Crispy Salmon with Mushroom Risotto

Allison Hepworth - November 5, 2023

bc salmon canadian seafood chinook salmon recipe risotto salmon recipe sustainable seafood wild salmon

Crispy Salmon with Mushroom Risotto

As we get closer to the holiday season, we are getting fancier in the kitchen and our friend Chef Johnny Bridge has developed a few salmon recipes for us with freshly caught salmon this summer. This dish is made with our delicious chinook salmon, but you can substitute in any of the 5 species of Pacific salmon we carry.

Risotto is such a warm and comforting accompaniment to salmon, and in this dish he adds shishito pepper and radishes, but welcomes you to get creative and add what is locally and seasonally available.


Coho Salmon

  • 2 x 6 oz / 180gram portion of wild Skipper Otto salmon – top loin, skin on, pin bones out (chinook was used in the photo)
  • 2 Tbsp oil – grapeseed recommended
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • salt and black pepper – Szechuan peppercorns if available


  • 1 cup of raw Arborio rice grain (risotto)
  • 3/4 cup of yellow onion – diced small
  • 3-4 garlic cloves – chopped
  • 2/3 cup of mushrooms – diced (chanterelle and king oyster used)
  • 4 tsp oil – grapeseed recommended
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 3 1/3 cup vegetable or mushroom stock (pre-heated)
  • chives – chopped
  • lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup Reggiano cheese – finely grated

Beurre Blanc

  • 1 small shallot  – finely chopped / brunoise cut
  • 1 3/4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 of a chilli pepper or to preference (Bird’s eye chilli used)
  • Black pepper ( 3 good turns of a pepper mill)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 7/8 cup of butter – cubed and kept very cold (place in freezer just before)
  • Salt to taste

(Photo credit: Josh Neufeld)


1. Pat down your salmon portions dry with paper towel or cloth. This will help to create the golden brown crispy finished product
2. Score skin of salmon. To do this, place the portion skin side facing up on a secure surface, with a towel below the salmon to keep it still. Then drag a sharp knife across the surface of the skin, being mindful to only cut through the first layer of skin, and not to apply too much pressure, depending on the sharpness of your knife).
3. Season your salmon portions with salt and pepper. (Pro tip: you can season salmon, up to 12 hours in advance – like a dry brine. If you do, make sure to pat the salmon dry with paper towel again before placing in the pan)
4. Heat a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add oil to the plan, making sure there is a wisp of heat rising from the oil before placing the salmon, skin side down, into the pan. Once sizzling lower the heat, slightly, to avoid burning the skin. (Pro tip: when placing the salmon into the pan have it slowly fall away from you, so as not to get splashed by the hot oil from the pan. Slow steady movements have less splashing, less burns and less clean up.)
5. Cook the salmon on low/medium heat with the skin down until you can start to see the color of the flesh change on the side of the portion. Less movement of the salmon will yield more of a crispy golden brown skin.
6. The skin of the salmon will start to freely separate from the pan once it gets golden and crispy. Resist the urge to force the skin free or scrape the skin from the pan. The right heat will create a maillard reaction with the salmon and then the  pan/salmon with part ways peacefully.
For medium rare salmon, once the skin is crispy we flip to salmon over and let it rest on the pan for 3-5 minutes adding the last of the butter for it to sit in. For medium or medium-well you can flip to flesh side down and cook to your desired doneness with the last of the butter in the pan.

1. Place stock in a small pot and heat it up to almost a boil.
2. Heat a medium size pot over medium heat and add oil.
3. Sear onion, mushrooms & garlic in oil watching to not burn garlic.
4. Add the raw risotto grain to the pot and stir around with a wooden utensil making sure to coat the rice grins with the oil in the pan.
5. De glaze the pot with white wine and reduce the wine the pot is almost dry.
6. Add 1/3rd of the hot stock to the pot and stir it slowly and into the rice and mushroom mixture.
7. Keep stirring, each time the pot gets dry add another 3rd of stock.
8. When you have used all the stock and the rice is soft to bite through, add cheese, chives & the remaining butter. Keep stirring.
9. Taste the rice and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper to your liking, maybe even add a bit more cheese…

Beurre Blanc
1. In a small pot that you can fit your whisk into freely, sweat shallot, chilies and cracked pepper in the oil.
2. Add lemon juice and white wine, reducing the liquid to be almost dry
3. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in one cube of cold butter at a time. If the mix start to cool and the butter isn’t melting give it a little bit of heat. Too much heat will split the sauce so be very sparing with the use of the stove top.
4. Store the sauce warm with a lid on top for up to 45 minutes before serving. (Pro tip: Use a soup thermos!) 

To plate: Place finished risotto onto your serving plate, place your cooked vegetables around the outer ring of the risotto and then place the crispy salmon on top of the risotto showing its scored skin side up. Pour Beurre Blanc around edge of the risotto, and garnish with fresh herbs or even Ikura (salmon roe).

Servings: 2 people

Cook/Prep time: 25+ minutes as well any pre-brining

Source: Chef Johnny Bridge hopes you enjoy this recipe! Check him out on Instagram at @johnnysknifeforhire
Our thanks to photographer Josh Neufeld for capturing Chef Johnny in action, and the delicious final dish.

Allison Hepworth - November 5, 2023

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Crispy Salmon with Mushroom Risotto

Allison Hepworth - November 5, 2023

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