How to cook salmon: 10 different ways

Hey hey hey! How’s the day going? Thank you so much all of the sweet wishes about my nerve repair surgery. Everything went well and I’m on the mends! I took the day off yesterday to rest a bit but am back in the swing of things now. I also have a sweet splint on my hand, which makes me look pretty tough, like I punched through a window or something. 😉 P’s 6 month update is up on the family page. I still can’t believe she’s half a year old.

For today, let’s talk about my favorite fish!

10 ways to cook salmon

Salmon was one of the first meals I cooked for the Pilot when we were dating (10 years ago!). I had just gotten off work and was on the way to grab groceries and cook dinner for us at my apartment. I called my Uncle Eric (<— chef and he always amazing ideas for meals and menus), to see what I should make. The menu: salmon (with a ginger, soy sauce and orange dressing), wasabi mashed potatoes, and roasted asparagus. It sounded fancy, but was still doable. This was key since I was very new to the cooking game.

His tips on cooking salmon:

-Go for the freshest you can find. Wild-caught is a sustainable option, with a vibrant red hue and rich taste. He said to take a good look at the fish and make sure it didn’t look slimy or bruised. Instead of overdressing it, let the flavors of the fish shine through. 

-It’s all about the sear! The best way to cook salmon is to preheat the oven to 375, and preheat a large pan on high. Season the salmon well with salt and pepper, then add some oil to the pan. When the oil dances, place the salmon (skin side UP) on the pan. Let it sear (you should hear a sizzle, or the pan isn’t hot enough) for 30 seconds to 1 minute. When you transfer it to the baking dish, place it skin side DOWN so the lovely browned top is facing up. After that, bake for 10-12 minutes, until it flakes easily with a fork.

-If you can, let it marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. If you’re using a sauce, marinate it in a sealed baggie (in the fridge), and drizzle a little extra marinade on top before baking.

Last week, I received a request for some fish recipes, since it’s one of my favorite dishes to cook at home. Even so, we tend to get into fish ruts and rotate through the same recipes. We have salmon pretty much every week, and I’m always looking for some new flavor combos and recipe ideas to change it up. Here are some of my favorites for salmon:

Salmon

1) BBQ. Season the salmon with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Pan-sear using the method above, and before baking, baste with your favorite BBQ sauce. 

2) Pistachio-crusted. season the salmon well with salt, pepper and olive oil. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup crushed pistachios, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Gently coat the salmon with the mixture before baking.

3) Dill and lemon yogurt. Season the salmon well with salt and pepper, then pan-sear using the method above. In a small bowl, combine 1.2 cup plain yogurt with a heaping tablespoon of fresh chopped dill and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Stir in 1-2 minced garlic cloves. Before baking, spread the yogurt sauce on top. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh dill.

4) Lavender and honey. This one is unexpected and so delicious! The sweet honey is beautiful with the earthy lavender. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, the pan-sear using the method above. Drizzle the fillets with honey and top with pinches of dried lavender before baking. 

5) Honey-Dijon. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and pan-sera using the method above. In a small bowl, combine equal parts (I use a heaping tablespoon each) honey, olive oil, and Dijon mustard. Season well with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Spread the sauce onto the filets before baking. 

6) Blackened. Combine 1/2 teaspoon each of brown sugar, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. Season well with salt and pepper before adding 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Rub onto the filets before pan-searing and baking. 

Searing salmon

7) Orange-maple-ginger-soy. In a large ziplock bag, add 1/4 cup Tamari or soy sauce, the zest, juice and slices of one orange. Add i/4 cup honey, 1 teaspoon of fresh minced ginger and 2 minced garlic cloves. Season well with salt and pepper. Place the salmon in the bag to marinate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge. When you’re ready to cook, pan-sear using the method above and top with the orange slices before baking.

8) Salmon with cranberry sauce. Recipe is here! 

9) Straight up with lemon and garlic. Season the salmon with salt and pepper before pan-searing using the method above. Before baking, place fresh lemon slices on top. 

10) Tacos! Use the blackened salmon (#6 above!) and serve in corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, salsa and a creamy cumin-lime sauce. Just combine plain yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon cumin, zest of 1/2 a lime and a squeeze of lime juice. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.

I also love these salmon patties and salmon kabobs.

Salmon skewers

Are you a salmon fan? What’s your favorite recipe or flavor combo?

