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This recipe for Sesame Crusted Alaska Salmon is a delicious dish, made from sustainable wild-caught Alaska salmon, flavored with lime, ginger, and cilantro, and coated in crispy toasted sesame seeds.
This post was sponsored by Alaska Seafood and was made with wild-caught Alaska salmon, as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Do you love fresh, wild-caught Alaska salmon as much as I do?
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve heard me mention my undying passion for wild-caught salmon. The difference in the flavor of a farm-raised salmon vs. a wild-caught salmon is like the difference in watching a movie on a black & white portable TV, vs. seeing that same movie in 3-D, on a huge movie theater screen. GADZOOKS! They’re not even remotely in the same league. Wild Alaska salmon just about leaps off the plate with 3-D flavor.
Sustainable and Healthy
And if you care about sustainability, (and you should, because it’s the only way we’re going to ensure that delicious wild-caught fish is going to be available for generations to come), let me share with you some information that I learned while working on this post, which was sponsored by the good folks at Alaska Seafood:
Did you know that Alaska is the only state that has “sustainability” written into its constitution?
Sustainable seafood has been the law in Alaska, since Alaska became a state, in 1959! Oh, and get this: of all the wild seafood, harvested in the US? Alaska is the source of 60%!
This nutritional, healthful protein, just loaded with minerals, vitamins, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, also happens to be one of my very favorite meals, too. So, when you’re jonesing for fresh, beautiful, wild-caught sustainable seafood, #AskForAlaska at the seafood counter or farmer’s market near you. That’s where we shop for ours, here in Nashville: at the Farmer’s Market!
And if you’re working on some health goals this year, keep in mind that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that the average American consume 8 ounces of seafood per week. So, there’s that, too.
There aren’t many ways you can fix Alaska salmon that I wouldn’t like it, but I have to say, I do enjoy a crisp flavorful crust on mine. Coating the exterior of the fish before you sear it with nuts or seeds is a great way to achieve that crispness. In addition, I’m kind of in love with the flavor combination of lime and cilantro, so those are the flavors and textures that I set out to combine in this recipe.
Brining for Added Flavor
Toasted sesame seeds would lend a good crunch. I learned that if you give them a quick soak in a brine, they won’t burn as fast, and they’ll absorb some of the saltiness of the brine. So briefly brining the sesame seeds – for 5 minutes – before I toasted them, was a big win.
You only need a little bit of brine for the sesame seeds. I made enough brine so that I could also give the fish a quick (15 minute) flavor boost as well.
Once I’d finished giving the sesame seeds a little dip in the salt water pool, I drained them. Then I toasted the brined sesame seeds in a sauté pan. To make them stick to the fish, I needed a “glue” of sorts, with flavor. I started with tahini, which is really just ground up sesame seeds. This intensified the sesame flavor. To that, I added lime zest, freshly grated ginger, chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, coriander, and salt. I painted that mixture on the fish, and rolled the fish in the toasted sesame seeds. I pan-seared the coated fish for a couple of minutes per side, finishing them in a pre-heated oven.
You can see a slideshow with a lot more recipes for various types of Alaska seafood on the Alaska Seafood website. If you’d like to check out any of my other recipes, using wild-caught Alaska salmon, I have a great, prize winning recipe for salmon burgers as well as another recipe for salmon fillets using pistachios, panko, and Dijon Mustard.
The Recipe for Sesame Crusted Alaska Salmon
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 qt. water
- 1/3 c. sesame seeds
- 4 6 oz. wild-caught Alaska salmon fillets
- 1 scallion, white part minced, green part sliced thin
- zest of 2 limes
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/4 c. tahini
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- Pre-heat oven to 325º.
- Dissolve kosher salt in water, to make a brine.
- Transfer 1/2 c. of the brine to a small bowl, and stir in sesame seeds, allowing them to brine for 5 minutes. Drain the water off, using a fine mesh strainer. Submerge the Alaska salmon fillets in the remaining brine for 15 minutes.
- Place drained seeds in a 10" skillet. Toast over medium heat, until golden brown, 2-4 minutes. Transfer immediately to a pie plate, and wipe out the skillet with paper towels.
- Remove Alaska salmon fillets from their brine after 15 minutes, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Place scallion white, ginger and lime zest on cutting board, and combine with your knife blade by mincing everything finely together. In a bowl, combine the mixture you've just made with the lime juice, tahini, coriander, and a pinch of salt.
- Evenly distribute paste over both sides of fish, and place in pie plate of sesame seeds, turning to coat.
- Heat oil in skillet until shimmering. Place fillets in skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until seeds begin to brown. Flip fillets. Transfer skillet to pre-heated oven. Bake until center of fish is translucent, or interior temp reaches 125º, approximately 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Sprinkle with scallion greens and chopped cilantro.
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Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet. Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder.
HOMWE Kitchen Cutting Board (3-Piece Set) | Juice Grooves w/Easy-Grip Handles | BPA-Free, Non-Porous, Dishwasher Safe | Multiple Sizes (Set of Three, Gray)
Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife, 8-Inch Chef's
If you’re interested in learning more about Alaska seafood, I have some links to share with you.
You can learn more about the importance of sustainability here.
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