Salmon, the king of fish is popularly relished across the globe. It's baked, poached, broiled, barbecued, fried, smoked, etc. and is praised for its high protein and omega-3 fatty acid content. Salmon has proved to be healthy to the body and tasty to the pallet. However, one of the commonest mistakes made by people while cooking salmon is overcooking it. Maintaining the right cooking time is required to get the best out of the fish. Overcooking the fish until it flakes makes the fish too dry with very little juice within. So how do we know what is the best and most appropriate cooking time for salmon?
You will know the salmon is fully cooked, when the color of the fish changes from translucent to an opaque white. If you are not confident about pulling out the fish before it flakes, then try getting a meat thermometer. When the temperature touches 145 degrees F, your fish is done.
Since salmon tends to flake really easily, remember to oil the grill well while cooking it. While barbecuing it's better to wrap the salmon in aluminum foil, banana leaves, etc. This helps seal the moisture within and enables the meat to cook in its own juices. The cooking time for salmon in this case will depend on which form of salmon you're dealing with. Let's have a look at the table below to check the different cooking times for the different forms of salmon.
|Salmon Serving Size||Cooking Time|
|100g salmon fillets||3 minutes each side|
|200g salmon steaks||5 minutes each side|
|1 kg whole fish||7 minutes each side|
|Salmon kebabs||5 minutes each side|
The above mentioned cooking time for a salmon refers to only direct heat mode in the grilling method. The temperature is on high.
Charcoal or gas grills, both bring forth delicious salmon dishes. For a charcoal grill the coal should be red hot and the flames should have subsided before the fish can be placed on the grill. For a gas grill, the temperature needs to be set between 300 to 325 degrees F. After placing the salmon on the grill, you will need to grill each side of the salmon for 4 minutes each. If you are using the gas grill, have the fish covered with a lid. Salmon fillets with glaze brushed on them will require 2 minutes of cooking on each side for the gas grill. Irrespective of the grill you are using, one good indicator is to check if the fish has become opaque.
Appetizing Salmon Recipe: Baked Salmon with Dill Mustard Sauce
We shall now go ahead and prepare an amazingly delicious yet simple and appetizing salmon recipe. We will first prepare the recipe for the dill mustard sauce and then we will touch upon how to go about baking the salmon.
Preparation of Dill Mustard Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves (minced)
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill weed (minced)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (fresh)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl and use plastic wrap to prevent air from coming in contact with the mixture. Now, refrigerate this mixture for 3 hours.
Preparation of Baked Salmon
- 1 1/2-inches thick, salmon fillets (2-3 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Once the dill mustard sauce has completed its three hours in the refrigerator, you can start preparing the fish. Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Do not forget to line the baking tray of the oven with aluminum foil. This will just minimize the elbow grease required while cleaning the oven. Wash the fillets well and pat them dry with paper towel. Take olive oil and rub it onto the fish fillets. Add salt and pepper and rub the fillets well. Place the fillets one by one onto the baking tray with the skin side facing the pan. Bake the fillets for 12-15 minutes, after which you will find the salmon opaque in the thickest parts. Place the fillets on a serving tray and serve with lovely chilled dill mustard sauce prepared earlier.
The above mentioned cooking time is subjected to vary depending on the size and thickness of the fish. The best way not to get confused with the timings would be to follow the specific timing mentioned in the respective salmon recipes.