Cornmeal Crusted Salmon with Basil Mussel Broth

  • serves 4
Michael Smith
Michael Smith Chef at Home

A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. For that reason, this is also an account of what happens when I make this dish, so you’ll understand each step. Of course when you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don’t like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!

Mussels are widely available and yield a wonderfully rich broth when steamed; they travel with their own sauce! The broth can be flavoured with just about anything – basil in this case – and makes a perfect accompaniment for any other fish. Cornmeal makes an easy crisp crust for salmon that won’t fall off.

15 Ratings
Directions for: Cornmeal Crusted Salmon with Basil Mussel Broth


2 lb(s) of mussels, de-bearded

1 cup of Riesling or other white wine

½ cup of whipping cream

¼ cup of prepared basil pesto

1 cup of fine cornmeal

1 Tbsp of paprika

salt and pepper

4 6 oz salmon filets, skin off

3 Tbsp of corn oil


1. Put mussels in a large pot over medium-high heat with the wine and cream. Cover with a tight fitting lid to capture the steam and cook until they open, about 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool then shell the mussels and reserve the meat. Toss the shells. Strain broth into a clean saucepan, add pesto and reheat just before serving.

2. Place cornmeal, paprika, salt and pepper into a re-sealable plastic bag and shake, coating each piece of salmon well. Try not to use a coarse cornmeal; it won’t adhere as well to the natural moisture of the fish. The bag cuts down on clean up! Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat then add the corn oil. It should completely cover the bottom of the pan in a thin layer, more than a film. Too little and the fish won’t sear. Don’t worry it won’t absorb the oil, better too much than too little! Add the crusted salmon filets and pan-roast for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Place the reserved mussels back into broth and heat through. Position a piece of salmon in middle of a warm bowl. Ladle some of the broth and mussels over it.

See more: North American, Eggs/Dairy, Herbs, Main, Saute, Dinner, Fish, Lunch, Shellfish, Rice/Grain

More Recipes You'll Love