Healthy salmon recipes
Healthy, delicious and widely available, salmon is a great fish to cook with. As amazing as it is, it's easy to get bored with a typical pan-fried fillet of salmon with the same old veggie side-dish or couscous. These salmon recipes offer a new twist to renew your love of salmon, and are absolutely delicious.
The first step to cooking and serving these delicious recipes is finding some good salmon. There are many choices in the supermarket or fish market when it comes to salmon, so it's difficult to know which to choose. Here are some easy tips on how to pick your salmon:
- Choose wild-caught over farmed salmon. Wild-caught salmon contain more omega 3 fatty acids and fewer harmful toxins, so are a healthier and more environmentally sustainable option.
- Examine your fillet. The flesh should be firm and should hold together well. It won't necessarily be bright pink - salmon turn this colour from their diet so their colour can vary depending on what they've been eating.
- Smell the salmon, if possible. Fresh fish should smell like the sea, and should NOT have a fishy smell.
Keep your fish chilled in the fridge, and eat it as soon as possible, preferably within a day or two. If it hasn't already been frozen, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. It will defrost overnight in the fridge, ready for the next day's meal. To prepare your salmon for cooking, give it a quick rinse with water and dry it off with a paper towel. Now you're ready to cook!
Crispy salmon and noodle salad
Serves 4 - Adapted from a BBC Good Food Magazine recipe
This is my very favourite dish to cook at home. Although salmon is normally cooked to medium rare, this recipe offers a new texture for salmon. The salmon is cooked once and then flaked and fried again until crispy. This is a delicious, fresh Asian-inspired dish. A note of caution - go easy on the chillis unless you like it hot!
- 4 salmon fillets
- 1 cucumber, sliced finely
- 1 small bunch spring onions, sliced finely on the bias
- 1 red chilli, sliced finely (or 1/2 tsp sriracha chilli sauce)
- 100g thin rice noodles (about one little bunch)
- juice 2 limes
- 2 tbsp soy sauce, to taste
- small bunch coriander (cilantro)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Mix the cucumber, spring onion, lime juice, soy sauce, chillis and coriander in a big bowl (if doing in advance, add the cucumber just before mixing in the salmon and noodles). You may wish to add half the chilli first, then taste and add the rest later if needed (this is important - I have made myself cry by making this dish too hot in the past!).
- Place the rice noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water and cover with plastic wrap. Leave for five minutes, or cook according to package instructions. You want them to be just cooked and not soggy.
- Drain the noodles, rinse them in cold water and then add to the bowl with the cucumbers and other ingredients.
- Heat a grill pan or frying pan to medium high. Cook the salmon for around 4 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Then flake the salmon and return to the pan until the salmon is very crispy and browned on the edges.
- Add the salmon to the bowl with the other ingredients. Mix well and then serve.
My favourite BBQ salmon
Cooking salmon on the BBQ can be a great way to avoid slaving over a hot stove on those warm summer days, but you can also cook this salmon in a grill pan or frying pan for year-round enjoyment. The below sauce is my favourite, not just because it's tasty, but also because it uses ingredients I always have in my kitchen. I use it for marinating fish, pork and chicken, and I even use it for stir fries.
For the salmon:
- 4 fillets of salmon (if possible, buy a large piece, and leave it whole until cooked)
- 4 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp. orange or lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Lime or lemon wedges, optional
- In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, garlic, orange juice, honey and cayenne pepper to form a sauce. Put half the sauce aside at this stage if you want to use it for dipping later.
- Brush a sheet of aluminum foil with oil (or a banana leaf, if you can find one) and place the salmon on top (if using a grill pan or frying pan, do this without the foil).
- Brush the salmon with the sauce. Leave to marinate a few minutes, while heating the BBQ/pan to medium high.
- Place the salmon (still on the foil) onto the BBQ/pan, and cook for 10 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
- Serve with any extra sauce for dipping and some lime or lemon wedges on the side. Goes great with new potatoes or any of these tasty grilled side dishes.
Summery salmon and rocket pasta
This is a great recipe for a weeknight or whenever you're looking for a quick and easy meal. While it looks creamy, it's actually quite light and refreshing because of the creme fraiche and citrus. It also works really well with prawns.
- 2 salmon fillets (around 300g)
- pasta shapes (I like penne), 320g
- 150g green veg - I like sugar snap peas or broad beans
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- rocket (arugula), 100g
- low-fat creme fraiche, 100g (try greek yogurt if you can't find creme fraiche)
- Boil the pasta, adding the green veg for the last 2-3 minutes. Reserve some of the cooking liquid before draining.
- Meanwhile, cook the salmon in a hot frying pan or grill pan. First, cook it skin side down for about 5 minutes, then turn and cook for another 4 minutes.
- Flake the fish into large chunks, then add to the pasta and veg with the rocket, lemon zest & juice and creme fraiche. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick. Season well and serve.
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