Here are some helpful tips on various ways to cook our wonderful Alaskan Wild Salmon, courtesy of Paul Ebeling and the Salmon Project (www.salmonproject.org):
Eat Wild Alaskan Salmon, Cook it Like a Professional
Oily fish like salmon are rich in omega-3 fats, particularly DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EpA (eicosapentaenoic acid), which are essential for human brain, heart and immune system health. And, salmon is a big source of protein, B vitamins and the antioxidant vitamin E.
As Alaskans, we strongly support our salmon industry and recommend that you only eat wild Alaskan salmon, never farmed. Atlantic Salmon are available year round because they are farm raised. We suggest you look for salmon that’s labeled “Alaskan salmon,” “wild Alaskan salmon” or “sockeye salmon.”
Once you buy fresh Alaska salmon cook it immediately to maximize its freshness.
But, if properly stored and frozen, the fish will maintain its quality for up to 3 months when wrapped properly.
How long you cook salmon depends on the preparation method chosen, but overall, it usually takes anywhere between 12 to 15 mins.
The preparation method also dictates on which cut of fish work best.
If feeding a large group and you want to cook the salmon on the grill or in the oven, a whole fish works well, but if you opt to pan-sear the salmon, individual fillets may be better.
Below are some methods of cooking salmon correctly, as follows:.
Pan-frying is great for salmon fillets, because it is quick and easy. And frying gives the skin a crunchy and crispy texture. Remember when frying salmon, it’s best to use olive oil, coconut oil or clarified butter only, I like clarified butter best. .
Here how: the fillet should be room temperature, not cold. Dry the fillets properly before frying. Pat the salmon fillets dry with a clean dish towel or a paper towel. This will prevent them from sticking to the pan and will also give the skin a nice crisp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before putting the fish in the pan.
Make sure the pan is really hot before adding anything in. The flame should be medium or medium-high. Pour in a thin layer of coconut oil and let it heat up until the oil is shimmering. To check if the oil is hot enough, flick a few drops of water into the pan, if they sizzle and evaporate at once, it’s good to go.
Put the salmon on the pan skin side down. Salmon skin is durable and tough, and is able to withstand more time on the hot skillet without overcooking.
Season the salmon fillets before adding it in the pan. Add them 1 by 1, and avoid being splattered by oil.
Do not prod or poke the fish with a spatula or it might break apart. Instead, let it sizzle for 5-6 mins before flipping it to cook the other side. Keep a close eye on the fish without touching it, you will see the fillet’s color beginning to change, lightening from deep dark red to pale pink.
Once the color has changed, flip the salmon. Let it cook for 2 more mins, and you will get a tender and flaky fish with a super-crispy skin.
Cooking Salmon in the Oven
Baking salmon in the oven is 1 of the easiest ways to cook this fish. The cleanup is minimal, as long as you remember to line your baking tray.
Follow these easy steps:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your baking dish or sheet tray with parchment paper and place the salmon fillets on top. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Drizzle coconut oil all over the salmon and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place in the top half of the oven and allow to bake for 10 to 12 mins. Around the 10-min mark, start checking for doneness, but remember that if the fillet is thicker, it will need more time. When the flesh flakes easily with a fork, it’s ready to be served.
- Squeeze a wedge of lemon all over the salmon before serving for an added citrus flavor.
How to Grill Salmon
A Summertime favorite for many people is grilled salmon steak or fillet, as grilling not only imparts a smoky flavor to the fish, but less cleanup is needed as well.
Keep these tips in mind
- Make sure you start with hot coals, placing the lightly oiled fish skin-sides down on the grate diagonally, giving them grill marks
- Flip it after 5 mins, or when the flesh separates from the grate.
- Make sure that you do not burn the fish while cooking.
How to Poach Salmon
Poaching is a great alternative to frying, baking or grilling, try it.
To poach salmon, simmer the fish in water flavored with a pinch of salt, a few whole peppercorns, and a bay leaf. Make sure there’s enough water covering the fillets.
For a gentle poach, let the liquid simmer, slide the fish in and cover the pan. Turn off the heat and allow the salmon to gently cook for about 25 mins.
Most seafood, including salmon, should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.You can use a meat thermometer to check the doneness of your salmon. Push the tip into the middle of the fillet, at the thickest part.
Check the internal temperature of the salmon a few minutes before it’s finished cooking, so that you will avoid overcooking the fish. Look for salmon that is opaque, the flesh should slightly resist flaking or pulling away from the bone.
Pressing the top of the fish also lets you check if the salmon is cooked. The fish should be firm to the touch, but will give a bit when pressure is applied to it. Do not overcook fish of any kind.