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February 3, 2021
Cooking Crash Test: 9 ways to cook salmon

Another cooking crash test begins. Our goal? To cook salmon in 9 different ways. Each of them has its pros and cons - but they all give us a delicious salmon that we can use for a quick meal, a light dinner, and -why not? - for a Sunday feast. Besides, it is a fish with a rich taste, full of valuable nutrients for our body. The main requirements? To know the fisherman from whom we get it or to take a look at the label of its packaging in order to find out some more information regarding its origin - such as the production method (fishery or aquaculture), the​​ production area, the date of catch (or harvest for aquaculture products), but also whether the product is fresh or thawed. And, after all that, it's time to look at the ways -one by one- in which we can cook our salmon, as well as the result we should expect by choosing each of them.

Cooking Crash Test: 9 ways to cook salmon

#1 PAN-SEARED

Cooking Crash Test: 9 ways to cook salmon

The process: Place a frying pan over medium heat until it gets very hot. Marinate the salmon fillet with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Score its skin with a knife so that it can be cooked evenly and become crispy. Transfer the salmon fillet to the pan, making sure that the skin-side is facing down, and press the fillet to the pan for a few seconds so that it stays flat and does not shrink. Cook it for 2-3 minutes, until the skin is crispy, and then flip it over and cook it for another 2-3 minutes, until your fillet is cooked through. Remove the salmon from the pan, transfer it to a plate, and serve it after letting it rest, covered with aluminum foil, for 5 minutes.

Why we like it: We like it because it is one of the simplest - and at the same time delicious - ways through which we can enjoy this particular fish without using many utensils.

Why we would reconsider: By following this cooking method, our fish is cooked entirely in the pan. This means that we should be careful during cooking in order for our fillet to be cooked through, to turn nicely golden, and not become dry.

#2 MARINATED + PAN-SEARED

Cooking Crash Test: 9 ways to cook salmon

The process: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a frying pan and heat it well over medium heat. Sprinkle a salmon fillet with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and set it aside for 10 minutes to marinate. Once it’s marinated, rinse your fillet very well under running water, and then pat it dry. Score the skin of the fish with a knife so that it can be cooked evenly and become crispy. Place the fillet in the pan, skin-side down, and press it for a few seconds, so that it stays flat and does not shrink during cooking. Cook it for 2-3 minutes, until the skin is crispy, and then flip it over and cook it for another 2-3 minutes, until completely cooked through. Remove the salmon from the pan, transfer it to a plate, and serve it after letting it rest, covered with aluminum foil, for 5 minutes.

Why we like it: By marinating the salmon fillet with salt and sugar, we achieve a tastier result since the salt goes inside the fillet. In addition, this way, part of the moisture of our fish fillet is removed, which makes it easier to manage.

Why we would reconsiderBecause it is a process that requires a little more time than we would need if we just sautéed our fillet.

#3 GRILLED

Cooking Crash Test: 9 ways to cook salmon

The process: Prepare your grill and marinate a salmon fillet using salt, pepper, and olive oil. Score the skin of the fish with a knife so that it can be cooked evenly and become crispy.  Place the fillet on the grill, skin-side down, and cook it for 2-3 minutes until the skin is crispy. Then, flip the salmon over and cook it for another 2-3 minutes, until completely cooked through. Remove the salmon from the grill, transfer it to a plate, and serve it after letting it rest, covered with aluminum foil, for 5 minutes.

Why we like it: Grilling ensures a characteristic tasty result that everyone will enjoy.

Why we would reconsiderThe process of preparing the grill takes time and a little more effort. This can make us…think again before following this particular cooking method.

#4 OVEN-BAKED

Cooking Crash Test: 9 ways to cook salmon

The process: Preheat the oven to 200ΟC (390Ο F) set to fan. Marinate the salmon fillet using salt, pepper, and olive oil, and put it in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake it for 10-12 minutes, until your fillet is cooked through. Remove the fillet from the oven, transfer it to a plate, and serve it after letting it rest, covered with aluminum foil, for 5 minutes.

Why we like it: This is a very simple process of cooking salmon, for which we do not need to use many utensils, while it is not necessary to be on top of the fish all the time.

Why we would reconsiderIt is important to follow the cooking time precisely (which can vary from oven to oven, but also in relation to the size of our fillet) in order for our fish to not be overcooked and become dry.

