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How To Cook Fish: Baked Salmon Recipe

Updated on August 5, 2012

Fillet of Salmon Recipe

Residents of the Northwest take the availability of wild salmon for granted. For those of us living in Central Oregon, it's a little bit harder to get fresh salmon so when it becomes available, we usually stock up.

There is nothing quite like fresh wild salmon. Technically the "best" salmon is either king salmon or sockeye salmon. They have the most flavor and are the healthiest for you so the experts say.

I used a 2-1/2 pound fillet of sockeye salmon for this recipe and it was absolutely fabulous. Go easy on anything you add to this flavorful fish as it has a taste all its own.

For those of you who prefer grilling, there is a conversion recipe that follows. Remember to always cook salmon though until it just starts to flake. It will continue to cook once removed from the heat source and the best salmon is the kind that is not overcooked and dry.

4 stars from 3 ratings of Baked Salmon Recipe


  • One 2-1/2 pound fresh wild salmon, pin bones removed, skin on one side
  • 4-6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • Herbs and spices, optional
  • Pam or olive oil cooking spray
Line cookie sheet with foil
Line cookie sheet with foil
Spray foil with Pam or brush with olive oil.
Spray foil with Pam or brush with olive oil.
Brush with low-sodium soy sauce.
Brush with low-sodium soy sauce.


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a jelly roll pan or large cookie sheet with sides with aluminum foil.
  3. Spray foil lightly with olive oil or canola oil spray.
  4. Inspect salmon fillet for remaining pin bones. Blot lightly with moistened paper towels and dry.
  5. Measure low-sodium soy sauce into small bowl. Brush soy sauce over fish fillet thoroughly but sparingly.
  6. Sprinkle with herbs or spices if desired; do not recommend adding salt as soy sauce has plenty.
  7. Place fish on foil-lined pan in completely preheated oven uncovered and bake for 25 minutes at 325 degrees.
  8. Check frequently after that (every 5 minutes) until fish in the thickest part begins to flake.
  9. Remove fish from oven. Loosely drape with foil and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting.
  10. Top with thinly sliced lemons. Juice of lemon can also be squeezed over the top of the salmon when it comes out of the oven for more flavor.

Best Herbs for Salmon

Rub or brush lightly with olive oil and try some of these herbs on salmon instead of soy sauce. Use dried if you don't have fresh.

  • Fresh dill
  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
  • Parsley
  • Lemon

Good Sauce for Salmon

Salmon is great as is but for those who have to have a sauce, try a cucumber and Greek yogurt sauce.

Remember to keep it light as you want the inherent flavor of the salmon to shine through.

Salmon fillet when ready for oven
Salmon fillet when ready for oven

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: Serves 8 (about 1/2 pound of salmon each)
Delicious baked salmon fillet
Delicious baked salmon fillet

Baked Salmon or Grilled Salmon

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 pound per person
Calories 250
Calories from Fat117
% Daily Value *
Fat 13 g20%
Saturated fat 2 g10%
Carbohydrates 0 g
Sugar 0 g
Fiber 0 g
Protein 32 g64%
Cholesterol 90 mg30%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Serving Suggestions

Pair baked salmon or grilled salmon with the following:

  • Tossed green salad with light raspberry vinaigrette
  • Flash steamed tender asparagus
  • Brown rice with slivered almond pilaf
  • Crusty Italian bread if desired
  • A crisp sauvignon blanc or a fruity chardonnay goes well with this
  • Finish off the meal with fresh fruit in season

How to Cook Grilled Salmon

If grilling or BBQ salmon is more to your tastes, you can use the same recipe as above with the following adjustments in cooking technique:

  • Oil grill with either Pam spray or olive oil spray
  • Preheat grill to medium high heat
  • Brush salmon with low-sodium soy sauce as above
  • When grill is ready place salmon on grill, skin side down
  • Flip after about 7-1/2 minutes once (use 2 large spatulas)
  • Or use a rimless baking sheet to flip the salmon onto, then slide it back onto the grill
  • Arrange a couple of lemons cut in half on the grill, cut sides down - grill for 5-7 minutes
  • When salmon is beginning to flake, transfer to large platter
  • Sprinkle on some fresh herbs if desired
  • Let salmon sit for 5-10 minutes before serving to firm up
  • Serve with lemons on the side for squeezing

You can also cook this over low heat which will take approximately 30 or so minutes to cook through.

