The Accidental Recipe: 10 Minute Soy Glazed Salmon

pan fried salmon

Dearest Reader, do you ever come up with accidental recipes? When Mr NQN's family lived nearby we used to invite them in after a day's activity and I'd try and make something quickly based on what we had in the pantry or fridge. If it was just before grocery shopping day, then things would get tricky but a perverse part of me relished the challenge.

Sometimes things would work out, sometimes not and sometimes these "accidental recipes" have become part of our simple weeknight meal list. Ever since hearing about the benefits of eating salmon, I've consciously tried to include fish in our diet. I first made this recipe over 10 years ago for my sister. She had bought some salmon fillets on the way home from work and asked me to cook them for her. I decided to pan fry them as we both like a simple piece of fish grilled or pan fried. So I took out the frying pan, seared it skin side down and then flipped it over.

Being unable to leave well enough alone I peered at the huge bottle of kecap manis that was standing next to the stove top. We both love the stuff so I told her that I would do a bit of experimenting to see whether it would work. After all, if we liked both items by separately, wouldn't we like them together?*

pan fried salmon

The kecap manis lent a gorgeous flavour to salmon as the sugars reduced and glazed the fish. Salmon works particularly well as it is a rich, fatty fish and is strong enough in flavour to stand up to the salty sweet glaze. I've since refined the recipe and added garlic and ginger to round out the flavour but the 10 minute cooking time remains and you can have a delicious salmon meal on the table in 10 minutes - accidentally or on purpose!

So tell me Dear Reader, do you have any accidental recipes? And do you eat a lot of fish in your diet and do you tend to cook it at home or order it in restaurants?

*By the way that logic doesn't always work, and many really bad combinations come to mind i.e. oyster cupcakes, pork rib macarons and sashimi eclairs... ;)

10 Minute Soy Glazed Salmon

An Original Recipe (by accident!) by Not Quite Nigella

Serves 2

  • 2 x salmon fillets, about 200grams each

  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • 4 slices fresh ginger

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife

  • 1/4 cup kecap manis or Indonesian sweet soy sauce (regular soy sauce won't give the same glaze)

  • Rice or salad to serve

Buyer's tip: kecap manis or Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce is available at most supermarkets in the Asian foods section. It can also be bought at Asian grocery stores.

pan fried salmon
Removing pin bones

pan fried salmon

Step 1 - Heat a frypan on medium heat. Remove any pin bones from the salmon (press against the salmon fillet and if you feel a bone, use fingers or tweezers to remove the bones). Add the oil and the ginger and garlic to the pan and fry for about a minute until it starts to soften and become fragrant. Add the salmon fillets, skin side down and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Turn salmon over and add the kecap manis and cook with the lid on for about 3-5 minutes (depending on whether you like your salmon cooked all the way through).  During this time, occasionally baste the sides and non skin side with the sweet, sticky, bubbling sauce that gathers at the bottom of the pan.

pan fried salmon

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