How to Cook Salmon in the Oven
Salmon is actually very easy to cook. However, it can be really intimidating when you’re first starting out. The trick with cooking salmon, as with most fish, is not to cook it too long. If you do—and salmon is especially unforgiving on this—you run the risk of getting a dry, tough, and worst of all, fishy, tasting fish.
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Cooking Salmon in the Oven
I like to cook salmon in a glass baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees. Depending on the thickness of your salmon and the eat of your oven, times of course are going to vary. The trick is to get to know your fish and your oven. The more consistent the cut you get of salmon and the more you practice, the easier it will be to pin down an close approximation of the time it takes to cook. At 360, for average salmon filets, start with ten minutes and adjust your cooking time each time you make the recipe until the fish turns out exactly the way you like it.
How to Know If Fish is Cooked
The common rule of thumb for cooking fish is that it’s done when the juices run clear and it flakes easily with a fork. But here’s the catch: you need to take the fish out of the oven or off the stove or grill before it is fully cooked. For some reason this seems to be even more important with salmon than with other fish. If you’re wary about undercooking the fish, err on the side of undone. Let it sit out a few minutes. It continues to cook. If after a couple of minutes your salmon is not easily flaking, you can always zap it in the microwave for a minute or two and it will be perfect.
Salmon With Sauce
I like to cover salmon with a sauce of some sort while it’s cooking. You can get creative as you like because almost any sauce will taste great. Try pesto, chimichura sauce, salsa, barbecue sauce, or chutney. A simple yogurt, lemon, and parsley mixture is nice to put on after the salmon is cooked.
And here’s a great simple lemon parsley sauce to serve with cooked salmon.
- 1/2 c. butter
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 sm. garlic clove, mashed
- 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the lemon juice, garlic and parsley. Blend well and stir over low heat for several minutes. Serve with the baked salmon. Makes about 1/2 cup.
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