Another great way to cook salmon is to cook it on wood planks. Check out this recipe for cedar planked salmon.

Removing the Skin From Salmon

If you dislike baking your salmon with the skin on, watch the instructional video here which shows you how to easily remove the skin from your salmon fillet before cooking.

However, it should be noted that the omega-3 oils which are so predominant in salmon are located between the skin of the salmon and the salmon meat itself. Removing the skin will deplete some of those omega-3's.

If you decide to remove the skin of your piece of salmon, think about what health benefits you might be robbing yourself of before proceeding. However, some people do claim that the skin alters the flavor of the fish. I think it enhances it but everyone has their preference when it comes to fish skin.

What to Do with Leftover Cooked Salmon

There's nothing better than salmon leftovers. Store pieces of salmon in an airtight container or flake it for use in some of these dishes.

Here are just a few suggestions for uses:

  • Green salads
  • Salmon patties
  • Salmon loaf
  • Omelets
  • Frittatas
  • Cold pasta salads
  • Hot pasta dishes
  • Sandwiches and sliders

The Truth About Wild Salmon

There are some misconceptions about the availability of wild caught salmon here in the United States.

Truth be told, the Atlantic salmon is an endangered species. Consequently, all the salmon found on the east coast is farmed salmon. I have tried farmed fish and I'm not a big fan. I think the flavor is definitely lacking and I wonder about the nutritional value.

In the Northwest, there is an abundunce of wild salmon thankfully. There are several types of salmon and they are usually ranked by flavor and price.

  • King - top of the line and wonderfully full of flavor - also known as chinook salmon
  • Sockeye - second only to king salmon for its popularity and taste
  • Copper River salmon - some of the best tasting salmon anywhere
  • Coho and chum salmon - not as flavorful and cheaper by the pound
  • Pink salmon - the lesser of the salmon usually used for canned or frozen purposes

FACTOID: Chinook salmon which is extremely popular as salmons go, makes up only 1% of the entire Alaskan catch.


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    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Gordon - long time no see! You are my guy cook - you have so many wonderful recipes - I just never have had the time to interact much.

      Actually - older method is always better...if we just got back to some of the old ways, wouldn't we just be much better for it? I've not had salmon cooked that way though have poached my own.

      I bake my salmon and then take the skin off - but I only buy wild Alaskan salmon myself because we have some of the same issues with farmed though I'm beginning to wonder if we won't have it happening on the Pacific Coast as well as the Atlantic.

      To tell you the truth, I do not know much about Scottish salmon but now I want to know!

      Our Northwest way to do salmon though - my favorite - is the Indian way - to slow roast it on upright boards over not an open fire but a slow simmering fire. I don't think I've ever tasted anything quite so fantastic - and it is a very slow process. We call it salmon bake - it is totally delicious. The Indians definitely got that one 100% right.

      I cook everything and so does Bob slow- we plank our salmon sometimes on boards or I just cook it slow in the oven. I worry all the time about the quality of the food it sounds like you do too.

      Keep in touch and send me your thoughts on the recipes~ I am going to research now that you mentioned it the salmon recipes over in Scotland....I love everything Scottish and I don't know why. I wish you ecologically happy waters as I wish for my own country - can we be so smart and yet so stupid in terms of not figuring it all out?

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 

      9 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Ahh... you have me drooling with this Hub...

      I love salmon cooked in so many ways but definitely would never take the skin off it before cooking it. Here in Scotland at the moment there is a big problem with the salmon which have escaped from the farms interacting and interbreeding with the wild salmon and clearly causing potential for disaster. I'm not sure how they're going to solve that problem...

