How to Cook Salmon

Salmon is one of the most popular seafood entrees available. It’s light, flaky texture and mild fish flavor make it a favorite dish, even among those who rarely eat fish or seafood. Salmon is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, a vital part of a healthy diet. Many people enjoy cooking salmon because it can be used in so many dishes and prepared in so many ways. Salmon is delicious baked, grilled, fried, steamed, smoked or poached. As long as the chef follows the cooking instructions, the result of cooked salmon is moist, flaky, and delicious.

Baking Salmon

Salmon should be thawed before cooking. If you are working with a whole fish, it needs to be cleaned prior to cooking. Many people prefer cooking salmon filets that have been de-boned, but salmon steaks and whole salmon are also delicious. One of the most popular cooking methods for salmon is baking. Salmon should be baked at 375 degrees. Cooking time is determined by the width of the fish, so measure around the fish in advance or ask the fish monger to estimate baking time when you purchase the fish.

Grilling Salmon

Grilled salmon is another popular method for preparing the fish. You will need olive oil, herbs, and a grilling pan. Salmon can also be grilled on an outdoor barbecue grill and should be wrapped in aluminum foil during the outdoor grilling process.

Prepare the fish for grilling by drizzling the steak or filet with approximately a tablespoon of olive oil. You will want to coat both sides of the fish. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. Salmon should be grilled until the meat turns light pink. Slightly underdone salmon tastes better than overcooking the fish, so remove the fish from the pan when there is still a thin dark pink line through the middle of the filet or steak. The salmon will continue to cook once it is removed from the pan, resulting in a perfectly cooked fish.

Poaching Salmon

You can poach salmon in the oven using either water or stock. This is a favorite cooking method because it results in very moist, flavorful fish. Fill a baking dish with enough stock or water to just cover the piece of fish. Set the oven for 375 degrees and poach for 7 to 10 minutes. Poaching can also be done on the stovetop. Place the fish into cold water and heat the water until simmering. You will know the salmon is cooked when the flesh turns a lighter, opaque shade of pink. You can also use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Salmon should be cooked to an internal temperature of 135 degrees. Poaching is one of the healthiest ways to cook salmon because no butter or oil is used.

Other Cooking Methods

Other cooking methods for salmon include smoking, steaming, and frying. Smoked salmon takes longer than the other methods, but many people enjoy the smoky flavor of the final product. Steaming salmon is similar to poaching, but the salmon does not touch the water. Frying is the least healthy way to cook salmon. Frying a salmon is also difficult because it is a light fish. However, if you are in search of a way to make a traditional fish fry healthier, salmon is an appropriate option. You can even grind salmon and form it into a patty, creating a healthy alternative to hamburger with a salmon burger.