Since I shifted my lifestyle, many things have changed positively! However, I still miss the sensation of munching crispy, crunchy, deep-fried food. I still can’t deny how satisfying every bite and crumble can be. It’s just too good to let go! Oftentimes, I find myself passing through the frozen goods aisle in the supermarket only to realize I’m sort of torturing myself. I’m not supposed to be staring at those! I shouldn’t be falling into this trap. That’s why I looked for ways to feed my cravings without compromising my lifestyle. One of the solutions I came up with? Pan-seared Salmon with Herbed Brown Rice.
I love salmon because of its mild flavor and delicious flaky texture. When cooked perfectly, it literally melts in your mouth! For me, salmon fillets are best cooked with lemon and spices and paired with herbed brown rice for a fuller yet healthier meal. Besides, who needs fast food when this healthy homemade dish can be ready in just 30 minutes?
Pan-seared Salmon and Herbed Brown Rice
- 1 ⅓ lbs. Salmon
- 2-4 tbps. safflower oil (olive oil is also a good alternative)
- 1 pinch salt (Kosher salt and Himalayan salt are healthy choices, too)
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 pc. lemon (cut into wedges for serving)
Herbed Brown Rice
- 1 cup herbs (preferably basil, parsley, chives, dill, or mint, but you can use whatever you have)
- 1 ½ cup short grain brown rice
- 1 pc. yellow onion (diced)
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbps. oil (olive oil or safflower oil are good choices)
Remember to thaw the salmon at least 20 minutes before cooking. You don’t want to delay your dinner just because you forgot this!
When your salmon has softened, take your largest non-stick sauté pan to start the actual cooking process.
Pour enough safflower oil or olive oil until it covers the entire pan. Heat over medium-high heat. Don’t overheat the oil because the nutrients may diminish.
While the pan is heating up, slice the salmon into four equal-sized pieces and pat down with paper towels to absorb extra moisture. You don’ want a soggy salmon, do you?
Generously season with salt and pepper on both sides, then place the skin side down in the pan. I use sea salt. If you’re using fine salt like kosher salt, reduce the amount you sprinkle because the dish could end up too salty.
Once you can visibly see the browning of the bottom of the salmon (about 4 minutes), flip it over to the skin side.
For nice and crispy salmon skin, cook the skin side down for about 3 minutes. Turn it to the other side once you can see that the skin is browned. You’ve got to lift the edge a little bit to see the browning.
Remove the salmon carefully from the pan.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top for added zest.
Herbed Brown Rice
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of safflower oil or olive oil over medium heat.
Once hot, add the onion. Sear until fragrant and translucent.
Add a pinch of salt and then toss the onions into your blender.
Add the garlic, herbs, a little more salt, and the rest of the oil into the blender and blend. When choosing your herbs, make sure they are fresh! For dishes enhanced by herbs, you’ll be surprised by how easily a stale spice can ruin a dish.
Pour the mixture back into the pan.
Simmer for one minute while you prepare the brown rice.
Rinse the rice and add it to the onion mixture as it simmers.
Add another pinch of salt, but only if you’re using sea salt.
Add the right amount of water according to the instructions on your bag of rice.
Cook based on the time indicated in the directions on the bag.
Remove from heat. Let it sit for another 10 minutes before taking off the lid.
Garnish with parsley and a slice of lemon for added presentation and serve.
This easy-cook salmon recipe is simple and delicious – just salmon, lemon, and a few spices. While I was experimenting on the best mix, I thought of adding more ingredients in the beginning to enhance the flavor, but I realized that salmon itself is already a flavorful fish that doesn’t need much help. Besides, why fix something that ain’t broken?
When choosing my salmon, I prefer to use skin-on fillets, because the skin, when fried crispy, enhances the experience. If possible, try to get sustainable salmon. Wild ones are best if available. If you’re limited to frozen, opt for Atlantic because it has more healthy fats.
Recommended ingredients perfect for pan-seared salmon and herbed brown rice
Did you know that safflower oil has high levels of linoleic acid that helps balance the sebum levels in the skin? Aside from cooking, its light, non-greasy consistency makes it an excellent moisturizing facial oil suitable for all skin types because the skin absorbs it quickly.
On the other hand, brown rice is a rich source of dietary fiber that helps reduce the risks of death from heart disease. It also contains high levels of magnesium that make you less vulnerable to heart disease and stroke!
That’s it! My Pan-seared Salmon and Herbed Brown Rice recipe never fails to satisfy my cravings while staying healthy. Even frying it in oil keeps me guilt-free — thanks to healthy safflower oil and olive oil.