Chef reveals the secrets to cooking the perfect piece of salmon

Chef reveals the secrets to cooking the perfect piece of salmon – and why you should leave it uncovered overnight BEFORE cooking

  • A Sydney chef has revealed the secrets to cooking the perfect piece of salmon
  • Peter Robertson of Flying Fish said you need to pick the right fillet carefully
  • Dry skin before by leaving salmon uncooked and uncovered in fridge overnight
  • Then, Peter said you should season and cook skin side down in butter on low
  • Peter said the main mistake home cooks make with fish is overcooking it 

A top Sydney chef has revealed the secrets to cooking the perfect piece of salmon, and why the trick to nailing the dish is leaving it uncooked and uncovered overnight in your fridge before preparing it.

Executive Chef of the Flying Fish restaurant in Sydney Peter Robertson told FEMAIL that there are many secrets behind a delicious fillet, but it all starts with choosing the right piece of salmon.

‘Make sure you pick the right piece of salmon, the Ora king salmon is a good place to start,’ Peter told Daily Mail Australia. 

A top Sydney chef has revealed the secrets to cooking the perfect piece of salmon (Peter Robertson of Flying Fish pictured)

‘If you’re picking a whole fish, check the gills and ensure there are nice bright eyes. 

‘If you’re choosing a fillet, ensure it’s scaled, the flesh is firm and it smells like the ocean rather than low tide.’

Once you have your piece of salmon, Peter said the next thing to do is leave your fillet uncovered and uncooked in the fridge overnight.

‘This means that the skin will be fully dried out before cooking,’ he said. 

Fish should ideally be brought to room temperature before cooking it, Peter said (Flying Fish dishes pictured)

Next, bring it out of the fridge and allow it to adjust to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.

Then, season generously and cook the fillet skin side down in clarified butter on a moderate heat until the skin is a deep golden brown.

‘Flip the salmon for just a few seconds on the flesh side and remove it from the pan, before finishing with some salt flakes and a big wedge of lemon,’ Peter said.

‘Sometimes, I like to finish it off on the barbecue.  

‘I’ll still set the skin in a pan as it makes it less likely to stick on the barbecue.

‘But just finishing it on the barbecue adds a bit of blistering and smoke flavour.’


Peter also said you should taste absolutely everything you’re cooking to make sure it tastes as you wanted it to and then correct and balance it as needed (Flying Fish dishes pictured)

When it comes to the major mistakes home cooks make with cooking fish, Peter said the main mistakes are around overcooking.

‘Overcooking at too low a temperature is a big one for sure, especially at home where your barbecue or stove may not be as strong, you need to make sure you’ve pre-heated accordingly and you don’t stew something that was meant to be pan fried.’

Peter also said you should taste absolutely everything you’re cooking to make sure it tastes as you wanted it to:

‘Correct and balance as needed, and practice a dish by repeating it,’ he said.

‘You’ll probably make a seafood dish better the next time you make it.’ 

Flying Fish and Peter Robertson have created a long lunch menu ($130pp) at Flying Fish, with delicious items like caviar, oysters and sea urchin, as well as mains and delicious desserts.

For more information about the menu, please click here

What are Peter’s tips for salmon? 

* Pick the right piece of salmon: If you are picking a whole fish, check the gills and ensure there are nice bright eyes; if you’re choosing a fillet, ensure it’s scaled, the flesh is firm and it smells like the ocean rather than low tide>

* Leave it uncovered and uncooked in the fridge overnight to dry out the skin.

* Bring it out the fridge and allow it to adjust to room temperature for 30 minutes.

* Season generously and cook the fillet skin side down in clarified butter on a moderate heat until the skin is a deep golden brown.

* Flip the salmon for just a few seconds on the flesh side and remove it from the pan, before finishing with some salt flakes and a big wedge of lemon.

* Finish it off on the barbecue to get that blistering and smoke flavour. 

Source: Peter Robertson; Flying Fish 

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