I even taught Brad how to make this dish. Typically, I'm the cook of the family (though Brad mans the grill), but he nailed this one! Here's a dimly lit cell phone shot of him in action!
This is a great meal for a weeknight when you want something fresh and nutritious but don't have the energy to make a big production out of dinner. I would say that you could have this on the table in about 20 minutes! And you could even put your panko mixture prepped in advance to save a few minutes.
Panko-Crusted Salmon (serves 4)
4 6-8 oz. salmon fillets, skin on
1 1/2 tbsp. dijon mustard (or to taste, depending on how much dijon flavor you like)
3 tbsp. mayo2/3 cup panko
2 tbsp. fresh parsley or cilantro, minced
1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. canola (or vegetable) oil
Lemon wedges (use the lemon you previously zested)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix together the panko, parsley (or cilantro), and lemon zest with a fork. Then drizzle with olive oil and stir until the crumbs are evenly coated. If the panko still seems very dry, add a little more olive oil. Set aside.
Place the salmon fillets on a board, skin side down. Season lightly with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Mix together the mayo and dijon mustard, and then generously coat the top of the fillets with the mustard mixture — this is what will make the panko stick to the salmon, so don't be stingy!
Carefully spoon the panko mixture into a thick layer on top of the mustard mixture, ensuring that the entire top is coated.
Heat the canola oil over medium high heat in a large, heavy oven-proof pan. When the oil is very hot (as in, if you throw a crumb of panko into the oil, it should sizzle immediately), carefully add the salmon fillets skin side down and without dumping too much of the panko topping into the oil. Sear for 4--5 minutes to brown the skin.
Transfer the pan to the preheated oven for about 7 minutes or until the panko is golden brown and the salmon is cooked through (take care not to overcook!). If your fillets are thinner, your salmon will cook more quickly — if your fillets are about 1" thick like mine usually are, then you'll need this long to cook the fish through. The easiest way to tell if fish is done is if it flakes easily with a fork.
Remove the pan from the oven and cover with foil for 5-10 minutes. Serve the salmon with lemon wedges.
Click here for a printable recipe!