Fried Salmon Fillets in a Tortilla Crust
One of my favorite fish to eat is wild caught Alaska king salmon. It’s so rich and so healthy for you. It’s especially good when you get it wild caught and flown in fresh from Alaska.
Thinking about my love for salmon, I had an epiphany…fried salmon with a Latin flare, olé! In this recipe we’re skinning the large salmon fillet then cutting it on the bias (or making angled cuts) into 2-3” slices, then coating it in a tortilla chip crust, and serving with a yummy tomatillo and avocado sauce.
It has an inviting aroma. The crispy, earthy, tortilla-flavored crust and the tartness of the roasted tomatillo sauce, with the rich buttery flavor and creamy texture of the avocados just makes this dish scream…hell yes! Well, my family loved it!
Even though it is fried…I was still thinking again…well, hell, we are getting the Omega-3 amino acids and protein that are healthy for us…right! And the sauce is easy to make. It’s a winner!
- Large 10”x 4”deep sauce pan or dutch oven
- Chef knife
- Fish fillet knife
- 3 pie/cake pans
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Spider or hand strainer, or tongs
- Sheet pan with rack (so the fried fish does not get soggy and drains properly)
- Food processor, and/or blender (optional)
[ingredients title=”Ingredients – Salmon”]
- 1 side of salmon (1 ½ – 2 lbs.) skinned, seasoned* and cut on a 2” angle
- 1 C + flour, for dusting (plus salt and pepper)
- 3-4 large eggs, beaten
- 1 tortilla chips, plain and salted, regular size bag (10-12 oz.), crushed
- ½ gal. extra virgin olive oil
[ingredients title=”Ingredients – Quick and Easy Tomatillo and Avocado Sauce”] Psst…double the sauce, you won’t regret it.
- 16 oz. tomatillo “green” salsa, your favorite one
- 1 avocado, pureed
[ingredients title=”Ingredients – Scratch Made Tomatillo and Avocado Sauce”]
- 1 lb. fresh tomatillos, husked and quartered
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded, deveined and quartered
- Olive oil to coat
- 1-2 avocados, peeled and seeded
- 1/2 C cilantro, chopped
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Chef Gerrie’s Notes:
* Season both sides of the salmon with a nice salmon rub of your choice. I like to use Smoky BBQ Fish Rub from Ashman Manufacturing Co. for this dish because it compliments the richness of the salmon. Cut slices after seasoning.
1 Skin the salmon or ask your butcher to skin it and remove the belly flap. This makes the fish more uniform and you’ll get nicer cuts. Season both sides and cut into slices on an angle.
Skin your salmon at home or ask your butcher to remove the belly flap.
Slice salmon pieces on an angle.
2 Set up the standard breading procedure assembly line in 3 separate pans — first flour, second egg wash, and third crushed tortilla chips. Heat your oil to 350 degrees. If you don’t have a fry thermometer, take a handle of a wooden spoon and emerge it into the simmering oil. If a strong series of bubbles rise up the handle it’s good. Alternatively, throw a small piece of bread into the oil and see if it is frying nice. Do not let the oil start smoking.
Left to right: crushed tortilla chips, egg wash, flour.
3 Start breading. Dredge several pieces of salmon in flour then dip into egg wash and finally into crushed chips. Slowly lower each piece into the hot oil. Do not crowd the frying pan with fish because it will lower the temperature and cause a soggy product. Fry for 3 minutes or so and turn. You may want to lower the heat a little. Remove the first fried pieces and place on a rack above a sheet pan to drain and keep frying until finished with all pieces.
Completely cover your salmon for a cruchy crust.
4 Make your sauce. If you choose to do the quick and easy method. Puree the avocado with a little of the prepared tomatillo salsa. Mix back into salsa and heat. Now you have it. Easy – peasy! From scratch: prepare veggies making sure you pull off husks from tomatillos and coat with oil. Under a lower rack, broil ingredients on a foil wrapped sheet pan. When they are roasted and charred, put in a blender with the avocado and cilantro and blend. Salt and pepper to taste.
5 Serve by placing sauce on plate and top with fried fish.