The Deviant Baker: The Easiest Salmon That's So Good You May Think It's a Little Fishy
Incident Three: Easy Spiced Citrus Salmon
If you like to improvise, experiment, or find it difficult to follow a recipe—the Deviant Baker is the place for you where deviating is creating.
A few years ago, I took a trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and stayed at an all-inclusive resort, where I experienced some of the best food that I have ever tasted. My favorite dish was a macerated salmon. The term macerated means to soften something by soaking it in liquid. It was the perfect concoction of sweet, spicy and citrus with a caramelized outer layer. The best part was that it did not taste fishy at all.
When I returned home, I quickly set out to find a macerated salmon recipe that I could make at home. When I could not find a recipe, I chastised myself for not asking how to make it while I was in Punta Cana. I eventually settled with the closest recipe that I could find and have made adaptions over the years to perfect it.
Adapted from Bite Me More's Sweet Citrus Spiced Salmon recipe, this recipe is not only delicious; it is also healthy and super easy to make. So easy that after making it for the umpteenth time this week, I lamented that I had done everything right and did not have any deviations for my article. However, my friend quickly chimed in that this recipe did not count as baking. Aha! I thought I have deviated from the Deviant Baker by not baking. Luckily we (you and me) both like deviations (or I assume you would not be here). Here is how to make my Punta Cana inspired salmon.
Easy Spiced Citrus Salmon
(Original by Bite Me More and deviations by me)
Makes 6 servings
Here are the ingredients you will need:
- 1 fresh, peeled, and cored pineapple (cut into rings)
- 1 lemon
- 6 - 6 oz skinless salmon filets
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tsp chili powder
- 3 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground Pink Himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Instructions (and deviations):
Important: This recipe uses broiling versus baking and requires a broiler pan. If you do not own a broiler pan, you can buy one here.
1. Turn on the broiler setting on your oven.
2. Wash and dry the lemon. Zest the lemon until you have about three teaspoons. Set lemon zest aside. Cut the lemon in half and juice both lemon halves until you have approximately five tablespoons. Note: It is okay to have slightly less or more lemon zest and lemon juice. I love lemons (I eat them like an orange), so I always use the entire lemon.
3. Put the pineapple rings and any leftover juice, lemon juice, and salmon filets into a gallon storage bag. Note: I purchase peeled, cored, and cut pineapple rings for convenience. The equivalent is one whole pineapple.
4. Seal the gallon storage bag. Gently massage the fruit and juices into the salmon. Lay the bag flat in the refrigerator with the pineapple and juices covering the salmon. Allow the salmon to soak for a minimum of fifteen minutes up to two hours. Note: Unless I am in a rush, I typically allow the salmon to soak for at least one hour. The longer the salmon is saturated, the more flavor it absorbs from the pineapple and lemon.
5. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, chili powder, ground cumin, ground Pink Himalayan salt, cinnamon, and lemon zest.
6. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the broiling pan and bend all four edges upward, so there is a 1/2 inch wall to catch liquids. Note: The juice from the salmon adheres to the pan and is difficult to remove; aluminum foil makes it easier to clean but is not necessary.
7. Remove salmon from the fridge (after soaking for recommended time) and place them together on the aluminum foil. Distribute the spice seasoning over the center of the salmon. Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, spread the seasoning onto the salmon until the entire top surface area is covered. Then carefully separate the salmon on the aluminum foil. Note: I like to bunch the salmon together to rub the seasoning into it because it is easier with a larger surface area. Separating the salmon on the pan allows it to cook faster and more evenly.
8. Remove the pineapple slices from the gallon bag and place them between salmon. Discard the gallon bag and any leftover juices.
9. Place broiler pan in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the salmon is flaky. Note: The salmon is ready to eat when it flakes and is a light pink color.
A Reflection from The Deviant Baker:
I like to pair this salmon with a rice or orzo side dish. Oh Sweet Basil's Quick and Easy Lemon Orzo with Parmesan and Peas is one of my favorites. But for a more simple side dish, make this easy sticky rice.
You will need:
- 6 individual microwavable sticky rice
- 6 pineapple rings
- soy sauce
Place a medium frying pan on the stove, add 4-6 tablespoons in the pan, and heat on medium heat. When the soy sauce starts to bubble, add the pineapple rings and cook until heated through the center.
Microwave individual sticky rice per the instructions and place sticky rice on a plate in a small mound. Top each mound with a pineapple ring and drizzle with extra soy sauce. And enjoy!
This salmon is so delicious you may even think it is a little fishy!
Until the next standard deviation,
The Deviant Baker
In case you missed it, check out The Deviant Baker's Incident Two: Deconstructed Cannoli Donut below.