Along with tuna and swordfish, salmon is considered a "red meat" of the fish world, and it can stand up to strong flavors like balsamic vinegar. Here we reduce the vinegar to a glaze, tempering the sharpness of the acid. The tangy sauce that results bring out the sweetness of the crisp-crusted salmon.
Stir together vinegar, water, lemon juice, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Pat salmon dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat but not smoking. Increase heat to high, add salmon skin side up, and sear until well browned, about 4 minutes. Turn fish over and sear until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer salmon to plates and carefully add vinegar mixture to skillet (liquid will bubble vigorously and steam). Simmer, stirring, until thickened and reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 2 minutes. Spoon glaze over salmon.
Recipe courtesy of The Gourmet Cookbook, Conde Nast Publications, 2004