A crusty dilemma.
January 26, 2009 12:55 PM   Subscribe

On the menu for tomorrow: salmon encrusted with bread crumbs. Can I make this dish without an egg wash?

I'm trying to duplicate a restaurant dish, but at the same time avoid using eggs. The salmon was tender; the bread crumbs flaky (I'll be using seasoned Italian bread crumbs).

How can I get the bread crumbs to stick to the salmon without an egg wash? Is this doable using non-dairy ingredients?

Also, for tenderest results, should I bake or deep fry the salmon after breading it?
posted by Gordion Knott to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are you using regular breadcrumbs or panko? I've done panko-encrusted salmon before with a really light mustard sauce. It's delicious and not overpowering. You could also make a miso paste, which is equally amazing and sticky.
posted by barnone at 1:10 PM on January 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

also, a thin thin coat of honey will work and caramelize yummily!
posted by citystalk at 1:12 PM on January 26, 2009

No dairy, ouch.

Soy milk is rumored to work with baking, but I'm not sure if it'll work here. I guess you'd find out pretty immediately.

For tender fishy goodness, you'd probably want to deep fry it in HOT oil, but don't cook it all the way through. Basically, once the outside looks crisp, pull it out.

(I like raw animals. They're delicious.)
posted by onedarkride at 1:13 PM on January 26, 2009

Looks like you have some options:

Parmesan encrusted (no egg, but dairy, obviously).
Lemon thyme (parm again).
Pepper Herb Crust (no eggs, no dairy)

A little google-gu along the lines of "salmon crust -egg" turned these up (and lots more). If parmesan is a no go for dietary reasons, just add another restrictor to your search.

As to baking or deep frying, I'd tend to lean toward baking, sauteing, or roasting. But it will depend on your recipe.

IANAC (I am not a chef) - but I play one on weekends!
posted by webhund at 1:14 PM on January 26, 2009

Panko Salmon Recipe. You could easily modify to use regular breadcrumbs if you're already set on those.

Here's a recipe for Panko Miso salmon that looks kinda close to mine.

There are fake egg white substitutes out there too. Or just use something else moist: off the top of my head I'm thinking... light yogurt, or tahini, or light balsamic sauce, or maybe a little white wine and soy and sesame and lemon.
posted by barnone at 1:14 PM on January 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Use a light brushing of oil.
posted by bensherman at 1:18 PM on January 26, 2009

Seconding mustard, but I would mix about three tablespoons of prepared mustard (think something viscous, like Dijon) into about a half-cup of the non-dairy milk of your choice.
You can also try one part cornstarch to six parts non-dairy milk or water.
posted by teamparka at 1:18 PM on January 26, 2009

Or dijon mustard, water, a little oil, white wine or rice vinegar, and lemon. Delish!
posted by barnone at 1:22 PM on January 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah - the 'flaky' breadcrumbs does make me think it was Panko. They're much flakier than normal crumbs.
posted by barnone at 1:23 PM on January 26, 2009

since you are not sticking the crust on with egg, I think that it will have a tendency to slough off. I would go with the more gentle route of baking in the oven. I am afraid the breading will come off in the fryer. Also, I think that fresh bread crumbs may be easier to stick to the fish but that is just speculation.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:25 PM on January 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


You can either mix in spices or Dijon mustard. Coat the fish with it then press into the breadcrumbs. Then bake.
posted by wrnealis at 1:28 PM on January 26, 2009

You could try a mixture of starch and water. About six parts water to one part potato/cornstarch.

Be careful with undercooked salmon.
posted by robtf3 at 1:40 PM on January 26, 2009

I make this breaded salmon using milk-free Nucoa margarine instead of the butter. It works perfectly.
posted by peep at 1:41 PM on January 26, 2009

Ground flax seeds in water can substitute for egg in some applications... not sure if it'll work for your needs.

1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds plus 3 Tablespoons water, left to sit for 20 minutes, replaces one egg.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 2:00 PM on January 26, 2009

I just slobber on some infused olive oil and sprinkle panko and parmesan. I do both sides and sure enough the bottom side inevitably is less crusted than the top, but it still comes out faboo. I do bake instead of fry. After I transfer the items (chicken breast, salmon, turkey cutlet, tilapia, whatever) into a baking pan, I mix up the leftover fallen-off crumbs and oil into a slightly moist crumble and distribute it over the top, making the top extra crispy to balance out the lightly dusted bottoms.
posted by cairnish at 2:17 PM on January 26, 2009

Count me in with the mustard suggestions. Works very well. And I hate mustard.
posted by cmgonzalez at 2:23 PM on January 26, 2009

Is mayo too eggy for you? Because I use that generally instead of an egg wash. Simpler and easier to season.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:44 PM on January 26, 2009

I do this as a shallow fry without an egg wash. I usually mix oats in with the breadcrumbs and only coat the top side. Just lie the salmon on top of the breadcrumbs and apply some gentle pressure for 30sec or so. Fry bread side down first, making sure that the pan is not so hot that it will burn the breadcrumbs. You will see the colour change rise up through the salmon as it cooks. When it's almost done, flip it over for around 30sec-1min to cook the other side. The inside of the fillet will be beautifully moist and tender.
posted by Jakey at 2:27 AM on January 27, 2009

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