Since I'm not a huge fan of cooked salmon*, any way I can find to eat it that disguises the fact that it really is cooked salmon, works for me. When I saw that the Seduced by Bacon cookbook had a salmon recipe that incorporated bacon, I figured bacon was a great way to hide that there was actually fish on my plate. Bacon is a great leveler when it comes to dishes I might not normally try.
The first thing to say is that my finished dish was not the least bit appetizing looking. I had some gourmet type bacon that was too thick and not lean enough to wrap around the bacon as shown in the cookbooks photograph. I'd use thinner bacon next time. But I actually did eat my entire piece of salmon. Adding the bacon really helped and the taste of the Chinese type barbecue sauce that's used here gave the salmon a flavor that, although it didn't exactly rock my world, allowed me to eat the whole portion without too much fuss. Mr. L on the other hand, who is a big fan of fish in general and loves salmon, loved the dish. So there. For salmon lovers and for "bacon will get me to eat anything" lovers. If you are one of the later, it helps to cook up a bit of extra bacon so you have a big piece of bacon with each bite of fish.
You can make the barbecue sauce the night before to make this a quick after work dinner. But since the sauce only takes about 20 minutes to make, this can still be a quick meal even if you don't prep the night before.
*I must state that I don't like 'cooked' salmon. Raw salmon? Good salmon sashimi is a favorite. And hamachi. Super albacore. Maguro tuna. I have no idea why I can eat fish raw but not cooked. Great mystery in my household that may never be answered. So when I say I'm not a fan of fish, just know I'm talking about cooked fish.
CHINESE GLAZED SALMON
FOR THE BARBECUE SAUCE:
2/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup medium sherry
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons black bean paste
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
FOR THE FISH:
1 teaspoon oil
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, cut about 1 inch wide, blotted on paper towels
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons purchased or home-made Chinese barbecue sauce (see above)
6 slices lean bacon, cut crosswise in half
Thinly sliced scallions, including most of green parts, to garnish
To Make the Barbecue Sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a double boiler and simmer until the mixture begins to thicken, about 10-12 minutes. Store the unused portion in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator.
Broil the Fish:
Turn on the broiler. Position the rack about 4 inches from the heat.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salmon, flesh-side down, and saute until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Turn, season the fish with salt and pepper to taste, spread the barbecue sauce over the flesh side, and drape three half-slices of bacon diagonally over the top of each fillet, sticking toothpicks through the ends of the strips into the salmon to hold the bacon in place.
Transfer the fish to the broiler and cook until the bacon is crisp and the salmon is just cooked through, about 10 minutes for 1-inch-thick salmon fillets. Remove, discard the toothpicks, sprinkle with scallions and serve.
Note: I made the barbecue sauce recipe included above (the sauce/glaze was very good).
Note: I used a cut of bacon that was too thick and didn't cook at the same time as the fish (the salmon was done before the bacon was cooked crisp). I'd use thinner bacon next time.
Note: I did add a pinch of red pepper flakes. The finished dish wasn't spicy to me at all.
Note: I did not use a double boiler to make the sauce. It seemed to turn out fine just carefully cooking it in a small pot on the stove.
Note: You will need the toothpicks.
Note: Mr. L loved the leftover salmon with bacon in a salad the next day.