The sweet, tangy and salty sauce of this dish adds a lively freshness to the rich and indulgent salmon flavour, and the citrus notes are also perfect with the charred fennel. I only like ocean trout or salmon quite rare, and it cooks gently like this as one large piece. After resting, it will be rare but will fall apart in flakes. If you prefer a more cooked result, increase the cooking time by about 8 minutes.
1kg salmon fillet, mid-loin or head end, skin on, pin-boned
1 fennel bulb, sliced 4mm thick lengthways
1 bunch spring onions, green tops trimmed off
60ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
short-grain rice, steamed using absorption method, to serve
Citrus and soy dressing
50ml light soy sauce
40ml fish sauce
30ml extra virgin olive oil
zest and juice of 1 orange
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 spring onions, white part only, finely sliced
1 long green chilli, finely sliced in rounds
1 tsp chilli flakes
1. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking.
2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
3. Toss the fennel and spring onions in half the olive oil. Heat a large frying pan over high heat, then, working in batches, lay the fennel in a single layer and cook for about 2 minutes until a little blackened, then toss and cook for about 2 more minutes – it should have colour but still retain some crunch. Do the same for the spring onions. In a separate bowl, toss fennel in the vinegar. Season both fennel and spring onions with salt and pepper.
4. Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced (200C conventional).
5. Lay the salmon skin-side down on a baking tray and smooth over the remaining oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes, then rest for 5 minutes. It will be a little rare on top but will continue to cook as it rests.
6. Transfer the salmon to a platter, scatter the fennel and shallots around one edge, then pour over the dressing. Fork the salmon apart and serve with rice.