This may be one of my most viral recipes I have created to date. I never dreamed of the reaction from Tiktok, but I am so glad people were supportive and gave it a try! As context, my boyfriend hates cooked salmon. He believes when it is cooked, whether it is sauteed, baked, or grilled, it has a distinct fishy taste that he does not like. Raw or smoked salmon he is completely fine with which told me it was not a texture issue, it was a flavor issue. I decided I wanted to challenge myself to fix him a cooked salmon dish he would like, because I love salmon and I want him to like it too. Is that selFISH of me? Perhaps, but I wanted to try to expand his pallet.
I know that salmon has a distinct flavor, but I personally like it. I wanted to try to mask that flavor as much as possible but still stay true to the fish. This was when I got the idea to do a crispy texture. He is, as most of us are, a fan of crispy and fried textures. While trying to remain healthy, I decided to do a baked coating rather than fried.
Salmon is always paired with lemon, so it was important I utilize the citrus flavor as well. I got my panko bread crumbs and lemon and decided to add parsley, parmesan, and some salt and pepper. It is a mild pairing but one that could give the fish a slightly more palatable flavor.
The parmesan and salt adds to the nuttiness and saltiness to the dish. It pairs well with the acidity of the lemon. The finely chopped parsley gives the fish a fresh, herbaceous flavor that will also help cut the original flavor.
When I got my salmon, it came in a very large portion, so I decided to cut and portion them to a reasonable dinner size. I de-skinned my salmon. This caused a lot of controversy on Tiktok as some believe the skin is the best part and should be left on. I for one am a huge fan of salmon skin, but I wanted people to understand that this is not a pan sear method. The breading would only stick to the bottom of the skin and would be removed later. So it came as a bit of a waste to bread the skin. Rather I cut the skin off, and saved it for pan searing later as a salmon skin chip.
I mixed my breading ingredients together and gently pat my salmon in an egg wash and then the bread crumb mixture. I carefully placed it on a silicone baking sheet at 375F for 18 minutes and the crumbs were a golden brown color and the salmon was juicy and moist. If you find your bread crumbs are baking a little too fast, gently lay a little piece of foil over it. Do not seal the sides as it will begin to steam and the outside will not be crispy. I actually used gluten free bread crumbs from 4C, but regular panko would do just fine.
To my surprise, he ate it completely and really enjoyed the dish. He said that the salmon taste was greatly masked and he loved the crunch and hint of acidity. Sometimes I make something that may not be a homerun, but I want to find ways to enjoy amazing foods. He is not a terribly picky eater, and I am proud he let me try this dish with him.
Parmesan Crusted Salmon
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup bread crumbs mine were GF
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Slice salmon into filets and remove the skin.
- Whisk 2 eggs.
- In a separate bowl mix the Parmesan, bread crumbs, lemon, parsley, and salt and pepper together.
- Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the mixture.
- Dip salmon into egg and then the breading mix.
- Set on a baking rack and cook 375 for about 18 minutes.
- If the bread crumbs start to brown too much, lay a piece of foil over them.