Last summer my son went to Vancouver with my cousin and her family and he came home raving about a dish he had at a seafood restaurant there - Potato Crusted Halibut. He's been asking me to try to make it with him ever since. But the halibut I found at the market was simply too expensive, so we made it with salmon instead and it was wonderful! It was actually pretty easy to make as well. It's kind of like cooking crispy hasbrowns on top of fish. The only caution is that you can't cook it for too long or the fish will get dry. The fish store at Pike Place Market recommended that we get 1/2 pound of salmon per person, but it was actually too much for us and we had leftovers, but they were good the next day reheated in the broiler. We served it with curry rice and sauteed spinach leaves with garlic and red pepper flakes. Here's the recipe for the salmon:
Potato Crusted Salmon
1 1/2 - 2 lbs wild Salmon filet (preferably wild) cut into 3 - 4 equal pieces
3- 4 potatoes, peeled and shredded and put into a bowl of cold water (each potato should be about the size of a piece of salmon)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (preferably Best Foods or Hellman's on the East Coast)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
1 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I used light olive oil)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Rinse and dry each piece of salmon and put on plate. Remove the potatoes from the water and squeeze dry in a clean kitchen towel and put aside on a plate. Mix the mayonnaise with the garlic and lemon juice and spread on each piece of salmon thickly. Take a handful of shredded potato and press on top of the salmon so that the potato is about 1/2 inch on top of the salmon. Repeat with each piece. Salt and pepper the top of the potatoes liberally.
Heat oven to 425 degrees and place oiled baking sheet in oven to heat.
Heat a large frying pan and add oil. When the oil is hot, carefully place the salmon potato side down. A few potato shreds will come loose so simply push them back toward the fish. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are well browned - be patient - it may take five minutes or more. When they are all browned, carefully place a large plate over the pan and turn the pan over (using mitts on both hands and be careful!) until the fish is potato side up on the plate. Remove hot pan from the oven and place fish on the pan. Return to oven and cook 5 to 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily and potato is cooked through.
Five Element Analysis
Fish is always from the Water Element and Salmon as a cold water fish is full of Omega 3s and is especially Watery in nature. The potatos add the Earth Element, the mayonnaise as a condiment is a Metal Food and the garlic adds a little more. The touch of lemon brings in the Wood Element but that needs more emphasis in the meal so be sure to add a green vegetable. We added spinach with garlic and red chili flakes to bring in more Wood and a little Fire to liven things up. The curry rice adds more Metal and since the curry powder was Madras, it also adds a little bit more Fire. But for this meal to be fully balanced, a little more Fire food is recommended - perhaps some lovely berries for desert.