Nothing else is as sublime as cooking with calamansi, the Filipino lime. This thought is what inspired me to cook Salmon With Calamansi and Toyo (soy sauce), fashioned after the classic Pinoy Bistek.
If you’re like me, and like most Filipino Americans, fresh calamansi is the one thing we miss a lot from living in the Philippines. I envy those who live in warmer states like California or Florida who grow calamansi, in their own backyard or orchards during summer.
So, when I found an online local grower for fruits, who sold fresh calamansi, late in the season, I jumped at the chance to order a few pounds. I admit it was expensive, plus shipping. But, these tiny citruses, the size and color of kumquats have that irresistible piercingly sweet flavor and aroma, that often defines many Filipino dishes.
Taking a cue from that, I marinated the whole salmon fillet with more calamansi than you can imagine. And I poured the toyo (soy sauce). As the large onion rings sizzled in the skillet, I added the seasoned salmon and the liquids. In minutes, the sweet aromas of calamansi and toyo filled the kitchen. I steamed some baby spinach for our vegetable servings, added a bowl of rice on the side, and dinner was perfect in under thirty minutes.
Salmon with Calamansi and Toyo
- Skillet - 10 to 12 inches in diameter
- 1 pound salmon fillet
- ½ cup + 1 Tablespoon calamansi juice (or use lemon); divided, use 1 Tablespoon to marinate fish, rest for saute
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 whole medium-sized onion, sliced in rings
- 2 cloves garlic, peeed, minced
- ¼ cup toyo (soy sauce)
- ¼ cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- steamed spinach or any vegetable greens
- steamed rice
To prepare the salmon:
- In a medium-sized bowl, pour 1 tablespoon of calamansi juice all over the salmon fillet. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 10 minutes (not longer than this or the fish will cook in the citrus).
To cook the salmon:
- In a skillet, over medium-high heat, add the oil. When oil is hot enough, in about 2 minutes, saute the onions and garlic, till onions are soft.Add the marinated salmon fillet. Cook this size for about 16 to 18 minutes till completely done. Flip the fish, using a turner, about halfway through cooking time, so that both sides are cooked evenly.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup calamansi, toyo and water. Mix and pour over the salmon in the skillet.Season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking for 2 minutes more so that sauce flavors can blend into the fillet.Serve warm with steamed spinach and rice.
- Calamansi is a citrus fruit also known as calamondin. It is a staple ingredient in many Filipino and Asian dishes. It has a tart flavor that is similar to a combination of lemon and orange. It has strong, sweet aromas that can enhance the dish. Calamansi which are grown in warmer states of the USA are orange-colored, and are the size of kumquats. In the Philippines, calamansi have a dark green outer skin, and are similar in flavor to those grown in America.Ingredient substitute: If calamansi are not available, use lemons. Meyer lemons are the closest in flavors to calamansi.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided in the recipe links is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
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