Salmon is an extremely versatile protein that holds up well with various elements on the plate and seasonings. This dish is a balance of textures, acidity, richness and sweetness from the sugar snap peas. The salmon is always the star of this plate and the simplicity of flavors highlight it perfectly. Although complicated looking the preparation isn’t difficult.
As with any seafood buy the freshest piece of fish you can get your hands on. Always try to get line caught wild salmon and in particular some of the great seasonal Alaskan species. However, not all salmon is created equal. I avoid tend to Atlantic salmon altogether in favor of the Pacific Sockeye and King species because of the firm texture, thicker filets, high oil content and a delicious flavor they have.
Lets down to making this dish!
Clean the sugar snap peas and separate into 3 piles. To create some different textures in the dish each pile will be treated differently. The first third of the peas remain whole, split in half lengthwise the next third and the final third split, remove the peas and julienne the shell. Because of this process they need to be blanched for different times:
- Whole snap peas ~ 2 minutes
- Split snap peas ~ 1 minute
- Separated peas ~ 45 seconds
- Julienned peas ~ 30 seconds
Shock the peas in an ice bath. Reheat them in a small sauté pan with 1 tsp of butter and season when the dish is almost ready to come together.
Prepare the beurre blanc with the addition of 1 tsp of lemon zest with the shallots and wine. Add 1 tsp of lemon juice to the reduction after its been strained. Follow the process for cooking beurre blanc the rest of the way.
Take the salmon out at least 15 minutes before cooking. Remove the skin and trim the salmon so that no portion of the fish is less than 1/2 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat a pan over medium heat. Add 1/8 inch of canola oil and place the salmon on skin side in the pan. Depending on the thickness cook for about 3-4 minutes, while making sure that the salmon doesn’t brown too quickly. Adjust the heat if needed. Flip, cook another 30 seconds then remove from pan. The salmon should still be about medium rare.
For more information on Pacific Salmon I recommend checking out Zester Daily‘s article Five Types Of Pacific Salmon You Need To Know