Salmon may be
cooked in a variety of ways. Each method, whether it
be grilling, steaming, poaching, frying or baking,
results in different tastes and textures. The vital
thing in any of the above cooking methods is that
the fish should not be overcooked. The cooked salmon
should be neither too soft to the touch nor too
firm. Timing is crucial, whatever the method and
whatever your personal preference.
Salmon may be
cooked quickly and easily with no additives save for
some oil or butter, freshly ground salt and pepper
and perhaps a squeeze of lemon. Assuming four
portions of salmon, i.e. four salmon fillets or
steaks (each 140 grams or 5 oz ), cooking time might
be between 5 and 10 minutes.
Grilling Preheat the grill to
the highest setting. Line a grill pan with foil,
drizzle the salmon with olive oil or dot with butter
and grill for three minutes on each side. Season and
Char-grilling Use a ribbed cast-iron
griddle pan. Oil the salmon, rather than the pan, to
prevent it sticking and don't touch the fillets
while they're cooking. To create barbeque "stripes",
cook for two to three minutes on one side, then
rotate the fish through 90° and cook for a further
two minutes. Repeat on the other side. Season and
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Drizzle
fillets with olive oil or dot with butter, season
and place them on a greased baking tray. Bake in the
oven for 7-8 minutes.
Poaching Fill a wide frying pan with
water, just deep enough to cover the fillets. Once
the water is barely simmering, poach the fish for
about 5 minutes, until opaque and just set. Lemon
juice or flavoured stock may be added to the water
for extra flavour. Season and serve.
Steaming Steaming is the healthiest
way to cook salmon. Put some aromatic herbs, e.g.
thyme or tarragon, in the base of the steamer, add
water and bring to the boil. Place the salmon,
lightly oiled, into the steamer basket, cover and
steam for 5-8 minutes, making sure the steamer
doesn't boil dry. Season and serve.
Pan-frying/searing Heat a non-stick
frying pan until very hot, then add a little
sunflower oil. For thin cuts, fry the fillets for
2-3 minutes on each side, to get a caramelized
crust; for thicker cuts, reduce to a medium heat
once the salmon has been added, then cook for 5-7
minutes on one side and a further 2 minutes on the
other side. Season and serve.