Salmon is, in my opinion, the tastiest fish. It is flavorful, easy to cook, and it’s pink. Ask anyone that knows me well, and they’ll tell you I eat a lot of pasta and a lot of salmon. Seriously, it wouldn’t surprise me If I get mercury poisoning (although I limit myself to twice a week to try and prevent that). So often though, I feel like cooking a piece or two the same way every week can get very boring. If you are bored with your salmon as well, or just want to try something new, try these three easy, healthy, salmon recipes!
For starters, let’s talk about the main ingredient. Unless you live very far north and by the sea, you’ll have a hard time getting local salmon. There are a lot of different types; Atlantic, Alaskan, Sockeye, Chilean, Farmed or Wild. Typically, I don’t look into it too deep. I try to get one that has a lighter pink/orange color, and just overall looks fresh and is from a place that I trust.
These are the fillets that I got from Publix. I usually get the select cuts because they’re already cut into portion sizes.
#1, Seared Salmon with Sauce
(Extra points for alliteration)
This way of cooking the salmon is the way I do most often. It is pretty simple and only requires a few ingredients.
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- Garlic Salt or Garlic Powder
- Butter, White Wine, Heavy Cream, and Thyme (for the sauce)
- Lemon Juice
This recipe is delicious without sauce as well, so feel free to forego it if you don’t want it.
Also, for a good sear, I cannot stress enough the importance of a stainless steel pan. Someone told me once that you’ll never be able to get as good of a sear on nonstick as you will with stainless. I didn’t really think it made that big of a difference until I got one. Seriously, do yourself a favor and invest in one. Here’s mine- Le Creuset Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Fry Pan, 10-Inch. And here is a cheaper one, Emeril Lagasse 62951 Stainless Steel Fry Pan, 8″, Silver.
Dry off your piece of fish with a paper towel, then add all of your seasonings. That’s it for step one!
Heat your pan on medium heat. Don’t add any oil until you get it hot enough that a drop of water won’t bubble up and evaporate. It should be a ball of water that moves around the pan like this:
This is also known as the Leidenfrost Effect.
Add your oil and let that heat up as well, until it has ripples or “legs” in it. Then, place the salmon face down in the middle of the pan. Once it is down, DON’T touch it. To prevent it from sticking to the pan it needs to sit for anywhere from 2-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
Flip the fish after it has formed a crust and no longer sticks to the pan. If it is very thick, you may need to let it cook on its sides a bit too.
Take your salmon off of the pan. There will probably be brown bits on the bottom of the pan, and that’s great. Those make your sauce flavorful. Put two sprigs of thyme in the pan and let those fry for a minute. Add butter and let it brown (again, this works best in a stainless steel pan). Once your butter is melted and browned, add white wine and let the pan deglaze. When the steam subsides, add a small amount of heavy cream. Just enough to get the wine and the butter to combine. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to your liking.
#2, Salmon Ceviche
A lot of people think that ceviche is raw fish, but it’s actually not. Ceviche is when the raw fish is “cooked” in acidic substances like lime or lemon juice. It is a Peruvian dish that traditionally consists of only fish, salt, limes, onions, and hot peppers. I don’t like hot peppers, so I came up with my own version. Feel free to add whatever you like to this dish!
Ceviche does, however, still resemble raw fish. So, if that freaks you out, you may want to pass on this one.
This is definitely the easiest recipe because it requires no heat!
You can kind of do this however you want, so long as you have lemon or lime juice to “cook” the salmon. Here’s how I did mine.
Isn’t that beautiful?
Chop the salmon up into small bite-sized cubes. Then chop the ingredients of your choice.
I used celery, shallot, chives, avocado, lemons, and limes.
Mix it all in a bowl, add salt, and set it in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
It is literally that easy, and it is so delicious.
#3, Baked Salmon
Baked salmon is what I cook the least of the three. However, it is very delicious and easy. I just hate waiting for an oven to heat up. Baking salmon can be a much healthier way of cooking because it requires little to no oil. I like to make mine heavy on the garlic, butter, and lemon. But for this, I am going to make a Cilantro Lime Garlic Baked Salmon.
Since you won’t need to worry about a sear, don’t bother to pat down the salmon. I cook mine in a baking dish, but you can do it in aluminum foil just as well.
Start by chopping a small amount of fresh cilantro, zest one lime, and mince a clove of garlic. Mix together the lime zest, juice, cilantro, and garlic in a small bowl with a small drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Then, put salmon in a baking dish or aluminum foil and pour your mixture on top. Put four cubes of unsalted butter on top and put it in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Then take it out and enjoy!
Not the prettiest but still delicious.
I hope you all enjoyed this and now have some new salmon recipes to try! Please let me know if you tried it/ how it turned out!
Happy salmon eating!