      Have you ever tasted salmon cooked in a fish kettle/fish poacher? That is apparently how they cooked it in centuries gone by on the banks of rivers like the Tay and the Tweed, over an open fire. Takes several hours before it's ready to eat - but it's worth it... :)

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Ah yes, etherealenigma - the other salmon~ Love that too!

    • Etherealenigma profile image

      Sandra M Urquhart 

      9 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      This was a very well thought out and well written recipe. It sounds really good and I love salmon. However, I don't know if it can possibly beat the taste of smoked salmon.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Sending you a virtual slice, Lezsaysit - thanks for stopping in~

    • lezsaysit profile image


      9 years ago from New York, NY

      Sounds delicious!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Thanks BW for the insightful comment - I love only Alaskan salmon so that is good to know...I can't get enough of it though I worry about my beloved Orca whales running out of it while I happily chow down on it~ Hopefully we will all be able to enjoy it for many years to come.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image


      9 years ago

      I always try to get wild salmon because of their better omega-3 fatty acid content. You can tell from the color of the meat that wild salmon is more red due to higher levels of antioxidant known as astaxanthin which they get from eating algae. Framed salmon do not get much opportunity to eat natural algae.

      All Alaskan salmon are wild since they do not allow salmon farms in Alaska.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Yes, hopefully this time around I won't get too absorbed in myself and haev to exit stage right again~ I'm trying to keep it all in perspective...learn a little, grow a little and all that jazz. Me thinks I take myself too dang seriously most of the time~ Hard habit to break but I'm working on it!

    • Crewman6 profile image


      9 years ago

      You're welcome- always glad to share :^) (and always enjoy the read!)

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Oh Crewman - that's terrible~ Literally! No, one must not EAT the skin, just leave it there to give you all those omega-3's...I almost give it to my malamutes as they would gobble it up quite quickly but then I'm just not sure I want that fishy mouth coming at me for a kiss goodnight~ I have heard that the salmon skin is very good for them but there are some just things I'd rather let go I guess~ Thanks for stopping by and for the giggle~~~

    • Crewman6 profile image


      9 years ago

      Wonderful writing- you're making me crave fish. But I have to admit... when I was younger, and didn't know better, I ordered Salmon at a fancy restaurant with someone I wanted to impress. I didn't know the skin was meant to be removed after cooking (at least, I've always assumed that was what happened). Not wanting to look dumb, I didn't admit to difficulties, but sawed that tough piece of leather into small enough chunks to choke down. It left a bad taste in my mouth ever since, and was the first and last time I could bring myself to try Salmon. :^)

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Mepperly - good point - I love it that way too - balsamic is one of my favorites and honey and salmon is always a great choice~!

    • mepperly profile image

      Shelly Epperly 

      9 years ago from Vancouver,WA

      great hub... will have to make some salmon this week. I like to drizzle with balsamic, a little garlic salt and a drizzle of honey then bake... yummy.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for stopping by, Rhonda - glad you liked~

    • toknowinfo profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for the great hub. I love salmon and really got a lot of info I didn't know from this article. Rated up and awesome!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Hey Pamela and Joyce - thanks for stopping by - and it is so easy to make it really is a sin~ Well, kinda sorta....a delicious sin I guess~

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I haven't cooked salmon very often as it is not so readily available in FL, but I have bought it previously frozen. I know it is so healthy. It sounds so simple to make using your recipe. Very useful hub.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      9 years ago from Southern Nevada

      This sounds so good that have to print it out, thank you.

      Voted up, useful and interesting, Joyce.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Hi Kristy - cool - I can't seem to get enough salmon and just thought I'd do up a hub while I was cooking dinner last night~ thanks for stopping by.....

    • kissayer profile image

      Kristy Sayer 

      9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Great hub, I also wrote a few on Salmon (how to bake, select and store and the health benefits of Salmon).

      I like that you included the video on how to remove the skin as it can be a very tricky process!


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