Bears eat salmon and they grow heaps big, so maybe you should too…

Nom nom nom. Get in my face dinner.

 

Grizzly bears that eat a lot of salmon are 80% larger, produce 25% more cubs, and live in populations that are up to 50 times denser than grizzly bears that fatten primarily on fall berries. So imagine your scrawny little white boy ass with a hot smoked salmon injection. And no, that is not code…

How to cook a piece of salmon is easily the question most asked of me in every kitchen I’ve worked in for the last 5 or 6 years. That and duck. Bears don’t normally eat duck.

I guess practice would be the answer if you had the time (and a lot of salmon going through your kitchen), or maybe like the bears do it and don’t cook it at all. But if these options don’t suit you, we’ll try to take it from page to plate with minimal wrongnesses.

This salad also goes great guns by itself with a good hit of the yoghurt dressing.

 

Salmon with sumac spiced chickpea salad and yoghurt dressing (for 4)

 4 x 180g salmon fillets, skin on, pin-boned (hopefully your fish guy will do this for you)

for the salad

1x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 punnet cherry tomatoes

1 small zucchini, cut into large dice

½ small eggplant, cut into large dice

½ red onion, cut into large wedges

1 teaspoon sumac

0.5 teaspoon each of cinnamon and cumin

a handful each of picked mint and parsley

 

yoghurt dressing

400g natural yoghurt

100g tahini

1 segment preserved lemon, pith and flesh removed, very finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted, finely chopped

seasoning (it will take a fair hit)

  • For the salad combine sumac, cumin, cinnamon, zucchini, eggplant, onion and a good splash of olive oil in a medium-hot pan and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until coloured but not soft
  • Add cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, herbs, and salt and pepper and put aside to stay warm (you want the salad to be warm rather than hot)
  • Now for the salmon. Preheat your oven to 180c. Heat a large pan (make sure it’s not a crappy old pan with dents and divits in the base or the skin is gonna stick and that’s not much good to anyone and all of a sudden your dinner is a disaster. And you want the pan to be big enough to fit the salmon with room to spare) and add a good splash of vege oil
  • Season your salmon well on the skin side with sea salt and cracked white pepper (well I like white pepper but use black if you like… heck, use blue if you can find it, I don’t care)
  • When the oil in your pan is hot, reduce heat to medium and cook salmon, skin side down, for 3 minutes
  • Transfer salmon into the oven for 3-4 minutes for med-rare, 5 minutes for med, 7 minutes for a done-ness that is starting to get a bit silly (this is only a guide line as salmon fillets will vary in size and thickness depending on the size of the fish. For example, if you have a tail end fillet it will only need a minute or two in the oven to warm through)
  • Now plate that puppy up. Salad down first, followed by the salmon and lastly a nice big dollop (real good kitchen speak) of yoghurt dressing.
  • Eat it by a stream with all of your best bear friends