If you’re a fish eater, it’s likely that salmon is one of
your staple foods. Widely reonowned as one of the healthiest fish on the
market, salmon is packed full of essential omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D and
protein. Salmon tastes great, low in calories and low in saturated fat. Read on
to learn more about salmon’s healthy benefits and suggestions on cooking
While the season for different species of salmon ranges from
early summer to late fall, it’s possible to find fresh salmon available at your
local market. You may hear the terms “farmed” and “wild”
used – these are describing the types of salmon available. You will have to
decide whether you want to buy wild salmon, generally from the Pacific Ocean or
Alaska, or farmed fish. Arguments for both exist — those who advocate for wild
salmon say that farmed fish has damaged the wild fish population by escaping
and sharing diseases with wild salmon; others believe that wild salmon has a
fishier and somewhat stronger flavor than its farmed counterpart.
Health Benefits of Salmon
Many of the health benefits from salmon come from the fact
that it is high in omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be
made by the body, making it important that we eat foods that contain them. The
omega-3s found in salmon can reduce the risk of unwanted inflammation, and
strengthen the immune and circulatory systems. Salmon fillets are an excellent
source of selenium, high in protein,
niacin and vitamin B12, and a good source of phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin
Salmon Supermarket Buying Guide
Most of us have had some experience buying fish at the
market before, but if you are a recent convert to salmon or fish, or this is
your first time preparing and cooking salmon, here are a few things to consider
when buying it:
1. Buy salmon with the skin still on.
2. Try to buy a whole salmon side or filet that is from the
thickest part of the fish.
3. As a general fish-buying rule, account for around 6
ounces of fish per person.
4. Ask for a “center cut” single piece of salmon
and then cut it into appropriate portions when you get home.
5. Skin the salmon and remove the bones before cooking if
6. When removing the bones, pull them out one at a time
going with the grain of the fish.
Watch: How to Buy Fresh Fish
Depending on what you’re in the mood for for dinner, here
are 4 ways to cook salmon:
1) Poaching Salmon
Poaching, known as a moist-heat cooking method, is a cooking
process whereby food is simmered in just enough water that barely covers it. It’s
different from boiling in that it requires less water than boiling and a
lower-temperature. Poaching is one of the healthiest ways to cook salmon since
neither butter nor oil is used. As we all know, water has zero calories!
When it comes to poaching, know that:
1. You can poach a whole fish in water or a court bouillon.
2. Improvise if you don’t have the tools for poaching. In
most cases a deep roasting pan can be used. For fillets of salmon, a deep
skillet will do.
3. Most recipes instruct you to just cover the fish with
liquid (whether water, wine, a mixture of both, or something else entirely),
and poach for 8-10 minutes until fish is opaque.
4. You can also poach salmon in your dishwasher if all else fails. Just be sure foil is sealed properly. It will take about 50 minutes on a regular wash and dry cycle.
2) Grilling Salmon
One of the simplest ways to cook salmon is to grill it. But
when it comes to grilling, there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. You can grill on your oven by purchasing a
specially-designed tabletop grill.
2. Barbecue outside on nice days. It doesn’t take long to
cook on a grill, and you’ll find that the fish keeps a lot of its original
3. It is much easier to grill a salmon steak than a whole
salmon. But if you do choose to grill a whole salmon, you will need to make
about 3 slashes on each side of the fish.
4. Ensure that the fish is placed as far from the heat as
possible, which will prevent it from burning. Heat the grill for at least 5
minutes before you place the fish onto it.
5. Place the oil on the actual fish, not on the grill. This
will prevent it from sticking.
6. Season salmon however you choose but avoid salt before
cooking as this will eliminate the juices that you want to keep in the fish.
Grilled Salmon Recipes
Grilled Cedar-Plank Salmon
Grilled Salmon with a Chili Spice Rub
Teriyaki Grilled Salmon
3) Baking Salmon
While baking salmon takes longer than other methods of
cooking, it’s sure to be a hit with your entire family based on the
resulting delicious taste and texture.
When baking salmon, you’ll need a baking dish, as well as anything you wish to
use as seasoning. Just a bit of lemon and olive oil can be a nice addition,
since baked salmon is quite flavorful on its own. You can also choose an add
any number of spices and marinades, including store-bought mixes or a fruit
4) Broiling or Roasting Salmon
Roasting the salmon in the oven will give it a slightly
crispier taste. Again, you should place oil on the actual fish itself rather
than the baking tray. If you want to get the full flavor of the fish, then you
may want to consider slow roasting it. Place the salmon on a lower heat (around
200 degrees F) on the middle shelf in the oven for 30 minutes. Check regularly
and turn the fish over once to ensure equal cooking on both sides.