Salmon stands out in many ways, besides its deep pink color. It’s consists of Omega 3’s, lots of protein, and can be cooked in various ways.
If you’ve ever had smoked salmon before, you might wonder how it’s made. Of course, smoke plays a role. But it’s also covered in lots of salt. This was how people used to preserve meat and seafood long before the invention of refrigeration or iceboxes. Iceboxes were used in the early to the mid-20th century.
Okay, enough history from me. This isn’t a school. I will say that these techniques can be done by those with all experience levels: beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
Regardless of my paragraph about smoked salmon, that part won’t be included in the tips I will provide. I don’t know how to salt or smoke salmon like that.
I would love to try it, especially since the smoked salmons in the stores are very expensive. If I succeed, then maybe I’ll write another post about it.
So, let me begin my list of tips.
1: Use wild-caught salmon if possible
Why would I suggest that you may wonder?
First of all, wild-caught fish is healthier than the farm-raised kind. Farm-raised fish could swim in dirty water and eat their own waste. Someone once told me that farm-raised seafood can be as bad for you as bacon (no offense to any bacon-lovers – I still support your tastes).
Meanwhile, wild-caught fish have come from their natural habitats and have not consumed anything bizarre. Not to mention that the quality of wild-caught fish is often higher.
Recently, I’ve noticed that wild-caught salmon is a deeper color than farm-raised salmon. This could be because of less human activity outside amid the covid-19 pandemic. I don’t recall if wild-caught salmon was deeper in tone before the pandemic.
Anyway, wild-caught fish also have flakier and softer textures and may taste better.
Now onto the next tip:
2: Use seasoning and/or liquid you favor
If you are a beginner, then I would recommend following a recipe exactly as instructed. That way, you won’t risk ruining the flavor and then throwing your food away.
If you’re more experienced, though, go ahead and experiment or use your own set of random ingredients.
That being said, don’t get too random. Each spice and/or liquid should complement one another. An example includes lemon, garlic, and olive oil.
Of course, if you’re really that daring, you can mix barbecue sauce with rosemary oil. But don’t expect to enjoy it, unless you already like unusual foods.
My recipe for salmon is as followed:
1 fillet of salmon
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
¼ cup of white wine
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
2 tablespoons of herbs of any type (I prefer basil, oregano, and parsley)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients above (excluding the salmon, obviously). It will form a slightly thin paste.
Brush or pour it onto the salmon fillet and cover it as much as possible.
Place it in the fully-heated oven for 10 – 15 minutes,
Take it out and enjoy.
This brings me to my next tip:
3: Cook your salmon at medium-low or medium heat at most
The lower the heat, the moister it’s likely to be.
That being said, you can still broil the salmon if you prefer a crispier skin, should your fish have that. Just do your research before you cook your fish at high heat.
Sometimes, meat or seafood requires a higher temperature of heat before it can be lowered. That is because the darker color and harder texture need to come first. Then the inside can become the right texture.
Other times, keeping the food at a lower or medium temperature works best. This is what I find when I bake my fish.
While I don’t mind crispy skin, I prefer softer fish.
Now onto my final tip:
4: Consider a fillet with skin
Of course, you may not necessarily want this. Everybody’s tastes vary. Some people dislike the skin and will only eat the fillets. Others will want a whole fish cooked.
I find the fillets with the skin to be my perfect sweet spots. How come?
Because I enjoy the skin, but really loathe pulling bones from my mouth—or worse, swallowing them.
That being said, I still enjoy consuming whole fish, even though my mom has me ask to get the head and tail removed when I purchase it at a store.
I also find fillets without skin to dry up more easily. But that is just my opinion.
These tips can apply to any kind of fish, not just salmon. I hope this post was helpful.