The Timing Rule To Follow For Better Oven-Baked Salmon

Salmon is a culinary superstar, celebrated for its rich flavor and incredible health benefits from omega-3 fatty acids. Whether farm-raised or wild-caught, salmon is adaptable to a multitude of cooking methods. From raw preparations such as salmon tartare with avocado to pouring boiling water over the fish, there seems to be a salmon recipe for any kind of taste and preference. There are even ways to cook salmon, so it doesn't leak white goo

For the home cook, one of the easiest ways to prepare this delectable fish is oven baking. It's a technique that locks in the salmon's natural juices, creating a moist and tender result with a hint of crispy skin. However, when overcooked, baked salmon can go from moist and soft to hard and dry. To avoid overcooking, simply estimate about eight minutes of baking time for every inch of the salmon filet's thickness, and remove the fish from the oven promptly for the best results.

Baking the perfect salmon

Making the perfect oven-baked salmon starts with choosing the right fish. When choosing your salmon, look for filets with vibrant, moist, and translucent flesh. Avoid fish with any signs of browning or dullness. Once you are home with your prized catch, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the fish on an oiled sheet pan and take a moment to inspect your salmon for any remaining pin bones. Use a pair of kitchen tweezers to gently remove them. Also, take note of the filet's thickness. Season the salmon with salt, pepper, and olive oil, along with any herbs and spices you prefer. Dill and lemon are popular combinations, but get adventurous! Try za'atar or a combination of paprika and garlic — whatever strikes your fancy!

Once the oven is fully preheated, place the pan in the middle rack and start baking. Time eight minutes for every inch of thickness, or four minutes for every half-inch for thinner filets. Once the time is up, remove the fish promptly from the oven. The flesh should be flaky and opaque, but it should still look moist and juicy. Serve with fresh lemon wedges, so diners can sprinkle lemon juice to their liking.

Delicious ways to eat salmon

While delicious when baked as-is, you can enhance your oven-baked salmon by marinating it for about 15-30 minutes to infuse it with even more flavor. Place the seasoned salmon in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag, and let it sit in the refrigerator. Marinades with ingredients like garlic, dill, citrus zest, or honey can add delightful extra flavors to your protein.

If you have leftovers, oven-baked salmon can be used to make a deli-style salmon salad that makes for a great sandwich filler — and it's delightful in salads, too. Mix flaked leftover salmon with mayonnaise or crème fraîche, chopped celery, red onions, and scallions. Season with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and everything bagel seasoning.

For an alternative to oven baking, you can try poaching the salmon filet in a court bouillon broth — seasoned water briefly boiled. Prepare the poaching liquid by simmering carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, and whole peppercorns in generously salted water. Slip skinned salmon filets and poach the fish on a low simmer until done to your liking. Serve hot or at room temperature with homemade hollandaise sauce and steamed asparagus for an elegant yet light meal.