Different ways to cook salmon
Salmon has a reputation for being difficult or time-consuming to properly prepare. Many home cooks have experienced how quickly salmon can go from perfectly cooked to overcooked. Test for doneness by flaking the thickest part of the salmon with a fork, it should be flaky and opaque throughout. If the salmon needs a bit more time to cook give it a minute or two at a time to prevent it from drying out.
If you’re just beginning to experiment with salmon you can use this temperature guide and a meat thermometer to ensure it’s cooked to your preferred level of doneness (aim for medium for best results).
43°-52°C: rare to medium-rare
52°C-60°C: medium to medium-well
60°C and above: well-done
Pan-seared salmon with crispy skin
1. Prepare salmon fillets by patting down the skin with paper towel. If you have the time, place the salmon skin-side up in a glass baking pan and place in the fridge uncovered for 2-3 hours so that the skin dries out more. Score the skin of the salmon fillets with a sharp knife, this will prevent the salmon from curling up when heated.
2. Heat a small amount of oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Cook the salmon skin-side down in the hot pan for 4-5 minutes before flipping over during the last 20 seconds of cooking.
3. Let the salmon rest for a couple of minutes before serving. Season with fresh herbs, lemon or orange juice, capers, or red chilli flakes.
Steaming salmon in baking paper (also known as en papillote) is a simple way to add plenty of flavour without excess fat. The best part? Cleanup is easy!
1. Begin with a large rectangle of baking paper, you’ll need enough to fold over the salmon and seal around the edges.
2. Make a small pile of vegies as a base for the salmon; zucchini, leeks, fennel, green beans, and asparagus all work well. Arrange the salmon on top of the vegies, topping with thinly sliced citrus fruit or fresh herbs for extra flavour.
3. Fold the baking paper over top of the vegies and salmon, crimping the edges together to form a tight seal. Bake the parcel for 10-12 minutes in a 200°C oven, the baking paper should puff up as it fills with steam.
4. Serve salmon directly in the baking paper, carefully cutting the paper open so steam can escape.
1. Place salmon skin-side down in a lightly oiled, or baking paper-lined baking dish, seasoning with any flavours you like. Maple syrup, teriyaki sauce or soy sauce, miso paste, fresh herbs (coriander, thyme, parsley, and dill), olive oil, pesto, honey, crushed nuts, Thai chilli sauce, mustard or tapenade all work well with salmon.
2. Bake in a 200°C oven for 12-15 minutes before serving, basting the salmon with the marinade halfway during the cooking time.