This pan-seared salmon with marinated mushrooms and coconut wild rice will be your next favorite go-to meal if you like salmon, mushrooms, and wild rice. Although it sounds sophisticated, it's actually quite easy to make. So yes! You can absolutely make this and impress your guests at the next dinner on you! And if you're looking for an equally impressive dessert try our easy flourless chocolate soufflé!
Tips and FAQs to help you sear your salmon like a pro:
Prep the salmon for cooking.
Usually, you can ask your grocery store's seafood department to descale your fish skin, but it's inevitable that you find some leftover scales on the the skin, especially the areas near the belly. But don't worry! Just use the prongs of a fork or the back of a knife and scrape the scale in the opposite direction. I highly recommend doing this in a clean sink because the scales will fly around.
Whether or not you have to descale the skin yourself, I always rinse the salmon to get rid of anything unwanted.
After rinsing, make sure to to thoroughly dry the salmon with a paper towel. Water/ moisture is the nemesis of crispy skin.
Score the salmon skin.
It is very important to score, or make shallow cuts, on the salmon skin to prevent the salmon from curling up. Not only does curled salmon filets not meet aesthetic standards, uneven cooking of the skin will not add any charm points either. Who likes soggy fish skin when it's supposed to be crispy?
Score the salmon skin. The cuts should be very shallow (around 1 mm, just to break through the skin).😉
How to make sure my salmon skin is crispy?
Besides making sure the salmon is dry and the skin is scored, I suggest seasoning the salmon as close to cooking time as possible to prevent the salt from drawing extra moisture out onto the skin. I repeat again: water/ moisture is the nemesis to crispy skin.
The last tip for crispy salmon skin is to use a hot pan (reg. or non-stick). Make sure your oil is shimmering, not smoking, when you sear your fish. You can test the heat by putting a corner of the fish in the oil. If the oil sizzles, the pan is ready.This will get you nice crispy skin and prevent your fish skin from sticking to the pan. Also, remember to not move your salmon around constantly. Let the heat and oil do their work.
How long should I cook the salmon for?
Cooking time varies by the thickness of the filet and the temperature you like your salmon.
We like our salmon at medium or just cooked, and our filet is just under 1 inch thick. Those filets took about 4-5 minutes to cook.
Crispy golden brown salmon skin, coming right up!
Make sure to cook your filet, skin side first. The skin side of the filet should take 85-90% of your cook time. The skin should be crispy and slightly golden brown. The flesh side of the filet should only be cooked for 15-45 seconds depending on how well cooked you'd like your salmon.
For medium rare: cook till about 115F.
Medium: cook till about 120F.
Well done: cook till 140F.
Wild rice and marinated mushrooms Q&A:
What is wild rice?
Wild rice, as convincing as the name sounds, is not actually rice. It's an aquatic grass that's much higher in nutrient than rice. If cooked properly, wild rice should have the texture of rice with some chew and a nutty flavor.
For this recipe, instead of using all wild rice, we are using a wild rice blend. We used Lundberg's wild rice blend.
How to cook my wild rice blend?
You can cook the wild rice blend with these 3 methods:
- on the stovetop using a heavy bottom pot, like a Staub saucepan
- with an Instant Pot
- or with a rice cooker
All three methods require the same amount of liquid.
For the stovetop method, bring the liquid and rice to a boil then turn down the heat to low. Give it a stir and cover with the lid. Let it cook for about 45 minutes, until the rice is tender but still slightly chewy. If needed, add a couple more tablespoon of water to the rice and cook for a few more minutes if it's still a tad crunchy after 45 minutes.
Drizzle some honey into the cooked coconut wild rice for some additional sweetness. I promise it's good!
For Instant Pot, select the "Pressure Cook" setting. Adjust it to high pressure and cook for 15 minutes with the vent sealed. Allow it to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes.
For a rice cooker, select either regular rice setting or the brown rice setting.
What kind of mushrooms should I use?
You can use any mushrooms you'd like. We found some beautiful oyster mushrooms at the farmers market so we used those.
Cook these beautiful oyster mushrooms with some oil, salt, and minced garlic.
Add your cooked mushrooms to your marinade mix and stir together.
Cook with love!
If you made this recipe or any recipe from our blog, please tag us on Instagram @twoplaidparons! We would love to see your creations! It makes our day 🥰
Pan-Seared Salmon with Marinated Mushrooms and Coconut Wild Rice
For the rice:
- 1 cup wild rice blend (we used Lundberg brand)
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup coconut milk (or 6 fl. oz.)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoon honey (optional)
For the mushrooms:
- 1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed (we used oyster mushrooms)
- oil (for sautéing)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup rice vinegar (or sushi vinegar)
- 2 Tablespoon brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1 teaspoon Korean pepper flakes (or reg. crushed peppers flakes)
For the salmon:
- 4 piece salmon filets, skin on, descaled (4-6 oz each)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- oil (for pan-searing)
- Green onion, sliced (optional for garnish)
For the rice:
- Wash and rinse the rice 1-2 times.Combine rice, water, coconut milk, and salt into a medium size, heavy bottom pot.Over medium high heat, bring rice to a boil. Turn the heat down immediately to low and give the rice mixture a good stir. Cover the pot and let the rice cook for about 45 minutes. *If the rice is still slightly crunchy, add 2-3 tablespoon of water and continue to cook for a few more minutes.*Once the rice is done, fluff with a fork. Keep warm.Optional: Drizzle in 2 teaspoons of honey while fluffing to add some sweetness.For rice cooker: Cook on regular rice or brown rice setting.For Instant Pot: Pressure cook on high pressure setting for 15 minutes, vent sealed, and natural release for 10 minutes.
For the mushrooms:
- In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add a good drizzle of vegetable oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan). Once the oil is shimmering and hot, add the mushrooms and season with salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.Add rice vinegar, brown sugar, and pepper flakes to a medium bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add the sautéed mushrooms. Stir together to marinate. Let it sit at room temperature if eating right away, or place in fridge if making ahead of time.
For the salmon:
- Rinse the salmon filets and gently pat dry with paper towel. With a sharp knife, make 3-4 shallow, diagonal cuts on the salmon skin (about ⅛ inch deep). Season both sides of the salmon with salt. *If seasoning with cracked black pepper, DO NOT sprinkle on skin side. It will burn.*Over medium high heat, add a good drizzle of vegetable oil to a nonstick pan (or well oiled stainless steel pan). When the pan is hot, place the salmon filets in the pan*, skin side down. Cook the salmon for 4-5 minutes until the skin is crispy and the salmon is ⅔ of the way cooked. Flip the salmon fillets and cook for 15-45 seconds. Remove from heat and let the salmon rest, skin side up, on a plate lined with paper towel for 1-2 minutes.*DO NOT overcrowd pan. Cook a couple of fillets at a time if needed. Overcrowding will steam the fish and result in soggy salmon skin.*
- Enjoy!Enjoy the salmon while it's hot with the marinated mushrooms and coconut wild rice. The leftover marinade makes a great sauce for the salmon. Garnish the dish with some sliced green onions if you wish.
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