Baked Salmon Fillet Recipe and Technique for Moist, Tender & Delicious Asian Inspired Salmon
Whenever we eat out and my children order salmon, they gain a new appreciation for how moist, tender, and delicious my home made baked salmon tastes. They often comment, “It tastes like Restaurant Salmon!” because the restaurant salmon is too dry and overcooked. On one hand, it rocks as a mom to make out of this world delicious salmon at home but on the other hand, I feel like my sons might miss out on being open to enjoy salmon when they eat out. Some restaurants serve nut encrusted salmon entrees but this baked salmon recipe is topped with crunchy rice cereal for a similar texture. This inspiration for this recipe is a sushi roll called salmon crunch maki: it’s a cooked salmon sushi with bits of tempura pieces for the crunch but it’s faster and easier to prepare than sushi and easy enough for quick weeknight meals or for special dinner guests. The baking technique is inspired by my friend Sarah Chuck at Get Allergy Wise.
When my younger son was first diagnosed with food allergies as a toddler, I read many books about food allergies including one book in which the author suggested dietary changes to improve chances of outgrowing food allergies, asthma, autism, and ADHD. I felt it was already challenging enough to have so many food restrictions due to life threatening food allergies and toddler preferences, I couldn’t eliminate wheat and dairy as the author suggested but I decided that adding omega 3 oil rich foods such as salmon to our diet was something we would do for our general health and it would be an added bonus if it helped with my son’s food allergies and asthma. I set out to learn how to make salmon as tasty as possible and have tried preparing salmon many different ways.
For this recipe, I like to buy Alaskan king salmon fillet pieces or if available, half of a fillet and then I cut the large fillet into 6 oz pieces myself using a very sharp knife or an electric carving knife. I like the richness of the belly half and look for pieces that have nice big white lines for a juicy piece of salmon that has a lot of fish oil. I think wild or sustainably farmed salmon tastes better, but if that is not available then at the very least buy the freshest piece of salmon possible (firm, shiny, no unpleasant smells). If I don’t cook the salmon right away, I store it in the coldest part of my refrigerator (usually the back) with an ice pack and use the same day as purchase for optimal freshness.
Allergy Aware Asian Fare
When my son was allergic to sesame, Mr. Yoshida Sauce was the only product I could find that didn’t obviously contain sesame. To verify the allergen safety of the sauce for friends with food allergies who come to eat at our house and Nut Free Wok readers, I called the 800 number on my jar of Mr. Yoshida Sauce and the representative wouldn’t disclose any possible allergens not included in the top 8, such as sesame citing that the ingredients are proprietary. The representative did say that an individual can ask their doctor to fax a letter (with letterhead) requesting more information. I couldn’t imagine bothering my doctor over a bottle of sauce. He added that anyone with life threatening allergies to foods not included in the top 8 allergies should avoid their products.
While it might be good advice not to use their product, I felt like that company didn’t care about my business. I wonder if food manufacturers realize the significance of such a simple statement? Not every food allergic consumer is aware of the nuances of food allergy labeling and if the labels aren’t transparent then millions of Americans living with food allergies could potentially risk their health and well being by using their products. Bless his heart, he was very pleasant and assured me he would pass on my comments to their product development team. You can read Heinz’s (parent company of Mr. Yoshida Sauce) allergen statement by going to their page, scroll down and click on allergens. Since I have used Mr. Yoshida sauce without incident, I will finish our current supply but will not use it when our friends with non-top 8 allergies come over for dinner. I prefer to support brands that are willing to disclose their ingredients, share allergen advisories, and/or have allergen safety protocols in their manufacturing process to protect their customers’ safety because they value my business. If there are any food manufacturers reading my blog, I would love to talk with you and hear about your allergen friendly business practices. If you are dealing with a soy allergy, try other sauce flavors such as a sweet chili sauce, sweet and sour sauce, orange or lemon sauce that do not contain the allergens you are concerned about. Add the sauce and topping and bake in the same way.
1) Avoid handling the salmon too much, I recommend placing the fillet skin side up on a cutting board in the sink while removing the scales with a knife and rinsing with cold water.
2) If you have any concerns about choking on bones, salmon just has big ones that are easy to find and remove with a pair of fish tweezers (affiliate link). The tweezers don’t have to be fancy, I have a $2 one from an Asian kitchenware store.
3) Baking fish usually dries out it out but I have discovered that baking with a topping keeps it nice and moist. After I attended the Food Allergy Blogger’s Conference last year, I received Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal (affiliate link) cereal to try. It’s gluten and nut free product and it doesn’t have any added sugars to throw off the flavors of a savory dish.
4) You can make variations of this baked salmon by trying different toppings. If you have tried other toppings that you would like to recommend please share in the comments below!
- Green Onions: Green onions is a healthy, fresh, allergen free topping option. My friend Sarah at Get Allergy Wise shared how her mother in law makes it in 15 minutes. One of my son loves the green onion toppings so I’ll put extra green onions on his serving.
- Fried Onions (contains wheat): This is probably the most tasty topping and has extra calories (not always a bad thing!). The onions get a little extra crunch by broiling the salmon for exactly 1 minute (literally 60 seconds) with the broiler on high with the tray on the middle shelf. A little too close or a little too long, bam, burnt onions. So if you decide to try it this way, devote 60 seconds of undivided attention to the final broil to crisp up the onions.
- Panko (contains wheat): This is my least favorite topping but I want to mention it anyways to save you the trouble. It doesn’t have as much flavor as the green onions or fried onions, it’s not beautiful nor tasty. I don’t recommend it.
Serve with rice or mashed potatoes. This is great over a fresh green salad, for a warm wilted salad!
- 4 pieces of salmon fillets, about 6 oz each
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- ¼ cup teriyaki sauce
- non-stick cooking spray (or brush your baking sheet with a little oil at step 2)
- 4 tablespoons rice crispy cereal (I use Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice)
- Preheat oven 350°F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.
- Scale and rinse fillets with cold water, pat dry with paper towels.
- Sprinkle each fillet with garlic powder and dried parsley.
- Pour teriyaki sauce on the foil lined tray, place the salmon fillets down on the sauce to coat the flesh, spray the skin with non stick cooking spray, and then flip and arrange the fillets skin side down.
- Sprinkle each fillet with rice cereal, pressing down gently.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes on the middle rack, adjusting for the thickness of the fillets, the salmon is ready when the sides of the fillets look cooked and the seasonings on top of the fillet turn slightly brown.
- Optional: Broil on high for 1 minute to crisp up the cereal, do not move the tray (leave it on the middle shelf) and set a timer.
Try the recipe and tell me how you like it. Stay tuned for a homemade teriyaki sauce recipe!
Do you have a favorite brand of allergy safe teriyaki sauce that you use? Share in the comments to help other readers.
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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which generates a small commission to support this blog and will not affect your purchase price. I received 2 boxes of cereal from Erewhon and all opinions about their products are my own and unsolicited.