Simple Salmon Recipes and Tips
I cook with salmon quite a bit and wanted to share some of my favorite recipes and tips for buying, storing and cooking salmon.
- Some varieties: Wild-Alaskan, Chinook, Sockeye, Coho, Wild King, Atlantic which is typically farm-raised.
- Considered a fatty fish (contains the great omega-3 oils). Fatty fish can tolerate more heat without becoming too dry.
- When buying wild salmon (season May-October), look for the MSC certification seal.
- When buying farm-raised (aquaculture), make sure to ask questions (outlined in my feature article, Sustainable Seafood, so you feel safe when purchasing and eating the salmon.
- Salmon has a distinctive color ranging from light pink to a deep orange-pink to red. Be aware of buying farmed fish that may use harmful coloring practices.
- Store fresh fish in its original wrapper.
- If you are not going to use the fish within 1 to 2 days, wrap in freezer paper making sure it is moisture proof and store in freezer. I do recommend eating fish fresh and not freezing.
- If cooking with frozen fish, thaw in refrigerator, or can be thawed in cold water in an airtight plastic bag, change the water every 30 minutes. Do not refreeze fish.
- Fish cooks very quickly so when salmon is done depends how you like your salmon cooked:
- Medium - an internal temperature of 135º-140º.
- Closer to well-done cook up to an internal temperature of 145º.
- Please note that the salmon will continue to cook once taken off the heat.
- Salmon does not take very long and you want to avoid over cooking.
- A good rule of thumb to follow is about 10 minutes for every inch of the fillet. Most salmon fillets are not very thick so normally would not take more then 10 -14 minutes. But start checking at 10 minutes.
- The fillet should separate into flakes and what this means is that it begins to flake but does not yet fall apart.
- The flesh has turned from translucent to opaque.
- It is best, if using salt, to salt once fish is cooking towards the end of cooking, salt will draw out the moisture.
The recipes: I like to keep it simple to enjoy the full, rich flavor of salmon. I typically buy 4oz - 5oz fillets, you may want more. When serving guest, usually a 6oz fillet is good. Restaurants will typically give you 6oz - 8oz fillets.
Parsley Lemon Crusted Salmon
½ bunch fresh parsley
Juice 1 small lemon
Finely chop parsley and mix with lemon. Brush mixture on top of salmon fillet and either cook in a 400º degree oven or on a grill for up to 10 minutes depending on thickness.
Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon
½ cup honey or (agave nectar)
½ cup (or more) dijon
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon tamari
¼ - ½ teaspoon chili powder or some spicy seasoning
Salt to taste, usually ¼ tsp
Mix all ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasonings. I like this to have a little spicy bite to it, so add spicy seasonings, as you like. You may want to reserve some glaze aside for topping the fish when done. This works with salmon cooked on the grill or in the oven. Place the salmon either on the grill or in the oven and cook for a few minutes then brush the glaze on top to coat. Finish cooking. Add the glaze as you are cooking the fish.