Slow-roast grouper in the oven to retain moisture and saute snapper and other delicate fish in an iron skillet
I've been making a mixture of Gochujang, honey and soy sauce that I slather on top of salmon before I bake it. I don't have any specific measurements - but it's something like 2 tablespoons of Gochujang, a teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of soy sauce for about a half pound of salmon. I bake it at 350. A favorite at our house. I don't remember what I first bought Gochujang for - but it's now a staple in my kitchen.
We really like the fish tacos from Taqueria del Sol in Atlanta (locations also in Decatur and Athens), but salmon is much healthier than the whitefish they use in the restaurant. For our fish tacos, I’ve taken to roasting a couple of wild caught salmon filets (I’m not a snob, but I’ve seen fish farms). Rub them with avocado oil and season with black garlic salt which has a richer flavor, pepper, and dill. I roast them at about 360 for…I don’t know, it depends on the size of the fish. Until done.
While it cooks I make some tartar sauce from Duke’s mayo, pickled onion juice and my pickled red onions, some dill relish, pepper, maybe a little more fresh dill. We like dill. The taqueria del sol makes a great jalapeño tartar sauce but hubs doesn’t go for anything spicy. The pickled onion is the halfway point. Oh, and I use some crunchy red cabbage on the top with some avocado slices. These tacos are loaded, filling and so pretty to look at! The pink salmon, purple cabbage, green avocado, charred tortilla…But honestly the star is the salmon. Fish tacos used to be almost throwaways but with this meaty fish, they are a fun, healthy entree.
Also, Anne and newsletter readers, there’s a good article about grilling using griddles in the New York Times Food section (paywall). It’s by grill master Steve Raichlin. It has great tips, links to grilling equipment and recipes (French toast on the grill? Why not!)
How can I convince my husband to use the cast iron skillet on the gas grill?
I love this idea!!
So many great insights in this post, Anne! That grouper preparation sounds outstanding, what a delicious, quick sauce. When grilling fish, I rarely turn fillets over, avoiding worry of the fish falling apart. Skin-side down in a covered grill, then when done you can slip a spatula under the flesh and lift it from the skin for serving. I rarely think of taking my cast iron skillet out to the grill, that's a good idea, I'd think particularly for fish pieces without skin to help hold together and avoid drying out.
Whoa! What flavorful recipes! I’m more of a roaster, but swear by scallops in a cast iron skillet so will definitely give it a try with fish. I demoed a gingered tomato and avocado relish recipe last night...delicate and savory. Keep an eye out for my future story on that.
Have to tell you about my dinner tonight. I made the green beans and pork recipe. All I can say is yum, yum, yum! It’s one of my favourite dishes I like to order & this is a fresher, cleaner tasting recipe than one might get in a restaurant. Thank you for including it in your Skillet Love book and thanks to Karen Vanarsdel too. I’ll be making your skillet quiche very soon-I made the pastry tonight too!I love your recipes because I feel confident trying new ones.
Oven for thicker pieces, skillet for things easy to saute`, and the air fryer for smaller pieces.
I am originally from Mangalore in South India. We ate fish coconut curries 6 days a week except Sunday (that was beef and pork day). I don't have time for the laborious process of grinding masalas for curries everyday, so I regularly fry/air fry catfish, Pompano or salmon using a marinade of red chili/cumin/turmeric/salt/ginger-garlic paste and salt+tamarind water. With yellow or red dal, Matta (red) rice, mango pickle and a heap of malabar spinach (sold as chang choy in Asian stores). I'm definitely giving the skillet method a try!
All of this!
Ooh - can't wait to try this new (to me) method for grouper!! We love grouper and enjoy it when going to FL, usually fried or blackened. My husband is from FL and I lived much of my life in NYC so we are true seafood snobs though will settle for the next best thing. Those markets you mentioned and Buford Hwy too, Harry's is no longer as ubiquitous as it once was, sadly! Being multi-national, I have grown up eating seafood a variety of ways, I love shrimp cooked the way they do at every Spanish beach, a la plancha but have not had this in years. A sort of griddle over an open flame and the shrimp they use tend to be large, what some might call prawns, or else in the clay pots with minced garlic and olive oil. I also had a strong influence from a loved one with NOLA Creole heritage and learned about baked catfish Creole, as a change of pace from my beloved fried catfish. It was many years ago and we only had it one time, but after moving away from NYC we visited Love's restaurant in Savannah and had some of the best ever blackened catfish, its memory still lingers because of how delicious it was. A return trip for more of that a few years later somehow was less enthralling, maybe a different cook or supplier for the fish? My mother always poached salmon, served with homemade mayo and I made salmon this way for many years until I discovered the ease of baking it in a 9x12 Pyrex pan, and lately better still on a large rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup since the skin would invariably leave a mess in the glass pan even with prior greasing. I have tried baking it with Soy Vey teriyaki sauce (a bit too sweet unless it is a light glaze), a bit of maple syrup and minced garlic and ginger, or just the minced ginger and thinly sliced lemon and onion on top drizzed with a bit of olive oil or a few crumbs of butter. I recently discovered a zester for very finely grated ginger, rather than me trying to chop through at times woody ginger and it has been a game changer!! Side note, I also recently learned that I might be able to grow my own ginger since some of it began to sprout and we stuck it in a pot. We shall see! I have a legendary black thumb. :-)
This is how I cook fish as well and included a recipe for salmon in Home Cooking (the 2nd book I wrote). I basically sear both sides of the olive oil coated and seasoned piece of fish in a hot cast iron skillet which keeps the juices in, and then cook it low and slow in the oven while I finish making the rest of supper. Works every time!
You're speaking my language. Fish is my favorite protein, and I have a freezer full. By far the most delicious thick white fish I have ever tasted was King Mackerel, in Jacksonville, Florida during the annual competition. It's everywhere in restaurants at the time and it's amazing. Second best was any thick fish in Portland, Oregon. I was there for five days in another lifetime and had fish every day. Different fish and different restaurant each night. Salmon tastes so different fresh out of the water.
Although I don't enjoy fish with tomatoes because the combination tastes quite metallic and "fishy' to me, I will definitely try your daughter's method on a nice thick piece of white fish - with a different sauce. A topping that I use for salmon includes teriyaki, fresh ginger, wasabi and sesame oil, but I plan to switch to Gochujang next time. What a great idea.
Thanks for this helpful and enlightening post. Maybe salmon will finally be safe on my grill!