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Easy Baked Salmon That Melts in Your Mouth
Baked salmon is not only healthy and delicious, it is also one of the easiest and quickest ways to enjoy fresh seafood.
Wild Caught or Farm Raised?
As a general rule, wild-caught Pacific salmon is better for the environment, contains fewer pollutants like dioxin and PCBs, and has a better taste than Atlantic farm-raised salmon, especially if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a good piece of fresh Alaskan King salmon.
However, if you live in the land-locked Midwest, as I do, wild salmon is often rare, and prohibitively expensive when it is available. Not only that, but it is often stored in ways that reduce its tenderness. There are few things more disappointing than paying extra for a wild caught salmon to find its flesh dry and flavor ruined. Though inferior to fresh wild salmon, farm raised salmon, especially farmed salmon from Chile, remains a healthy substitute, with one of the lowest levels of mercury of any seafood and even higher levels of heart-healthy Omega-3 oils than wild salmon.
My family's recipe is as easy as can be and results in the tenderest, melt-in-your-mouth fish you'll ever eat.
1. Buy the best fish you can find. It goes without saying that the fresher and better quality the fish, the better the finished dish will taste. This recipe will let a great fish be great and maybe even bump a mediocre fish into being good, but not even the best recipe can salvage a bad piece of fish and this one is no exception.
For this recipe, I recommend a 1-2 pound salmon fillet with skin.
2. Preheat your oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Rinse the fish and gently pat or shake it dry. Lay it skin side down in an ungreased glass baking pan and season lightly it with freshly ground black pepper and dill, or your seasoning of choice. (Leaving it plain is fine too.)
4. When the oven is ready, bake the salmon approximately 20 minutes on the center rack if it's about one pound. Add a few minutes (2-4 will generally do the trick) if it's two pounds or more.
5. When the salmon is light pink and flakes easily with a fork, it's done. Serve warm with a tossed green salad and a rice or potato side.
Leftovers are a great cold sandwich with some lettuce, mayo, and good bread.
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Help Protect Wild Salmon
- Wild Salmon Center
The mission of the Wild Salmon Center is to identify, understand and protect the best wild salmon ecosystems of the Pacific Rim.
- Save Our Wild Salmon
Save Our Wild Salmon is a nationwide coalition of conservation organizations, commercial and sport fishing associations, businesses, river groups, and taxpayer and clean energy advocates working collectively to restore healthy, sustainable wild salmo
- Atlantic Salmon Federation
ASF is an international non-profit organization that promotes the conservation and wise management of wild Atlantic salmon and their environment.
- Native Fish Society
The Native Fish Society advocates for the conservation, protection and restoration of native fish populations in the Pacific Northwest.
- Salmon Safe
Devoted to restoring agricultural and urban watersheds so that salmon can spawn and thrive
- Salmon Nation
Salmon Nation exists to inspire and engage the citizens of the region to tangibly change the way we think about and act on our connections to place and community.