The wonderful thing about salmon is the ease with which it can be prepared. When you have good quality fish, you don't need a lot of fancy sauces and marinades to make up for marginal taste. Here are some very simple cooking ideas:
- Pour a small amount of olive oil into a bowl so as to cover the number of portions being prepared.
- Add some lemon pepper seasoning, garlic, dill, fennel, or whatever other spices you like.
- Add a dash of soy sauce, a pinch of brown sugar, or a few drops of maple syrup.
- All ingredients beyond the olive oil are optional. It will prevent sticking and help lock in moistness, which is especially important with sockeye salmon. Mix ingredients and brush over the pieces of fish.
- You can then bake, grill, fry, microwave or 'George Foreman' them--whatever you consider the easies. When you think about it, it's not all that different than cooking a steak! The most important thing is to not over cook your fish.
The small portions will cook quickly. Sockeye is a relatively lean fish and (like any meat) will become dry and tough if over-cooked. Pay close attention the first time you try a particular heating method and note the time and temperature it takes to get it "just right." Once you figure this out, cooking your fish will be a breeze. Beginning with the simplest method, here are some cooking suggestions:
- Brush thawed portions with olive oil, sprinkle with lemon-pepper, place in microwave on low power or "defrost" setting for 8 minutes (ovens vary so you may need to adjust the time one way or the other), remove, and serve.
- Same prep but place in pan with a small amount of olive oil over med high heat for 3-4 minutes and cover. Turn, cover, and cook 2-3 more minutes or until done.
- Same prep, place under broiler for 4-5 minutes. Turn if desired (may be unnecessary) and cook until done.
- Same prep, but place on barbecue grill and cover. Check after 4-5 minutes, watch closely, remove, and serve (This is many people's favorite). Be sure everyone is ready to eat when you begin cooking the fish as it cooks quickly and is always best served straight from the grill.
Cooking salmon couldn't be much easier. Once you get the heating method and cooking times down you may want to branch out and experiment with other seasonings--or not. It's hard to beat lemon-pepper to start. Just make sure to look for some without MSG. Go to our Recipe page for more great cooking ideas.