a sucker for crisy salmon skin and raw\rare cooked salmon. I've been trying to find a way with pan-cooked salmon, to have both the tasty crispy salmon skin with a nice medium-rare interior. Basically I wanted my salmon to still retain some of it's raw salmon freshness, with a bit of taste from some soy and mirin (so its not too bland), with a crispy Salmon skin top.

With past experiments, I tried marinating the piece of salmon in the soy marinade, although the salmon was really tasty, I couldn't get the skin to crisp. The other alternate method I tried was with pan-frying the salmon skin (salted) side down first, then turning it over and adding the marinade to the pan as the salmon cooked. I found with this method the marinade burnt too easily.. I think .. Something to do with the sugar content in the marinade.

So.. this is the method that works for me. To prep for the crispy skin, I tried to dry out the salmon skin as much as possible with a piece of kitchen paper towel. Seasoned it with a generous amount of freshly grounded salt, then place onto a plate (curved sides) with the skin side up, ready for the marinade. Make the marinade and pour the contents around the salmon. Make sure you don't pour the marinade on top of the salmon (if you do, the skin won't be crispy). Marinate for about 30-40 mins. Moving the salmon piece around every 10 mins or so. Just before cooking, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top of the skin.

Heat up the pan until its hot. Place salmon skin down first and cook for about 2 mins. Then turn the salmon over and continue to cook for another 3-4 mins on medium-high heat.

Pan-fried Salmon with Soy Mirin Sauce
The salmon & soy mirin combo is no newbie...but the method of preparing\cooking is my own


  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • couple of dashes of sesame oil
  • 1 thumbsized piece of ginger (smashed)
  1. Take a piece of salmon fillet, make sure all scales are removed and pat the skin dry with a paper towel. Season generously with some freshly grinded sea salt.

  2. Prepare marinade. Pour marinade around the piece of salmon. You may need to lift the corners of the salmon to let the marinade into the middle. Let sit for 30-40 mins, while doing some lifting\moving of the salmon every 10mins or so.

  3. Preheat the pan to high heat. Drizzle some olive oil over the salmon skin. Place salmon skin down onto the pan and cook for 2 mins on high heat.

  4. Flip the salmon over and after 1 min turn the heat down to medium-high. Continue to cook for another 3 mins. You should see the sides of the salmon flesh turn opaque.

  5. Remove from the pan and let rest on a plate for a couple of minutes before serving.

  6. The leftover marinade can be added to be pan after the salmon has been removed. Add about 2 tablespoons of water to the marinade, bring to a light simmer on low heat and the marinade will turn into a 'soy mirin' sauce you can drizzle around the plated piece of salmon.

Serve with some steamed baby bok choy .... :)

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