Why this Salmon Sandwich Recipe?
This Salmon Sandwich has been in the works for some time in my home kitchen. Some recipes are that way. You make it once and you like it, but maybe it could be better. So you make it over and over, tweaking it every time. That’s what has happened with this Salmon Sandwich. After at least 20 attempts at perfection, I feel like it’s time to share it.
Before you get started
Here are a few helpful tips for making this Salmon Sandwich
- You will want to have most the components ready before you start cooking your Salmon. Follow the steps of the recipe and you will be set up for success.
- I suggest you start by making the Herb Mayonnaise for this Salmon Sandwich. There are a number of ingredients for the sauce, so making it first and cleaning up will make your cooking experience more relaxed.
- One lemon is enough to make an entire batch of these Salmon Sandwiches, but making sure you get your zest prior to slicing it is important.
- You can toast your Brioche bun in the same pan as you cook your Salmon, just make sure to do it prior to cooking the fish. Otherwise, just use a different pan. Toasting the bun prevents it from getting as soggy and adds an element of much needed texture.
- If your Salmon is uneven in thickness, rather than cutting it straight down when portioning. Cut you salmon on an angle. This will give flatter profile and ultimately lead to a better Salmon Sandwich.
- Some people enjoy skin on Salmon, many others do not. For a sandwich, I would recommend removing it. Either way, make sure to avoid scales, every single one of them. A spoon is great tool for removing any scales. Just do not rinse your Salmon to remove the scales.
Choosing your ingredients for this Salmon Sandwich
Since this recipe is rather simple, using quality ingredients is important. This is an guide to assist you through selecting the main components of this Salmon Sandwich.
If you are cooking at home, chances are you will not be buying a whole fish. When looking at Salmon Filets at the Grocery store, it is important to keep a few things in mind.
First. Choose salmon that looks fresh and doesn’t have an off smell. Visually, if there is white haze to the flesh, that is a sign it is past it’s prime. If you are getting salmon from a seafood counter, ask when it came in. Salmon that is already three days in the grocery case is typically not worth buying. In my experience most areas get fish shipments twice a week. Once early in the week and another right before the weekend. Find out when they get in fresh fish and those are the days to make this Salmon Sandwich.
Second. The type of salmon you might use can vary a TON in cost. This being a Salmon Sandwich and not a plated entrée, I will typically steer towards Atlantic Salmon. It works just fine and is reasonably priced. But, if you have access to fresh sustainably caught Wild Salmon and it is in your budget, go for it!
Third. If you can, try to buy a section with consistent thickness, rather than the end of the tail. This makes it easier to have even portions.
Last. You want between 4-5 ounce portions of fish. If you are buying a section versus individual filets, give yourself a buffer. With trimming off undesirable belly fat, areas of thick bloodline, and removing the skin, you will need about 4 ounces extra or 25 percent more.
Choosing the right bacon for the perfect Salmon Sandwich is important. Let’s be honest, most bacons are delicious, so it’s not like you can veer too far off path. But for this sandwich, a thick cut works best.
Maybe most important is how you cook the bacon. I find laying your bacon out on a sheet tray and cooking for around 10-15 minutes at 350 F to work well. It also helps to rotate your pan halfway through cooking to get an even cook. Giving your bacon time to rest and draining excess fat on a paper towel keeps your Salmon Sandwich from getting too greasy.
When choosing a bun for this Salmon Sandwich, Brioche is the top choice for me. The sweet and airy dough that Brioche provides is perfect for this application. At one point in time you needed to live near a French Bakery or be willing to make your own if you wanted this type of bun. But, Brioche is more common these days in most grocery stores.
If you are unable to find brioche, opt for a sweeter bun versus a hard roll variety. The very first version of this sandwich happened to be on a croissant as a brunch item. Sadly, it didn’t work out the way I wished it would have.
Arugula is my preferred lettuce for this Salmon Sandwich. The peppery notes and the bitterness are a nice contrast to the rest of the sandwich. Other options that would work well would be other bitter greens like Frisee or even the Mixed Greens that are sold in the produce section. I would avoid iceberg or romaine lettuce though. In test versions where they were used, they took away more than they added.
Regardless of the variety of lettuce that you use, a light toss in lemon juice and olive oil with just a pinch of salt makes a huge difference.
The most important thing to take into consideration for the Herb Mayonnaise is to use fresh ingredients. This means I would not recommend substituting bottled lemon juice in place of squeezing and zesting an actual lemon. If you have a brand of Mayonnaise that you like, then gravitate towards that one for this Salmon Sandwich.
For the Herb Mayonnaise dried herbs are not a desirable replacement for fresh Parsley and Rosemary. That being said, paying $4 for a herb packet to simply get 1/2 teaspoon of Rosemary for this recipe just does not make sense to me financially. I would recommend having your own Culinary Herb Garden, here is my beginner’s guide, and harvesting what you need. If an extra $4 or going down the rabbit hole of starting a garden doesn’t makes sense for you, skipping it won’t totally ruin your sandwich. Personally, I would much rather miss out on or substitute some of the fresh herbs, than suffer through the dried ones.
Recipe for Honey Glazed Salmon Sandwich
Honey Glazed Salmon Sandwich
- Make Herb Mayonnaise. Finely chop herbs. Use a Microplane grater to zest lemon. Then combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Store in refrigerator until sandwich assembly.
- Cook Bacon. Lay bacon strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 F/ 175 C for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and place bacon on paper towel to absorb excess grease.
- Prepare Salmon for cooking. Remove the skin from your salmon by running a chefs knife between the skin and salmon fillet. Remove all scales and pin bones. Portion into 4-5 ounce pieces, cutting fillets on a bias will create a more uniform thickness. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
- Toast Buns. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and allow it a few minutes to warm up. Melt 2 Tbsp. of butter and place your buns in the pan for 2-3 minutes to toast the internal sides.
- Cooking the Salmon. In the same pan, increase heat to medium high, add 2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil. Allow Oil to heat up. It should shimmer like a mirage when ready. Place salmon in pan. Allow 2-3 minutes before flipping using a fish spatula. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Then add 2 Tbsp. of Butter to sauté pan. Once melted, spoon over salmon fillets for an additional minute. If you take an internal temperature, Medium will be 130 F, but 145 F is recommended by USDA. Drizzle 1/2 Tbsp. Honey per salmon fillet and spoon over melted butter an additional time. Remove Salmon from pan and allow it a few minutes to rest.
- Dress your Greens. In a mixing bowl toss Arugula in a light amount of olive oil and lemon juice along with a pinch of salt. Do this just prior to assembling your sandwiches.
- Assemble your Sandwiches. With all of the previous steps completed. Spread 1 Tbsp. on both the top and bottoms of your toasted bun. Add 1/2 Cup of dressed Arugula to the bottom half of the bun. Next place two strips of bacon followed by the salmon. Place the top of the bun on your sandwich and serve immediately.