A quinoa and vegetable stir-fry is a great meal on it own for my vegetarian friends, but adding a crispy skinned salmon fillet on top moves this to a different playing field.
Salmon is my favorite seafood. When cooked perfectly (rare or medium rare), the combination of taste and texture is hard to beat. And it is very healthy. There are the lingering debates about farmed vs wild, and the sustainability of each. This article does a good job of putting the issues in perspective. I eat farmed salmon and love it.
And then there is the challenge of actually cooking the salmon perfectly. Overcooked salmon is… unpleasant. It should be medium-rare, and I recommend ordering it that way at restaurants. You can find a couple of excellent technical guides to cooking salmon at these site: The Food Lab and NYT Cooking. If you like Gordon Ramsay, he does a good video on preparing crispy skinned salmon (the salmon bit starts at 2:22).
Quinoa stir-fry topped with crispy skin salmon
- 4 salmon fillets skin on, 150 g each
- 2 cups cooked quinoa red or 3 colour preferred
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 onion
- 80 g pancetta or prosciutto or even bacon
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup almond slivers and /or pinenuts
- 1 cup broccoli florets (or other green vegetable - asparagus, snow peas, etc)
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon or lime quartered
The Stir Fry...
Finely dice the onion.
Rinse, halve, and trim the red peppers. Dice into bite size pieces.
Peel and finely dice the garlic.
Dice the pancetta into approx. 10mm square pieces.
Wash and trim the carrots.
Toast the almonds slivers and/or pine nuts until just starting to brown.
Add the 1 Tbsp oil to a wok or large stir fry pan and heat over a medium high heat.
Add the pancetta and stir fry until they just start getting crispy.
Remove the pancetta taking care to retain the oil and rendered fat. Drain the pancetta on paper towels.
Add the onion and red pepper and stir fry until they have softened.
Add the diced garlic and grated ginger and stir fry for 2 more minutes.
Add the broccoli florets, baby carrots, and almonds. Stir fry until broccoli brightens in colour, about 3 minutes.
Add the pancetta, stir fry for one more minute then remove from the heat.
Season the salmon with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.
Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a skillet over a high heat.
Add the salmon fillets skin side down. Cook for 4 minutes or until the skin is crispy.
Turn over and cook for a further 3 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 55 degC.
Let the salmon rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Reheat the stir fry if necessary, then spoon on to a plate and serve the salmon, skin side up, on top. Squeeze a quarter of lemon over the salmon.