I enjoy fish (but more importantly my girlfriend absolutely loves it), so was happy when this recipe yielded a complete success. The recipe was a refreshingly new way to cook salmon, and didn’t simply rely on sauce to make it interesting. Chris Kimball’s gives a quick 15-minute brine to season the fish and ensure that it doesn’t dry out during cooking. But the recipe succeeds because the ginger, lime and coriander make the flavors much brighter, complimenting the subtle flavors of the sesame seeds and salmon. The tahini is used as “glue” to attached the sesame seeds to the fish. 4-1/2 stars.
- I made my own homemade Tahini with the leftover sesame seeds. I toasted 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds in a dry skilled, the ground them in a spice grinder with a little olive oil.
- Chris Kimball has two other variations; Sesame-Crusted Salmon with Lemon and Ginger and an Orange and Chili Powder version.
Rating: 4-1/2 star.
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess? Low/Medium.
Start time 5 PM. Dinner time 6 PM.
Here is the original Cook’s Illustrated link to for this recipe. The descriptions of how I prepared the recipe today is as follows:
3/4 cup sesame seeds (3-1/2 oz)
4 skinless salmon fillets (2-lbs total)
4 teaspoons grated lime zest plus 2 teaspoons juice (2 limes)
4 teaspoons tahini
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Set an rack to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 325-degrees.
- Fill a bowl with 2 quarts of water and dissolve 5 tablespoons of salt. Remove 1 cup of the brine and add sesame seeds; allow to sit for 5 minutes at room temperature. Put fillets into brine and allow to sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Meanwhile, slice the green parts thin and set aside. Mince white parts of scallion and zest two limes using a Use a micoplaner. Put scallion whites and lime zest on cutting board and chop until finely minced and completely combined. Add teaspoons lime juice, 4 teaspoons tahini, and 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, 1/4 teaspoon coriander, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir to form a paste and set aside until step 6.
- Drain the sesame seeds and put into a 12″ non-stick skillet. Toast seeds over medium burner for 2 to 4 minutes; until the become golden brown. Empty toasted seeds onto a pie plate, and use paper towels to wipe out skillet.
- Remove fish from brine and pat dry using paper towels. If your fish has a thin belly flap, gently fold the flap over which will create an even thickness. Evenly spread half the paste over the skinned-side of the salmon. Gently press the pasted-side into the sesame seeds and move to a place with the seeded-side-down. Evenly spread half the rest of the paste over the top of the salmon. Coat with the remaining sesame seeds.
- Add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in the same non-stick skillet. Preheat until the oil is shimmering. Put fillets into skillet (with skilled-side up). Turn down burner to medium-low. Cook for 2 minutes until the seeds begin to brown. Remove the skillet from the burner.
- Use two spatulas to carefully flip the fish and move skillet to oven. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the center registers 125-degrees. Move to serving platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with sliced scallion greens and serve.