Salmon baked with aioli and sour cream

May 22, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

My mother-in-law used to make the best baked salmon. I can't remember how she discovered the recipe that called for mayo blended with sour cream, but she was quite excited about it. So it makes even more flavor sense to use an aioli in place of the mayo. The salmon remains incredibly moist and tender. If you are lucky enough to have preserved lemons then use those in place of the lemon zest. This recipe can be easily halved. I would suggest serving this on a bed of wilted spinach with a side of mashed sweet potatoes. —Sagegreen

What You'll Need
  • The aioli
  • 1 farm fresh egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon rice or cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and mashed
  • 2/3 cup canola or grapeseed oil
  • pinch of salt, Maldon salt flakes or sea
  • 1/3 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Umami, optional
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (or 1 tbl. of finely chopped preserved lemon)
  • The salmon
  • 8 four oz. 1/2-3/4 inch thick salmon fillets
  • Pinch sea salt and fresh milled black pepper
  • light spritz of olive oil
  • 1 cup aioli
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • handful of fresh herbs, dill and parsley, maybe chives, divided
  • lemon wedges
  1. The aioli
  2. Begin with a bowl resting on a tea towel (thanks, Food52 for the tip) by whisking the yolk, vinegar, garlic and a tiny splash of the grapeseed or canola oil together.
  3. As you continue to whisk away with your better hand, slowly pour a thin stream of the same oil into the bowl. The mix should fluff up and pull together. At this point you can exhale and switch over to the olive oil. In the same fashion pour a slow steady stream into the bowl as you whisk continuously. Add the salt, zest, spice (a recipe is included on this site with my bluefish aioli). Taste and adjust the acidity and salt level if needed.
  1. The salmon
  2. Preheat the oven to 350. Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
  3. Whip the aioli and sour cream together. If you like, you can include herbs into the mix, or just reserve them all as fresh garnish. If you do want some in the mix, then mince a few tablespoons of fresh herbs and stir these in with the aioli/sour cream. Spoon over top of the salmon. Bake for @ 20-25 minutes in probably two shallow baking dishes or until the salmon is cooked to your liking: You don't want to overcook the salmon. To serve garnish with additional sprigs of fresh herbs and lemon wedges.
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20 Reviews

drbabs May 25, 2011
oh, yum
Sagegreen May 25, 2011
Thanks, drbabs! Usually I would never keep fish leftovers, but the leftovers from this were still really good the next day, I have to confess.
Burnt O. May 24, 2011
Mmmm - I think this is an important recipe for folks who have concerns about the raw egg yolks. And besides, it looks amazing!
Sagegreen May 24, 2011
Thanks, Burnt Offerings. This is really creamy and has a texture all of its own.
mrslarkin May 24, 2011
Wow, this looks devine, Sagegreen!!
mrslarkin May 24, 2011
*divine, but you knew what I meant I'm sure ;)
Sagegreen May 24, 2011
Thanks, mrslarkin. I love salmon this way. Your lobster looks AMAZING!
blanka.n May 23, 2011
I don't know which one to do first, crab cakes or this salmon.
Sagegreen May 23, 2011
Thanks, blanka! You can tell what I fun weekend I had! This one is so easy to bake, where the crab cakes are more demanding for the cooking part, if that is a consideration.
Sagegreen May 23, 2011
P.S. I also did a small piece of salmon with just the plain aioli on top; it also was tasty. Just uploaded that photo...the one that is browner and crustier. But I prefer the sour cream aioli blend.
wssmom May 22, 2011
This first? Or the bluefish first! Decisions, decisions ....
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
LOL, wssmom!
Lizthechef May 22, 2011
Love your detailed instructions - too bad we don't eat uncooked eggs here, as this recipe is a winner.
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Thanks, Liz. I guess the beauty of this version is that you do cook it! I have sometimes baked the salmon with the topping on, straight through for @ 20 minutes in a 350-375 oven; sometimes the topping gets a bit runny that way, and sometimes it has remained in tact, but has always been delicious! I will make some both ways and report back soon!
Lizthechef May 22, 2011
But of course you cook it - sorry for the lame comment. I'm making this tomorrow night.
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Thank you so much for your comment, Liz. Not at all lame! You reminded me about the worry over raw eggs. My first version did not allow the topping to cook, but just heat. Plus that way added a step, to cook the salmon first, then add the topping. The plus is that the topping remains really fresh. I just uploaded the results from the lunch experiment! And I have decided to cook thinner salmon fillets with the topping all at once in a lower temp. oven. The topping gets a bit souffle-like and melts in your mouth. Let me know that you think if you do try this.
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Thanks, nogaga. I have another recipe for bluefish I posted first, but using the aioli just as a topping after the fish is cooked: It was delicious. In the past I have baked cod with a mayo and sour cream topping, but did not like it at all! I love cod best baked in water and olive oil with fresh herbs especially flat leaf parsley. Also have used mayo/sour cream version on tuna, but for some reason I prefer this on the salmon. Yes, I am lucky to have some coddlers in two sizes!
nogaga May 22, 2011
It looks delicious, and I'll bet would work on any fatty sea fish. Have you experimented with cod, for example? Or anything else? Also, your egg coddler is gorgeous.
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
PS The photo is just the aioli. More photos coming later of the finest dish.
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
OOps: I meant to type "finished" vs "finest," but darn it is pretty fine!