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Everything You Wanted to Know About Preparing Salmon

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Salmon has a number of points in its favor. It is one of the healthiest sources of protein available to the average consumer. It lacks the ethical concerns that come with eating beef or pork. It is relatively easy to prepare, too. Wether you like salmon baked in the oven or grilled, here’s everything you wanted to know about preparing salmon. 

salmon baked in the oven

It Doesn’t Need Much Work 

If you were seasoning steak, you might add salt or a mix of herbs. Then it gets covered in barbecue sauce. If you’re cooking salmon, you really don’t need to add any seasoning at all. If you choose to season it, a little dill, soy sauce or lemon juice does it. The most common mistake people make is over-cooking it. You can reduce the odds of that happening by using a meat thermometer and cooking it inside of protective wrapper to lock in the juices. This could be foil, or it could be the salmon’s own skin.

It Is Easy to Overcook 

Salmon is going to taste great as long as it is fully cooked. Unfortunately, many people over-cook it because they think that the pink meat needs to be as brown as a fully cooked steak or the off-white of cooked pork. In reality, you want to cook the salmon until it has lost its translucence. You don’t want it as white and dry as a pan-fried pork chop. You’ll know it is done when it has a touch of translucence in the middle and flakes easily with a fork.

Salmon Sheet Pan up close (1 of 1)

The salmon needs to get to 145 degrees internally for several minutes. You can reach this temperature by pan frying it for several minutes. Or you could do salmon baked in the oven wrapped in foil. This helps to keep the salmon moist. You could cook it on 350 for 30 minutes or 425 degrees for 20 minutes. It can even be microwaved, though it needs at least six minutes. Note that this is only an option for thin filets. While there are stories of cooking it wrapped in foil while the dishwasher runs, we don’t recommend that. 

It Is One of the Healthiest Protein Sources Around 

The protein in salmon is one of the best available to you. Why do we say that? It is low in fat compared to a thick piece of beef, and it is much lower in calories. Salmon has 40 percent fewer calories per ounce than beef. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. That’s hard to get, though this nutrient is so important to brain health that it is being added to modern baby formula. As an adult, you’ll appreciate the fact that this vital nutrient lowers your blood pressure, reduces inflammation and is generally good for your heart.

It is rich in B vitamins and trace minerals. For example, you can get magnesium, manganese, selenium and other trace minerals from it. The only minerals it isn’t high in that you may be concerned about are calcium and iron.

The beauty of salmon is that it has a rich flavor on its own. You don’t need to smother it in sauce to make it taste good. In fact, covering it in butter or sugary fruit glazes detracts from its natural flavor while hurting the overall health benefits you get from eating it.

Mango salsa on chip

Mango Salsa for Salmon.

Mango Salsa for Salmon and Shrimp is a must try if you love the flavors of salsa but want to mix it up now and then! also check out our Baked Salmon Spread and our Chili Lime Salmon Sheet Pan recipe.

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