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How to Cook Fresh Salmon

best seafood and fish counter in the wethersfield ct areaLike so many other seafoods, salmon is incredibly versatile. It can be used in salads, stews and fish cakes. You can make salmon burgers or whipped it up in a dip. For many people, there is no better way to enjoy salmon than on its own as a hearty fish steak. Full of flavor, salmon doesn’t need to be dressed up with a heavy seasoning rub or marinade. A light dusting of salt and pepper, along with a few other fresh herbs, is all it needs to be the main course.

If it is your first time making salmon, there are a few things that you should know. It is important to learn how to pick fresh salmon and how long of a shelf life it has along with cooking tips.

How to Choose Fresh Salmon

Fresh, healthy salmon has bright red meat and shiny, silvery scales. When you touch the meat, it should bounce back. You can pick up some fresh salmon steaks at our retail counter to ensure you are getting fresh, delicious salmon steaks.

How Long Does Salmon Last in the Fridge

When you bring home fresh salmon from the store, it is a good idea to cook it the same day. If you cannot cook it in the first 48 hours after bringing it home, you should freeze it. Double wrapping it, when you put it in the freeze, should prevent freezer burn. Salmon can be frozen for up to 3 months without losing its flavor or texture.

The 6 Rules for Cooking Perfect Salmon

If you want to prepare salmon to perfection, there are a few rules we’ve learn to follow from our chefs.

#1. Salt it Just Before Cooking

Never sprinkle salmon with salt more than 15 minutes ahead of cooking. If you salt salmon too early, it will dry out when you cook it. Wait until you are ready to throw it on the pan or onto the grill to lightly dust it with salt.

#2. Keep the Seasoning Simple

Don’t dress up salmon too much with thick marinades or a heavy coating of a rub. Salmon is a fish that you want to enjoy the flavor of. Stick with a light coating of seasoning, just a splash of citrus juice or a light glaze.

#3. Let it Reach Room Temperature Before Cooking

When you add cold fish to a hot pan, it will cook unevenly. It is a good idea to let salmon sit out for 15 to 20 minutes before cooking so that it can warm to room temperature. Do not let it sit out for too long. You want it to reach room temperature right before cooking. If it is at room temperature for too long it can be a food safety risk.

#4. Always Preheat the Pan, Grill or Oven

No matter how you plan to cook it, it’s important to make sure that the pan, oven or grill are hot before you lay down your salmon fillets. When you grill salmon, you want the grill rack to be oiled and hot so that the salmon won’t stick. When you are pan-frying salmon, the pan needs to be preheated so that you can get a nice sear on your salmon. When you cook salmon in the oven, it needs to be preheated so that it cooks evenly and quickly.

cooking fresh salmon in oil pan fried in hartford ct

#5. Use an Oil with a High Heat Tolerance

This is especially important if you are pan frying salmon. Butter and olive oil both have a low heat tolerance which means they will smoke if the heat is too hot. An oil, like coconut oil or vegetable oil, with a high heat tolerance won’t smoke when you’re cooking with a high heat.

#6. Let It Cook in Peace

When you make salmon, you should cook it for around 12 to 15 minutes (depending on how thin or thick it is and what cooking method you choose). You do not need to flip salmon like you would a steak. Instead, let it cook with the skin side facing down.

Following these 6 steps will help you to make delicious, flaky salmon steaks. If you want to dress your salmon up with a glaze or rub, check out our Pinterest for ideas! Swing by City Fish Market to pick up fresh salmon from our seafood counter.