#5 GRILL PAN-SEARED

Cooking Crash Test: 9 ways to cook salmon

The process: Place a grill pan over medium heat until it gets very hot. Marinate a salmon fillet using salt, pepper, and olive oil. Transfer the fillet to the grill pan and cook it for 2-3 minutes, until nicely golden. Then, flip the salmon over and cook it for another 2-3 minutes, until completely cooked through. Remove the fillet from the grill pan, transfer it to a plate, and serve it after letting it rest, covered with aluminum foil, for 5 minutes.

Why we like it: This cooking process ensures that our fillet has a "nice" appearance and delicious taste.

Why we would reconsiderWith this cooking method, our fish is cooked entirely in the grill pan. This means that we should be careful during cooking in order for our fillet to be cooked through, to turn nicely golden, and not become dry.

#6 STEAMED

Cooking Crash Test: 9 ways to cook salmon

The process: Place a pot with a little water (or a steamer) over medium heat. Marinate a salmon fillet using salt, pepper, and olive oil. Put a rack inside the pot and place the fillet onto the rack (making sure that it does not touch the water). Cover the pot with the lid and let your fillet cook for 8-10 minutes. If you have a steamer, just transfer the fish to the steamer and let it cook for 8-10 minutes. Remove the fillet from the pot or the steamer, transfer it to a plate, and serve it after letting it rest, covered with aluminum foil, for 5 minutes.

Why we like itBecause it is a very healthy and relatively easy cooking method.

Why we would reconsiderBecause this cooking method does not ensure the same tasty result as the rest.

#7 SOUS VIDE

Cooking Crash Test: 9 ways to cook salmon

The process: Fill a pot with water, add the sous vide machine, and set it to 58οC (136ο F). Marinate your fillet using salt, pepper, and olive oil. Then, transfer it to a sous vide bag and close it with the vacuum sealer, so that it sucks out all the air. Place the bag with the salmon fillet into the pot with the sous vide machine and leave it for 20 minutes. Remove the fillet from the pot and the bag, transfer it to a plate, and serve it after letting it rest, covered with aluminum foil, for 5 minutes.

Why we like it: This is a process that ensures a stable result and absolutely even cooking of the fish. Also, after it is cooked, we can cool it in water and store it in the refrigerator, inside the bag, for about 2 days.

Why we would reconsiderBecause we may not have the equipment for sous vide. You see, this particular cooking method may have started to gain more and more ground, but many are not yet familiar with it.

#8 GRAVADLAX

Cooking Crash Test: 9 ways to cook salmon

The process: In a bowl add 200 g sugar, 200 g coarse salt, the juice and zest of 2 limes, and mix. Cut the salmon into thin slices, each 1 cm thick. Take a baking pan and spread half of the bowl’s mixture on the bottom. Place the slices of your fillet on top and the other half of the bowl’s mixture over them. Let your fillet marinate for 2-3 hours. Then, rinse the salmon slices very well under running water and serve.

Why we like itThis is an easy and quick way to make gravadlax salmon since the regular recipe takes 2-3 days, and you can find it here. This technique gives us a very nice and tasty result, which we can take advantage of in many different ways since gravadlax salmon can, among other things, add flavor to any salad, sandwich, or pasta dish.

Why we would reconsider: Because this process requires more time compared to the rest.

#9 PAN-SEARED + BAKED

Cooking Crash Test: 9 ways to cook salmon

The process: Preheat the oven to 200οC (390οF) set to fan. Take a frying pan and place it over medium heat. Marinate your fillet using salt, pepper, and olive oil. Score the skin of the fish with a knife so that it can be cooked evenly and become crispy. Place the fillet in the pan, skin-side down, and press it for a few seconds, so that it stays flat and does not shrink during cooking. Cook it for 2-3 minutes. Flip the salmon over and put the pan in the oven. Bake it for 5-6 minutes, until your fillet is completely cooked through. Remove the fillet from the oven, transfer it to a plate, and serve it after letting it rest, covered with aluminum foil, for 5 minutes.

Why we like itBy combining these two cooking methods (pan-searing and baking), we achieve the perfect cooking result, without the fear of overcooking our fillet, while ensuring a crispy crust for our fish.

Why we would reconsiderBecause this cooking process requires more time and more utensils than the rest.

THE CONCLUSION

It may take a few utensils and a little more time, however the cooking method # 9 gives us an incredibly tasty fillet that is worth trying at least once.

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