Salmon with buttery pine nut chili crunch, yogurt, and herb salad

Think: the easiest salmon, marinaded quickly in soy and honey, then broiled until caramelized and tender, served with a swoosh of yogurt, a lime sesame herb salad, and a generous drizzle of a decadent buttery pine nut chili crunch. Can you get on board?

Recipe notes

The buttery pine nut chili crunch is a quick twist on a classic Chinese chili crisp. One thing that makes this version extra easy and tasty is the addition of shimichi togarashi, which is a mix of chilies, orange peel, sichuan peppercorn, ginger, sesame seeds, nori and a few other things. The orange peel and sichuan peppercorn in particular add a lovely depth of flavor. 

Luckily, this ingredient is pretty cheap and easy to find at any asian grocery store, or even the asian section of your local grocer. I like the house  or S&B brands, which come in a small orange bottle and usually cost about 2-3 bucks. I like that it’s finely ground, which makes it easy to add to this chili crunch. You can find it for $5 on amazon if you can’t find it in person. It’s also excellent on avocado toast, or mixed into tuna or egg salmon. 

This recipe makes much more chili crunch than you will need, but that’s a blessing because it’s particularly delicious drizzled over eggs the next day (just let it come to room temp first, or stick in the microwave for 15 seconds).


Salmon with buttery pine nut chili crunch, yogurt, and herb salad

Course: MainDifficulty: Easy
Servings

2

servings
Total time

35

minutes

Think: the easiest salmon, marinaded quickly in soy and honey, then broiled until caramelized and tender, served with a swoosh of yogurt, a lime sesame herb salad, and a generous drizzle of a decadent buttery pine nut chili crunch. Can you get on board?

Ingredients

  • For the buttery pine nut chili crunch (makes extra)
  • ¼ cup neutral oil, like grapeseed or canola

  • ½ large shallot, thinly sliced

  • 2 tbsp pine nuts (minced almonds or pistachios could work as well)

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

  • 2 tbsp chili flakes

  • 1.5 tsp shimichi togarashi, house foods or S&B brand recommended, see recipe notes.

  • ½ tsp salt

  • pinch of sugar

  • For the fish
  • Two 4-6 oz fatty red-fleshed fish filets, like salmon, arctic char, or ocean trout

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 1 tbsp mirin

  • ½ tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 tsp garlic powder, or 2 cloves minced garlic

  • For the herb radish salad
  • 1 overflowing packed cup of rough chopped mixed mint and cilantro

  • 3 scallions, sliced

  • 4 or so radishes, sliced thinly into half moons

  • ½ lime, more or less

  • A drizzle of sesame oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • For serving
  • Full fat yogurt, sour cream, or creme fraiche

Directions

  • Add the shallots and the oil to a small pan and turn the heat to medium. Wait until the oil starts to bubble, then turn the heat to low. You want the oil to be consistently bubbling, but very gently. Cook until the shallots are crisp and lightly brown, shaking the pan every couple minutes or so. This can take upwards of 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.
  • While the shallots cook, mix together the salmon marinade ingredients in a bowl large enough to fit the filets (soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, and garlic). Add the salmon to the marinade and toss to coat. Set in the fridge to marinade for about 20 minutes. At this point, preheat the oven to 475.
  • When the shallots are ready, add the pine nuts to the pot and increase the heat to medium. Cook until the pine nuts are lightly toasted in the oil, a few minutes.
  • Add the butter, sesame seeds, chili flakes, togarashi, sugar, and salt. Simmer for about a minute or so, until it all comes together. Pour into a heatproof bowl and set aside. When cool enough, taste and add more salt if needed.
  • Remove the salmon from the fridge and place on a lined baking sheet, shaking off any excess marinade. Bake at 475 until it flakes easily with a fork, about 10-12 minutes depending on the size of your filets. You will see some dark caramelization, and that’s OK. If you want some extra caramelization, you can broil for the last minute or so.
  • While the salmon bakes, toss together the herbs and radishes in a bowl. When the salmon is done, add in a splash of lime juice and a drizzle of sesame oil to the herb mixture. You want the herbs lightly coated, but not wet. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • To plate, use a spoon to “swoosh” some full fat yogurt on the bottom of each plate (maybe ¼ cup or so). Top with the salmon, then drizzle generously with the chili mixture (you will have leftover chili crunch). Split the herb salad between the two plates, and serve.

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