Crispy Skin Salmon with Lemon Garlic Aioli
I refuse to eat fish that has no texture. It's mush, gross and I have a really hard time eating it. I made this recipe for my parents a while back- and since it is a staple in our house I didn't think I would have to explain how to eat it. We finished up dinner, and as we were clearing off the plates, I realized both of my parents took the skin off the salmon and left it on their plates untouched. I WAS FLOORED!! THE SKIN IS THE BEST PART! The crispy skin is what makes this dish so special. It takes a good piece of salmon and takes it to the next level.
The moral of the story-- eat the skin. It will change the way you eat seafood. The crisp, chip-like texture of the skin with the soft salmon takes this dish to the next level.
But, eating the skin sounds disgusting!
Hear me out. Salmon is an incredible source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. It also contains at least 20% of your daily vitamin of B3, B5, B6, B12, vitamin D, vitamin E, and selenium. Who needs a multivitamin?
Omega 3's have been proven to help with depression, anxiety, eye health, help with heart disease risk factors, metabolism, inflammation, blood and joint health amongst numerous other benefits! (source)
GUESS WHAT! The skin of salmon contains the most Omega 3 Fatty Acids! It is filled with the highest concentration of Omega 3's to help keep the salmon warm while in cold waters. If it tastes delicious and adds a ton of health benefits- it would be stupid to not eat it right?
This dish is also Paleo, Whole 30, Keto, Family Friendly, husband friendly, whatever specialty diet you're on- it makes the cut! AND COMES TOGETHER IN 10 MINUTES!
Let's talk mayo.
I feel like mayonnaise can be a very polarizing topic. Some people hate it, some people love it. It's like the color purple. Let's break it down.
The ingredients in a (clean) mayo are:
THAT'S IT. Not as gross or scary as it may seem, right? It can be sometimes difficult to find a clean mayo in a big grocery store. Trader Joe's carries pretty clean mayos without sugar or any other ingredients that you can't pronounce. If you're feeling adventurous make your own mayo! It's honestly effortless and comes together really quickly- that way you know exactly what's in it!
Mayo is the base of any aioli. The aioli in this recipe uses only a few tablespoons of mayo. Give it a try! I promise it won't disappoint.
Make sure you pat the salmon completely dry with a paper towel before putting it in the skillet- any sort of moisture prohibits the crisping!
Only cook over medium heat! Medium heat doesn't burn the skin and allows the center to cook more evenly
If the oil is smoking before you put the salmon in, the heat is up too high!!
Don't touch the salmon until you're about to flip it! Leave it to crisp until you see the white on the sides of the skin-- about 90% cooked
After you flip, turn the heat off on the skillet and let it cook the remaining 10% with the residual heat
Mix the aioli with a whisk or a fork- this helps incorporate everything into a smooth sauce