I totally cannot take credit for this recipe! My husband, who spends his Shabbat reading every single Jewish newspaper he can get his hands on in Long Island, found a recipe for ‘Carrot Cake Batter Encrusted Salmon‘ by pastry and personal chef Judy Joszef in The Jewish Star. He was so excited to show it to me! “Mel, you have to make this!” Without even reading the recipe, I knew I would be making this unique sweet salmon dish during the nine days, a time when the Jewish people mourn the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple in Jerusalem). During these nine days, we don’t eat any meat or wine so the challenge is what to eat when we can’t fall back on chicken and steak, and in my case, veal and lamb. So this salmon recipe is perfect when you just can’t eat lasagna and pizza every day of the week! There are two ways you can make this salmon: with homemade carrot cake batter or your favorite boxed variety. While I love baking my own cakes from scratch, I actually got a bit lazy with this one and used my favorite dairy carrot cake mix from Betty Crocker! But don’t worry, I’ll post chef Judy’s recipe just in case you want to make your own homemade cake batter.
Carrot Cake Salmon
6 fillets of salmon
salt to taste
2-3 Tbsp canola oil to saute the salmon
carrot cake batter (cake mix or recipe below)
Carrot Cake Batter
original recipe here
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup corn oil
1 1/2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup shelled walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup pureed cooked carrots
3/4 cup drained crushed pineapple
If you are planning to use the recipe from scratch, here are the directions: Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in the walnuts, coconut, carrots, and pineapple.
Since I used the Super Moist Betty Crocker carrot cake mix, I just poured the mix in to a bowl and whisked with 3 eggs, 1 cup of water and 3/4 cup canola oil.
I prepared the salmon fillets by carefully removing the bottom skin with a sharp knife, seasoned with a little fresh sea salt then I just basted on the carrot cake batter with a pastry brush. I highly recommend separating some of the batter in to a separate bowl since you will be dipping the pastry brush in the batter and rubbing on the raw salmon.
I brushed the top and bottom of each fillet with the batter. I then preheated the oven to 400 degrees F. I placed the oil in a pan over medium heat and when it was hot, I added half of the salmon fillets and cooked for three minutes to sear and brown the tops. During those three minutes, be sure not to touch the salmon or the batter might not stick to the salmon. I carefully flipped the fish and cooked for another three minutes.
I transferred the fish to a baking sheet prepared with cooking spray and repeated the same cooking process with the remaining fillets. I placed the baking sheet in the oven and baked the salmon for another 3 minutes, until firm to the touch. And that’s it! If you use a thermometer, the fish is done when the temperature registers 130 degrees F when inserted in to the thickest part of the fish.
Who would have ever thought that sweet carrot cake batter could taste so perfectly delicious with a savory salmon fillet. The salmon was so moist and the flavor of the carrot in the cake batter kept the sweetness from overwhelming the dish. And what to do with all of that extra carrot cake batter? Carrot cake muffins, of course. Now my kids have snacks for the rest of the week.
Original recipe from chef Judy Joszef in The Jewish Star