Decadence, thy name is salmon.
In the world of reasonably priced fish, salmon is king. And as king, it lords over lesser subjects like cod and tilapia. Salmon doesn’t need spices and rubs to bring it flavor like other, petty fishes do. No…salmon stands apart, goddamn delicious on its own. It has just the right amount of brine-y flavor and aroma without being fishy, and it’s full-bodied enough to stand up as the star of any meal.
In many ways salmon is similar to a fine cut of steak. Some of the best preparations use a delicate touch, allowing the rich flavors of the salmon, or the steak, to shine through. That’s how I usually take my salmon – lightly poached or sauteed to just let the salmon be its happy self.
And yet, I just can’t help myself when it comes to one salmon recipe. I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for bold, savory flavors and I’ve found a marinade that perfectly complements the salmon’s delicate richness without completely hiding it. It’s simple, straightforward but with an incredible depth of flavor.
Soy-Dijon Baked Salmon
- 2 salmon fillets, about 1 pound
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1.5 tablespoons of high-quality soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
- Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
- Prep time – 25 minutes
- Cook time – 25 minutes
Start by whisking the olive oil, soy sauce and dijon mustard together in a small bowl, until emulsified. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over your salmon.
Place the salmon fillets in a small container, just large enough so that they can lay flat. Then pour 3/4 of your marinade over the salmon, reserving the rest for later. Cover the salmon and place in your refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Since the marinade doesn’t contain any acids, which would essentially start cooking the salmon after a short while, you can leave it marinading overnight if you wanted to.
At this point, start pre-heating your oven to 375°, and oil up a baking sheet. Salmon has a tendency to infuriatingly stick to its cooking surface, and can get a bit messy if you don’t provide the proper amounts of oil. Take your fillets out of the marinade, allowing the excess to drip off, and place them skin-side down on the baking sheet. Place it in the oven, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove and pour over reserved marinade to taste.
The beauty of baking salmon at this relatively low heat means it’s nearly impossible to overcook, which is great if you’re embarrassingly negligent like me. Baking it also lets the salmon cook evenly, while retaining an incredible juiciness. The marinade is beyond flavorful, with the soy sauce and dijon mustard combining for a super-savory bomb. And yet, despite being so flavor-forward you still get a really good sense of the briney salmon notes as well.
And for those of you who care about your bodies, salmon has the added bonus of being super healthy. Salmon has tons of protein, and all sort of other fun benefits for your heart, eye-sight, brain, it’s crazy! It also pairs well with other healthy sides like couscous or quinoa and green things like broccoli or brussels sprouts. No need to go heavy on flavoring your sides, the salmon’s got you covered!
Go enjoy this foolproof recipe for eating the king of the fishes. The marinade is so tasty you might find yourself eating it with a spoon. Baked salmon will fill you up, and won’t ruin those plans to get started on that Summer body…eventually. Enjoy!
Not Chef Jared