Salmon is a healthy, sustainable fish that’s abundant in Canada and in season around this time. Though it’s locally sourced, price is always on the steeper end. We buy the wild Sockeye salmon because it’s a powerhouse of nutrients but I always had to wait for it to go on sale (which doesn’t usually happen). Pink Salmon is a type of Pacific salmon with a much cheaper price tag. It’s also packed full of nutrients like the Omega-3 fatty acids but it’s less popular than the former because of its milder taste and is smaller in size.
The cooking process is the same way as the Spanish-style Sardines. Fish steaks are packed closely together, spices are added and topped with a combination of oil and water. It slowly simmers in the IP until the fish is fully cooked and even the bones are tender enough to eat.
Though it may look so fancy and labor-intensive, this is actually one of those “set it and forget it” kinda way of cooking. As soon as the fish is drained from briefly being brined, what’s left to do is to just neatly pile all the ingredients, seal it and set the IP on manual for an hour. That’s all there is to it. Once cooled, I portion and freeze most of them. This way, I have some parked in the freezer when cravings strike. Check out my other recipe, Spanish-Style Binagoongang Bangus. It’s a spin from the usual which is equally appetizing. You can watch the YouTube video here.
Instant Pot Spanish-Style Salmon
- 2 small Pink Salmon 5-6 lbs total, cleaned, gutted and sliced into 1-inch steaks (head removed)
- ¼ cup sea salt for brining
- Water for brining
- 2 medium carrots thinly sliced (about 1cm)
- 1 to 1 ½ cups sweet pickled baby onions or sliced green pickled
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 garlic head peeled and halved
- 5 dried bay leaves
- 3 or more Thai red chillies
- 1 cup water
- 2 ¼ cups olive oil or enough to cover the fish
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Add ¼ cup salt to a large bowl and fill with 6 cups of water. Stir well and add the cleaned fish. You may add a little more water to submerge all the steaks. Set aside for 20 minutes. Rinse well and drain.
- Lay half of the carrot slices at the bottom of the inner pot. Arrange the salmon neatly on top, making sure they’re snug. Then, add the pickles, the rest of the carrot slices, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, chillies and salt. Pour 1 cup of water then fill the rest with olive oil, until it completely covers the fish steaks.
- Close the lid, seal the vent and set on Manual for 1 hour. Let the pressure release for 15 minutes before carefully opening the valve.
- Serve with rice, over pasta or on top of toast.