Get this easy recipe for Caramelized Sockeye Salmon with Wild Berry Gastrique. Use local berries to top this sweet and salty, lightly browned crust on succulent wild fish.
Caramelized Sockeye Salmon! We're wild about salmon here, and especially wild salmon. It's Sockeye salmon season here on the West Coast of Canada and these fish, with their deep red-coloured flesh, have just started appearing on the docks and in stores.
While Atlantic salmon and Pink salmon often need a glaze or a crunchy coating to enhance their flavour, wild Sockeye is incredibly tasty all on its own. Fresh berries are ripening in my garden, so combining the two simply made sense to me, and this Caramelized Sockeye Salmon with Wild Berry Gastrique was the result!
Salmon is packed with protein and two types of omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients that our bodies must obtain from food. Omega-3's are necessary for brain, eye, and nerve development. While other foods, like walnuts, hemp, chia, and flax seeds contain omega-3's, our bodies can absorb them more easily from fish. Nutritionists recommend eating salmon from a sustainable source at least once or twice a week.
I used freshly picked huckleberries to make this Berry Gastrique that I served on top of the salmon, but you can substitute other berries. Blueberries or wild blackberries also make a fabulous gastrique for fish.
So what's a gastrique?
It's an easy way to dress up a plain piece of meat or fish. Simply put, a gastrique is a reduction of vinegar and sugar that can be infused with almost anything you’d like. Don't be put off by the fancy name. It's very easy to make.
To get a sweet and smoky glaze on this salmon, make a simple rub from brown sugar and smoked sea salt. Sear it on high heat and then broil it in the oven to create a sweet and salty, lightly browned caramelized crust that's a tiny bit crispy. Top it with a berry gastrique and you have a healthy, impressive dish for your family and friends.
Caramelized Sockeye Salmon with Wild Berry Gastrique
- 4 pieces of Sockeye salmon fillet (or other salmon)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp smoked sea salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp white wine
- ⅔ cup fresh berries (I used huckleberries)
- 2 sprigs thyme
- Combine the brown sugar and smoked sea salt and rub over rinsed and dried salmon pieces. Set aside.
- To make the gastrique, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir until completely dissolved and bubbles form.
- The sugar will begin to caramelize. Stop stirring and swirl the pan occasionally.
- Watch closely and when it turns a light caramel colour, carefully add the vinegar all at once.The sugar will harden immediately and the mixture will appear flaky.
- Continue to cook and stir, until the mixture becomes liquid again.
- Add the wine and cook until it is reduced and syrupy.
- Add the berries and thyme and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Coat the bottom with a very small amount of oil, just to prevent sticking.
- Place salmon pieces in the skillet, skin side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then carefully flip using a fish turner. Cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes, then place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to create a glaze on top.
- Serve with berry gastrique.
- Leftover gastrique will keep in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
Kitchen tools I used to make this recipe:
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