Salmon: Super delicious & super-easy even for cooking n00bs! (#2 in “Cooking for the Lazy” series)

food and nutrition

Tonight I ate some of the most delicious salmon EVER… and, just as gratifying, I made it!

Total prep & cook time: under 10 minutes (seriously).  Total cost: Under $10.

Here are before and after pics:

Salmon, cooked, next to brown rice and red curry paste Salmon, pre-cooked, with rice & spices

Ingredients:

  • Salmon (duh!)
  • Brown rice
  • Real butter (everything’s better with butter!)
  • Spices (I used garlic salt, pepper, and red curry paste)

Things I used to cook this stuff:

  • Skillet (with lid)
  • Spatula (for spreading the butter)
  • Tongs (though unsuccessfully; see later note)
  • Measuring cup (to measure rice and water)
  • Bowl (to microwave the rice in)
  • Paper towels for blotting salmon & cleaning up splatter :\

Preparation steps:

  1. Cook rice. I used a microwavable quick-cook brown rice.  1 cup rice, 1 cup water = 2 servings. Throw the bowl in the microwave for 7 minutes, and it’s done by the time your salmon is ready!
  2. Blot salmon with paper towels.  Apparently, less-wet pre-cooked salmon = tastier cooked salmon.
  3. Pre-heat skillet on medium heat for a few minutes.
  4. Throw in a bunch of butter.  Spread it around with the spatula.
  5. Carefully place salmon in the skillet, skin side down.  Yes, cook with the skin, even if you’re one of those weirdos who will later avoid eating it.  It’s important for cooking the salmon nicely.
  6. Optionally add ground pepper, garlic salt, salt, whatever you feel like.
  7. Turn heat to medium-high.  Cover.  Cook for about 4 minutes (though I guess it depends on the size of your salmon piece).
  8. CAREFULLY flip salmon over.  This is the part, unfortunately, that I did not succeed with.  I got hot blackened salmon-skin+butter splatter all over the place. Bummer :(.  Let me know if you figure out a way to do this.  I tried tong’ing the salmon, but that didn’t seem to work very well.  Maybe I needed bigger tongs.
  9. Cook this side of the salmon for just 1-2 minutes.  Honest!  Unless you like tough yucky salmon. Personally, I prefer pink’ish, melt-in-your-mouth salmon.

And melt-in-your-mouth amazing salmon is exactly what I ended up with!  Wow wow wow.

I scooped some rice on the side of my plate, mixed in some red curry paste (a little goes a long way), and I was in heaven, eating the entire two servings worth of salmon and about half the rice in one sitting.

Again, this took less than 10 minutes total to prepare.  And with the fresh salmon costing about $8/pound (and my piece weighing about three-quarters of a pound), plus negligible spice/condiment costs… it cost easily less than a third of what it would have in a restaurant.  Plus… this tasted better than almost every restaurant salmon dish I’ve had, since for some inexplicable reason restaurants seem apt to overcook their fish :\ (maybe due to cover-their-posterior health concerns?)

Anyway, you owe it to yourself to try my recipe.  If you don’t have real butter, use oil.  If you don’t have red curry paste, use mustard or soy sauce or whatever.  But definitely do try cooking it the way I’ve described, and I am confident you’ll be as happy as I am right now 🙂

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