Salmon is one of those out-of-the-fridge-and-into-the-oven dinners which is why it finds its way into our meal routine on the regular. However, depending on how you buy your fish, there are a few things you should keep in mind to prepare salmon. Most store-bought salmon will already have the pin bones removed, but occasionally a thin bone or two is left behind. If you’re concerned about pin bones, inspect your fish thoroughly prior to cooking. You can do this by flipping a bowl upside down and draping the fillet over it. This will help stretch out the fish so leftover bones will be exposed. You can remove them with a needle-nose pliers, tweezers or with your hands.
If you purchased a frozen salmon fillet, allow it to thaw overnight in your refrigerator. You can bake frozen salmon, but you may accidentally overcook the outside while trying to cook the middle to the right doneness. If you don’t have time to let the frozen fish thaw overnight, you can run cold water over the salmon to thaw it or defrost it in the microwave.
Salmon has great flavor on its own and needs very little to add additional flavor. You can start simple with a few drops of lemon juice sprinkled over top and a dash of salt and pepper, or you can try different seasonings to spice it up. The old stand-bys are fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, dill or parsley, and you can use most anything from your stockpile of dried seasonings as well. Mixing those herbs with butter or olive oil works well. Lemon, ginger root, onions or soy sauce are also tasty choices.
You can also marinate salmon to experiment with the flavor. Marination is simple; you mix together a few key ingredients, coat your salmon fillets in it and allow it to sit in the fridge for around 30 minutes. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these five DIY marinades that use ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
This one-pan salmon recipe uses a chili-maple marinade using maple syrup, chili powder and soy sauce to make a spicy-sweet glaze. The best part? It only takes 10 minutes to marinate!