Skinless salmon fillets gently cooked in bubbling sweetened oyster sauce with crushed garlic and chopped spring onions - what a perfect umami storm!
Oyster sauce not only for stir fries
Oyster sauce is a weird and wonderful thing that makes boring food suddenly taste fantastic. Simple green vegetables, basic broccoli and beans, get a boost of zing when drizzled over with a bit of that pungent salty gunk, and a spoonful of sesame oil.
It usually happens when I can’t be bothered to produce any fancy sides to go with my pork chops or chicken, and it works great: a result at a minimum effort.
How to cook salmon?
Salmon is a gorgeous fish and super- healthy but it's quite resistant to flavours. You can marinate it for hours in the fanciest concoctions and it will still taste like, well, salmon.
You can do much with it: steam it, stir fry it, cure it and slow roast it so it tastes like cooked sous-vide but it’s hard to make it taste radically different. Maybe you shouldn’t try to alter the flavour? It’s a tasty fish after all.
The world is your oyster sauce
The oyster sauce doesn’t perform a miracle in this recipe but it does go extremely well with the oily fish, especially combined with the sweetness from the brown sugar. Sweet and salty, that's what umami is about and it's to me a pretty irresistible combination.
I followed roughly Suzie's recipe at allrecipes.
How to skin salmon fillets?
Skinned salmon fillets are better to use here unless you are really fond of salmon skin. To skin salmon, place it flat on a chopping board skin side down, make a small incision at an end between the skin and the flesh and cut through, keeping the knife as flat as you can. Of course that is redundant if you buy your fillets skinned already.
How to cook salmon in oyster sauce?
It's a ten minute meal once you have your salmon skinned, onions chopped and garlic crushed. Start over medium heat to soften the garlic and caramelise the brown sugar. Then in goes the onion, oyster sauce and water to make the sauce.
Bubble it ferociously for a few seconds and add the salmon, the side the skin was removed from. It will cook halfway through - you can see it turning opaque from the bottom upwards - which is when it needs turning over and spooning some sauce over. Another three or four minutes and it's ready.
What goes with salmon in oyster sauce?
No - NOT oysters, not even oyster mushrooms. Just joshing but I don't particularly like the combination of fish and mushrooms. Perhaps it's just me. But either way, I like to serve new potatoes or mashed potatoes with the salmon, depending on the season, and some green vegetables.
Simple - as simple as the dish itself is.