A few nights ago, we had the most amazing salmon dinner at home!
We all think that having a salmon meal is quite expensive – and it is, if you have it at a good restaurant. But you can easily make a quick salmon dinner at home yourself, and feed your entire family, for less than P500!
EASY GRILLED SALMON DINNER AT A FRACTION OF RESTAURANT PRICES
A salmon dish at a good restaurant will easily set you back around P700 per plate!
S&R is having this frozen salmon fillet on promo – from P799.95 per kilo, it is now only P619.95 per kilo!
We bought this salmon fillet last weekend – it was P859.25 for 1.386 kilos of salmon fillet. At this price, the salmon fillet is a good buy – instead of paying around P700 for an order at a restaurant, this big fillet is big enough for 2 meals for 4 people! P859.25 + incidentals vs. P5,600 (P700 x 4 pax x 2 meals).
Also, this salmon from S&R is already cleaned and deboned. Less work for me, and I don’t have to pay for fins and other salmon body parts that I would just end up throwing away, or worry about how to use up.
There is no big secret to cooking salmon – JUST DO NOT OVERCOOK IT!
I was getting tired of pairing salmon with a teriyaki sauce, so I thought of using my favorite sauce of the moment – honey mustard!
EASY GRILLED SALMON
I have this reversible cast iron grill that I bought at S&R earlier this year for around P600+.
I love using it because I can grill things indoors without having to mess with charcoal, and it retains heat like no other pan. It can get really, screaming hot – hotter than regular pans can go – and I can use my metal utensils on it without worrying about ruining it! Oh, how much I’ve missed using my stainless steel turner! Nylons and silicones are too bendy and wooden spoons are just too thick to scrape anything!
I sliced the salmon into 2 pieces. One slice had the thicker side, and the other slice had the thinner side. For this meal, I used the thicker side, and repacked and kept the thinner side for another meal.
This salmon fillet has the skin on, and the salmon skin still has scales. You can remove the scales, it’s up to you, but I tried to do it and ended up just mangling the salmon and getting scales everywhere! I wanted to slice some slits on the salmon skin to keep it from curling during cooking, but gave up since my knife was apparently not sharp enough I rinsed the salmon slices to remove any scales that could be sticking to the salmon meat.
The salmon didn’t end up curling, anyway.
I sliced the salmon into serving pieces, and massaged in some salt on all sides.
I heated up my stove top grill until it was smoking hot, added a little bit of oil and started grilling my salmon, skin side down. I used the smooth side of the grill pan because I wanted to be able to scrape off the salmon in case it stuck to the pan. Fortunately, the salmon did not stick to the hot cast iron at all! The trick is to let it cook without touching it – after a few minutes, try to loosen it and it should come off on its down – don’t force it.
Whenever you are cooking, grilling, or pan-frying anything on a round pan, try to follow the “clock”. Put your first piece on the 12 o’ clock area of the round pan, then go clockwise. Last piece in the middle. This way, you will always know the order of how you put them, and know which ones finish cooking first.
HOW TO TELL WHEN THE SALMON IS COOKED?
You can literally see the salmon cooking. Look at the salmon near the skin – the color will start changing and turning opaque. When the color change is about 1/3 up from the skin (about 2-3 minutes), you can turn the salmon. You will probably see some white stuff oozing out of the salmon – that is perfectly normal, and those are the creamy salmon fats. Try to keep them on the salmon as much as possible. As soon as the entire piece looks opaque (even if the middle is still just slightly not opaque), about 1-2 minutes, remove the salmon from the heat. It will continue cooking from internal heat. Smaller cuts of salmon will take faster to cook. It is better to err on the side of under-cooking salmon, than overcooking it. If it is really under-cooked, you can always put it back in the pan and cook it a little more. But if it is overcooked, it’s overcooked.
Here’s a picture of my first batch of grilled salmon (I did better the second time when I didn’t make slits on the salmon skin). The skin is crispy! It’s not as pretty as I wanted because I kind of mangled the salmon while attempting to de-scale and trying to cut slits, however, it tastes great!
Perfectly cooked salmon will still have a lot of that salmon fat – the salmon meat will be tender, juicy and creamy, like someone injected it with butter. If the salmon is dry, it is overcooked.
Let the salmon rest for about 10 minutes before eating it. This is important! This means, just let it sit on the serving plate for about 10 minutes without cutting into it or otherwise touching it. This lets the inner parts of the salmon cook if it’s not yet fully cooked, and re-distributes the juices so the salmon remains juicy.
EASY “HONEY” MUSTARD SAUCE
It was serendipity that led me to this easy “honey” mustard sauce. After reorganizing the pantry, I realized that I had a can of condensed milk that was about to expire in a month, so I was thinking about what I could do with it. At the same time, I had a craving for a honey mustard dip…
- Condensed Milk
- Minced Garlic (start with 1 small clove)
I started with equal parts of condensed milk and mustard. Mix. Then add a little minced garlic. The minced garlic really adds something extra to the sauce and elevates it from just condensed milk and mustard to a delicious sauce!
Just adjust the taste to suit your liking – you can add more mustard if you like a stronger mustard flavor or more condensed milk if you like it sweeter. I don’t usually add any salt & pepper anymore, but you can if you want to. You can add some honey, too, if you want. The honey will thin out the sauce a little.
I actually like this sauce better than just using honey and mustard. The condensed milk gives more body to the sauce and makes it taste sweeter and creamier, too. There is actually no need to add mayonnaise to the sauce.
I have used this “honey” mustard sauce as a sandwich spread, as a dip for home-made chicken nuggets, and even as a marinade for some turbo chicken!
“HONEY” MUSTARD WITH BEURRE NOISETTE
However, for this grilled salmon, I wanted to add a bit more luxury to the sauce, and I didn’t want the mustard to be too strong so it won’t overpower the taste of the salmon. I wanted to add some butter for that extra yummy mouthfeel, but wanted something more than just a plain butter flavor.
I started by making some beurre noisette, it’s a French term that just basically means hazelnut butter or brown butter. It is easy to make: just get some butter and heat it until it browns, but do not let it burn or turn black. Doing this gives the butter a toasty, nutty flavor. You know when you reheat something buttery on the oven toaster and you end up with the amazing smell of toasted butter?
I turned off the heat and added the garlic to cook a little from the residual heat, then added the condensed milk, mustard, and seasoned to taste. I also added some honey because honey really goes very well with salmon. In fact, if you don’t want to make the honey mustard sauce, just drizzle your grilled salmon with honey, call it a day, and it will still be delicious!
I also added the juice of half a lemon to the mustard sauce at the end. We happened to have some leftover lemon from another dish a few days before and I wanted to use it up.
The whole family enjoyed our salmon meal and everyone told me how delicious it was and how much they looked forward to the next time!
Hope my tips encourage you to try your hand at this easy grilled salmon at home! It is really one of the easiest fish to cook at home, and there is no reason at all to be intimidated by it. Try it now, and you’ll soon be whipping up this delicious fish for your family as often as you can!
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The Barat Queen
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