Balsamic, Thyme & Lemon Salmon

Aside from tuna, salmon is the one other fish which I really, really love. I love it so much I literally beg my mom to make me some sort of grilled salmon every week. I can eat it in any manner – raw (sashimi), grilled, steamed, poached – anything goes.

So, from my recent ventures into cooking, I decided to cook my own salmon for the very first time. I’ve also bought thyme for the kitchen (it’s not very commonly used in local households where I come from) and I was dying to experiment with this much-loved herb.

As fresh thyme only keeps for about 2 weeks in the fridge, I decided to purchase a bottle of dried thyme which can last up to one year. Please note that you will also be needing a sealable bag for marinating purposes.

2 tsp dried thyme (Masterfoods) OR 2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 salmon fillet
salt & black pepper (to season)

In a bowl, add the first five ingredients (thyme, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and minced garlic) and stir until it’s evenly mixed. Pour the ingredients into a sealable plastic bag. Next, you add the salmon fillet into the bag and toss it around to coat evenly.

Give your salmon a nice tossing to ensure marinade is coated evenly.

Seal the bag, make sure you get as much of the air out as possible. Let the salmon marinate for about 20-30 minutes but not any longer than that because the acid will start to cook the fish & affect its texture.

20-30 minutes later…

Preheat your oven to 218°C (or 425°F). Remove the salmon from the bag and place it on a aluminum foil-lined oven tray. Season both sides of the salmon with salt & black pepper.

Put the fish into the oven and bake at 218°C (or 425°F) for 7-12 minutes or until just cooked through. You’d need to estimate the time based on your oven. Plus, salmon is better raw than overcooked so be sure to let it cook but still preserve its juices.

And this would be the delicious end result. Best served hot. 😉
Don’t worry too much about the blackened areas, it’s not overcooked, that’s just the balsamic vinegar.

I was a little adventurous so I decided to make a small serving of fried rice to go with the salmon. Yes, it’s my first time making fried rice (though it’s actually really easy) but I’m making a healthier version using brown rice instead of white. I’m gonna even teach you how to cook rice without using a rice cooker.

half-cup brown rice
2 eggs
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
black pepper
white pepper
chilli flakes
light soy sauce

Note: Fried rice is best cooked using overnight or leftover rice.

I used Somaly’s organic brown rice.

To cook the rice, I will be using a steamer. Any pot would also do but you’ll need space for water to boil at the bottom. Fill the steamer’s bottom half with water. Add the rice into a bowl with about 3-quarter cup of drinking water. Leave it to steam for 30 minutes.

Your rice, if cooked properly will turn out nice and fluffy like mine.

Now, for the fried rice. (I’m sorry there are no step-by step photos for this, my hands were too oily)
– Add the olive oil to a frying pan at medium heat.
– Crack both the eggs and swirl it around the pan until it’s half cooked.
– Add the rice and mix it in with the eggs. Stir it around until it’s evenly mixed.
– Add in some light soy sauce (not too much, just a dash) and also the salt to taste.
– Lastly, when rice is nearly done, season with black pepper, white pepper and chill flakes.
– Mix it all together one last time and it’s ready to serve.

And voilà! You have a ready meal. I made this for my work lunch and added in a bunch of rocket lettuce. I’m also deathly afraid of choking on fish bones (had one lodged in my throat for two days once) so I had carefully deboned my salmon.

I have recently started the “bring your own lunch to work” trend and it’s definitely beneficial in so many ways. So, I thought I’d show you how I portioned all my food especially when rice is involved.


Keepin’ it healthy with a side of fresh lettuce.

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