As mentioned in my previous post, I’m trying to follow the Activate cycle of the 17-Day Diet (visit that post to find out more about it). Which means finding new and tasty ways to make poultry and fish dishes, since those are the only meats allowed during this cycle. As I’m not really a big fan of fish (other than salmon, catfish, and tilapia), I’ve been trying to think of ways to make it that aren’t difficult and that are very tasty. Which led me to thinking about the marinades I’ve done here on the blog. One of my favorite was Orange-Lime Pork Chops, and I thought I could adapt it for salmon. And, boy howdy, was I right!
Orange-Lime Marinated Salmon
Click here for a printable PDF version.
- Juice of one small orange (approx. 1/2 cup)
- Juice of one lime (approx. 1/4 cup)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking
- 2 teaspoons dry cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Up to 2 lbs. salmon fillets
Tools & Utensils:
- Measuring cup/spoons
- Small bowl for mixing marinade
- Citrus juicer (optional—I used my hands and the handle of a wooden spoon)
- Gallon-size zip-top plastic bag
- Paper towels
- Medium to large heavy-bottom skillet
- Flexible (fish) spatula
Combine orange juice, lime juice, and olive oil in plastic bag. Add salmon fillets. Remove as much air as possible, seal, and then gently smoosh around until the fillets are completely covered with the marinade. Marinate 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature, turning the bag at least once. (I set a timer for 30 minutes, then turned the bag; I then prepared the cauliflower and zucchini for roasting. By the time those were ready to go into the oven for 10-15 minutes, the hour was nearly up for the marinating and it was time to cook the salmon).
Remove salmon fillets from bag and blot skin side with paper towels.
Drizzle oil in skillet and heat skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until oil shimmers. Add one fillet to pan, skin-side down. Press fillet down lightly with flexible (fish) spatula for 10 seconds to keep fillet from buckling. Repeat with remaining fillet(s). Cook approximately 3 minutes, until flesh on sides turns from translucent to opaque most of the way up the sides. Flip fillets and cook no longer than 30 to 60 seconds on flesh side before removing from pan. Or, according to Bon Appetit:
Want a super-casual way to know if the fish is cooked through? Give the sides a squeeze. If it’s finished, the flakes will begin to separate, since the fat between them is rendered. It’s kind of like you’re hugging your salmon. It’s kind of like you love it. And to be honest, you should. You just cooked it perfectly.
Because I knew I’d be eating one of my two fillets for another meal, I only cooked it on the skin side for two and a half minutes and the flesh side for thirty seconds, so that it wouldn’t be overdone when reheated. But I like my salmon on the medium-rare side of just cooked through.
Don’t be concerned if the skin of the salmon looks burned when you flip it. The juices will make it caramelize darker than you’d think. Even though mine looked blackened, it didn’t taste that way. The skin was perfectly crisp and tasty.
You may want to reserve a couple of slices of lime to garnish your plates and squeeze over your salmon before eating—but I liked them just the way they came out with nothing more added.