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John Golden

John Golden writes about food and has a highly opinionated blog, The Golden Dish.

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Posted: March 18, 2015

Wild over local salmon: True North Salmon is farmed along the Northeast Atlantic coast

Excellent farmed salmon, all natural, from Maine is nearly the perfect piece of fish.

Written by: John Golden

Earlier this week, during a visit to Harbor Fish, I noticed a sign in the fish case labeling Maine salmon. My first thought was, has wild salmon finally been released from the Atlantic – long gone as a breeding ground for the fish found wild? It turned out this salmon is farmed from the acquafarming company True North Salmon, where farming and breeding take place along the northeast Atlantic coastline of Maine and up into Canada. According to Harbor Fish, it’s a sustainable and totally natural product. I thought I might as well try it, being a dollar or two cheaper by the pound compared to Faroe Island, one of  the more popular sources of farmed salmon. I wondered why I haven’t seen the fish before and learned that it’s been increasingly available in our market for about a year.

Fresh farmed salmon from True North at Harbor Fish Market

Fresh farmed salmon from True North at Harbor Fish Market

I bought a tail end pound piece and thought I’d grill it on my gas barbecue. But the weather is still unforgiving, so I decided to make one of my favorite simple recipes for salmon by pan searing and roasting.

The salmon had wonderful texture: just the right amount of oiliness without the sometimes overly fishy, strong taste that wild salmon and some farmed salmon display. It’s proved to be a good middle-ground piece of fish with excellent flavor and texture.

Salmon fillet

Salmon fillet

Pan-seared salmon with mustard glaze

Serves 2

1 pound piece salmon fillet, skinned

Sea salt, to taste

Black pepper, freshly ground,  to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil


1 tablespoon dry vermouth

2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

2 tablespoons light-brown sugar

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Chopped dill, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Season the salmon with salt and pepper and set aside.  Prepare the glaze by mixing all of the ingredients except for 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Once the mixture is well combined whisk in the olive oil until it’s the consistency of an emulsion.  Set aside until ready to use.

Glazed salmon pan seared and roasted

Glazed salmon pan seared and roasted

Heat a saute pan with 1 tablespoon of oil.  When hot add add the salmon and sear several minutes on each side over medium-high heat.  Transfer to a small baking dish or gratin pan, coat the salmon with the glaze.  Put in the oven and roast for about 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through, slightly pink and moist inside and flakes easily. Garnish with chopped dill.

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