Have a great morning and I’ll see ya later today.

xoxo

Gina

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Comments

  1. Kate Z. says:

    Such great timing, as I’ve been wanting to make the frozen salmon we’ve got on hand. I love making fresh fish, but the frozen variety is still wild caught (and so darn convenient!). Thank you for these delicious sounding ideas! The seared/baked with lemon butter and the salmon cakes are happening tonight. 🙂

  2. Brittany says:

    Salmon is just a little too fishy for me. I only like it with a honey Dijon glaze.
    Funny story: it was the first meal my mom made for my brothers girlfriend before they were dating. We all went crazy for it. And she now cant remember exactly what she did! its forever known as the “great Amanda salmon”

  3. yumm!! I love salmon… like a lot. We eat it a couple times a week. 🙂 My favorite marinade is spicy mustard, braggs aminos, honey, lemon juice and a little olive oil. I also recently tried a dry rub with a lot of spices and it was delicious. We usually grill our salmon, but I definitely want to try the sear and bake method. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Yes! It is the BEST fish! I could live off of salmon!
    I love it anyway, but one way I haven’t tried (and want to!) is poaching!

  5. Thanks Gina and glad to hear you are on the mend! I am “scared” of cooking fish and don’t do it that often, so I am going to challenge myself to cook my way through this list.

    I know you said that fresh is best, but have you ever tried the frozen salmon at TJ’s? Would you recommend it?

    • Fitnessista says:

      totally!! a lot of times “fresh” fish is actually previously frozen. just make sure it’s not freezer burned and should be fine

  6. Juliana says:

    Yay thank you! Can’t wait to try some of these 🙂

  7. Hey, your link to the family page in this post actually goes to some really cute Kate Spade PJs on Nordies 😉

  8. I love salmon and you can truly make it in so many different ways too. That orange maple salmon sounds AMAZING. I may need to put my own spin on that!

  9. Love salmon! I think it goes so well with Asian inspired flavors. I’ve actually never seared my salmon :-/ Something I will definitely be adding to the cooking process!

  10. I absolutely love salmon. They never have it at my school so it’s one of my number 1 requested meals when I go home for the summer and breaks! I love it grilled or literally any other way. Can’t wait to try some new ways soon!

  11. Salmon can be great! and that loooks wonderful!
    My favorite way to make it is Simply with peper and put some lemon on it when Im wating it. I have never thought to make a kabob out of fish 😮

  12. Crystal says:

    I love salmon!! My absolute favorite way to eat it is raw in a sushi roll 😉 but obvs not gonna do that at home. Honestly when I make salmon I usually keep it simple and use some salt, pepper, and maybe garlic powder and just bake it. I may try one of these ideas just to branch out a little lol.

  13. Salmon is my absolute favorite! I love it really no matter how it’s cooked but I think either grilled or blackened with a little salmon grill seasoning is the best! I have never tried BBQ but I think that will definitely be how we cook it next time. Thanks for the tips!

  14. Yes! Love salmon! Just got back from the grocery store with some so timing is perfect. I never considered the lavender and honey one. I’m surprised it holds up on such a meaty fish. I’ll definitely give it a try!

  15. Love having all these ideas & tips in one place! Love salmon but don’t make it much at home so thank you!

    Happy to hear the surgery went well! One step closer to being yourself again!

  16. Thank you thank you. This is going to be bookmarked. Salmon is my fav and I always get stuck how to prepare. These new recipes are awesome.

  17. Salmon is so versatile Thank you for highlighting these options. Great recipes.

  18. I’m always making mine salmon so plain so his gave me some great ideas. Thanks!

  19. Great post!!!!!! Thank you and hope you continue to feel better.

  20. I’m going to have to try searing my salmon. I literally have only made salmon with dill and lemon or maple glaze, both of which are old now haha.

  21. Stephanie says:

    Love this post!! Great ideas for salmon! I like mine cooked on a cedar plank. I want to try pistachio-crusted at home.

  22. Yum! We do a cedar plank grilled salmon and then top it with this spiced avocado “salsa”

    • ½ lemon, juice only
    • ½ lime, juice only
    • ½ red onion, finely diced
    • ½ cup coriander leaves (cilantro)
    • 2 tbps Mango chutney
    • 1 tsp sambal oelek
    • Pinch ground cumin
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 avocados, halved, stone removed and peeled
    • Salt/pepper to taste
    Combine citrus juices, onion, coriander leaves (cilantro) chutney, sambal oelek and cumin in a large bowl. Add a splash of extra-virgin olive oil then gently fold on diced avocado. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    It’s always a hit!

  23. Stephanie M says:

    Dumb question – do you need to use a non-stick pan to sear? I’ve cooked salmon a ton, but I’ve never tried searing it. Here’s a marinade that I recently used and was delish:
    -1/4 cup brown sugar
    -1/4 cup soy sauce/coconut aminos
    -1/4 cup olive oil
    -2T white wine
    -2T lemon juice

  24. I needed this! Time to shake up my salmon routine…instead of my 1 of 2 choices: marinate in Italian dressing or brushing w/ BBQ sauce. Yawn!

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