Unite salmon lovers (and skeptics)! You can cook Salmon in four easy ways with all the tricks and tips you need.
Salmon! Salmon is a great quick option for protein. It can be topped on a salad or mashed and made into burgers. Or, it can be simmered in a rich curry sauce. There are so many different ways to cook and prepare Salmon.
Gather around salmon lovers and salmon skeptics. Here are our top ways to prepare this orangey-pink wonder.
How to bake Salmon
Suppose you’re looking for a consistent and hands-off result or want to combine the ingredients on a single sheet pan to create a meal. You can get a crispy layer on top (who doesn’t?) You can also broil the top layer at the end if you like. This is the method we use!
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Drizzle olive oil on your salmon fillets and season to taste.
- Place the Salmon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil*. Spray your foil-lined baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray if you are using it. Salmon fillets should be baked for 5-6 mins, depending on thickness. Bake salmon 1″+ thick for 8 minutes.
- The Salmon is cooked when it easily flakes off with a knife, reaches 125-130 degrees F, and has opaque flesh that does not look “raw.”
How to Steam Salmon
Steaming Salmon is the way to go if you like tender, moist, fancy-but-not-hard-to-make Salmon. This method involves steaming the Salmon in white wine with fresh herbs and lots of lemon. It could be paired with a sauce, but the Salmon itself is enough.
- Cut a large piece of parchment (about 2 feet long) to fit the salmon fillets.
- Place parchment paper on the bottom of a Dutch oven*.
- Add your salmon fillets to a separate bowl and season with salt, pepper, garlic, onion slices, or shallots.
- Add the lemon slices if you want to be fancy. Pour about 1/3 cup of water, white wine, or broth on top. If you want to be fancy, add some lemon slices. Pour about 1/3 cup water, white wine, or broth over the Salmon. Fold the parchment around the fish and crimp/fold it to seal.
- Cover the pan and cook it on high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium after 5 minutes and continue cooking for 8-10 more minutes. Let it rest for a few moments, and remove it from the heat.
- Open the parchment and sprinkle your favorite herbs on top!
How to Saute Salmon
When we want to get a crisp top that will hold up well to a tasty pan sauce, saute is the way to go. If we want to be a little more attentive than simply popping the dish in the oven, sauteing is a great option. You can control the crispiness of the food, the temperature, and the taste.
- Sauté the Salmon after allowing it to reach room temperature (15-25 minutes). Season the salmon fillets according to your taste.
- Heat a nonstick or cast-iron skillet* on medium heat with a few tablespoons of olive oil.
- Remove any excess moisture from the fish before adding it to a pan. The skin side of the Salmon should be facing up when adding it to the pan. Let the Salmon sit in the pan undisturbed.
- Flip your Salmon over and cook for two more minutes to crisp up the top layer. This time and temperature are considered to be medium-rare or medium doneness.
How to air fry salmon
If you love Salmon and want to keep things simple on a weeknight, this is the recipe for you. And those CRISPY edges. Perfection.
- Heat your air fryer* up to 400 F. Season the salmon fillets and coat them lightly with olive.
- Spray the nonstick spray on your air fryer’s basket. Salmon should be air fried for 7 to 9 minutes.
- The Salmon should be opaque when it is cooked medium-rare or to medium. It should still look “raw” if it is not cooked. Please return it to the air-fryer for a minute or two. This may be necessary if your salmon fillet is thick.
- Use canned Salmon* or one of the methods listed in “How to Bake Salmon.”
- Use about 12 ounces of salmon and flake it apart. Combine the fish with two eggs and half a cup of breadcrumbs. You can season the salmon burgers to your taste. Form into patties.
- Heat oil in a nonstick pan with a couple of tablespoons.
- Fry the salmon burgers on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes until crispy.
The salmon pink’s brightness will depend on the variety that you buy. Below are some common types:
- Atlantic Salmon: A common variety found in grocery stores, and one that is delicious. This type is mild and buttery with a medium-firm consistency.
- Coho Salmon: An excellent starter salmon variety. The taste is milder than other varieties.
- King Salmon The crème de la crème of salmon. This Salmon has a buttery flavor, but is also the most expensive.
- Sockeye salmon: The color of this variety is really orange/deep red. It has a rich, deep taste, but it is drier than some other varieties.
We would choose Atlantic Salmon as our favorite of the many options available.
Fresh vs. Frozen Salmon Tips
You’ve selected your Salmon, and now what? You have to decide whether you want it fresh or frozen. It’s all about how you cook it and when. Fresh Salmon is best if you plan to cook it within the next day or two. If you don’t plan to eat it until the weekend, frozen Salmon is the way to go. ).
- Fresh Salmon should smell mildly of fish. Avoid purchasing fish that smells too fishy.
- Any salmon with brown spots should be avoided.
- Choose salmon steaks or fillets of the same thickness, whether they are fresh or frozen. This will ensure that the Salmon cooks evenly.
- Sometimes frozen Salmon is more affordable than the fresh variety. Thaw the Salmon and pat it to remove any extra moisture before you prepare it.
How to Thaw Frozen Salmon
To safely thaw your frozen Salmon, place the vacuum-sealed fillets and steaks into a large bowl with cold water. Then, place the bowl into the refrigerator for several hours to thaw the Salmon.