Never, Ever Cook Boring Salmon - No. 120
5 irresistible recipes for chile-roasted, sticky skewered, soy and honey, crispy air-fried, and even classic skillet salmon with lemon and capers. It’s The Good Stuff.
When my kids were young and life was too busy to cater to individual mealtime preferences, I insisted they take one bite. Come on, just try it…
And if that didn’t work, I laid on mom guilt and told them they needed to be able to eat this particular food if they ever wanted to go to someone else’s house for dinner and not eat my cooking all their life. That did the trick.
It wasn’t like I was force feeding liver or canned spinach, for crying out loud—two foods my mother thankfully test-drove on my older sister. It was more like spaghetti casserole or a tossed green salad.
And if I were still in the world of persuading small picky people to eat day in and day out, I’d add salmon to the list.
Which is why I’ve always been on the quest to cook it better.
Salmon is an essential food group when you live in a land-locked state like I do
Unlike many of you, I can’t head to the fish market or down to the dock (I’m talking to you, Georgetown, South Carolina) and get the freshest fish off the boat. Costco, thankfully, has fresh fillets of farm-raised salmon. Even Trader Joe’s sells fresh Atlantic salmon. And Whole Foods, too, is where I buy dinner party fish, but for the everyday, I buy their salmon.
But salmon is inherently BORING. It’s the fish that has absolutely nothing to say on the plate.
A French chef once told me that salmon begs for salt, and that’s why it tastes more interesting after being doused with soy sauce or teriyaki…and tons of grated ginger. Salmon soaks up those flavors like a sponge.
And salmon is fatty, too, the good kind of fat that fills us up but not our arteries. Which means it crisps around the edges in the oven, or on the grill, and especially in the air fryer.
The first time I took some risks with salmon was with a recipe shared by Jess Hill, a friend in Nashville. It had been a recipe designed for chicken and she cleverly saw it would work with salmon, too. I’ve been making this recipe for more than 15 years, and now my family just calls it “salmon that way you do it.”