Salmon ranks as one of the easiest fish to cook. It has sizable fillets that you can prepare in different ways. In the market, salmon is available as whole fish, sides, or fillets. It also essential to know you can either purchase wild or farmed salmon. Wild salmon has fewer calories, has superior taste and less fat when compared to farmed variety. But remember farmed salmon is cheaper—choose what is best for your need.
In this article, you’ll learn different ways in which you can prepare salmon in the oven. Cooking salmon in the oven is a fast way of preparing your dinner. It allows you to enjoy a delicious meal yet make the rest of your meal as you wait for the fish to set.
You can use your oven for baking, roast or cook salmon in the “en papillote” way (wrapping with foil). The simplest way to cook your salmon is to bake it in an oven dish—it’s less messy besides you avoid fish smell in the house but remember to add a little oil to the baking dish to prevent the fish from sticking to the dish.
Different ways of cooking salmon in the oven
Seared & roasted salmon
This method lets you prepare mouth-watering fish fillets without committing much time to the process. It’s best to roast your salmon fillets in the oven if there are four or less. Before transferring your fillets to the oven, you need first to scorch them on the stovetop to crisp the skin. You need to use a pan that you can quickly transfer from the stovetop to the oven such as a cast- iron skillet. As a rule, you should not crowd the pan with many fillets. Besides roasting salmon fillets in the oven, this method is ideal for cooking other types of fish.
• Heat your oven to around 400 degrees.
• Dust the salmon fillets with flour to make them crispier.
• Sear your fish fillets in a cast-iron skillet for approximately three minutes using two tablespoons of unsalted butter.
• Transfer the pan to your oven and let the fillets cook for 8-10 minutes.
Roasting salmon is even easier than the seared-roasted salmon. It’s the fastest way to cook many fish fillets at once. The only difference with the former recipe is that the skin won’t be as crispy. To make you fish more delicious, you can use seasonings.
• Heat the oven to about 400 degrees.
• Place your fish fillets on the foiled-line pan with the skin facing down.
• Season the fillets with pepper, salt or any other seasoning such as mustard and brown sugar or Chinese spices.
• Place the pan on the upper half of the oven and cook the fillets for around 12 minutes.
Broiling is an excellent way to prepare delicious and appealing fillets or steaks. The procedure results in an eye-pleasing burnish on skinless fillets and steaks. Wooden planks are mostly used in the procedure. Apple wood and cedar are the best since they will not impart any flavor to your fish. Before using the planks, you should first soak them in water. If you can get wooden planks, use a pan lined with foil.
• Heat your oven broiler to high temperature.
• Place the oven rack at a distance not more than four inches from the heat source.
• Broil your fish for 3-5 minutes carefully watching the top to attain an appealing brown color. The middle of the dish should be faintly under-cooked.
• Transfer your salmon to the serving platter.
To give your fish a toasty look and keep it moist, spread a layer of mayonnaise seasoned with garlic, mustard or tomato paste on the fillets.
En Papillote (salmon wrapped in foil)
Cooking salmon by en papillote means you wrap the fish with foil. You’ll fold the fillets with pieces of foil and layer it with seasonings. The foil traps in moisture in the fish and makes it moist, tender, and flaky. Besides, the foil allows distribution of the flavor from the seasonings— such that every part of the fish acquires the flavor. Amazingly you don’t need prior experience to prepare fish in this way.
Different ways to bake salmon in foil
As you can see, there’re several ways you can prepare your salmon in the oven. Basically, all you need is your pieces of salmon, olive oil, salt, and pepper, but note that the foil method is the perfect way to incorporate various herbs in your fish.
Some favorite recipes incorporating herbs include:
• Baked salmon with rosemary and lemon.
• Baked salmon with dill and lemon, alternatively you can use green onion or parsley in place of either herb.
• Baked salmon with dried herbs. Don’t worry if you can get fresh herbs; you can still use dried herbs and get excellent results.
• Baked salmon with butter and garlic.
How to bake your salmon in foil
One of the basic rules of baking salmon is to avoid overcooking your fish. When using the foil, you can remove the fish from the foil when it’s about to cook and complete the process on the oven broiler to give it an appealing look at the top as it cooks.
The time you’ll require for baking will depend on the size and the thickness of the salmon. If the fish is thinner, it’ll cook faster. Wild varieties cook more quickly; on the contrary, most farmed types are thicker and tend to take longer to cook.
• Heat your oven to about 400 degrees.
• Cut a huge heart-shaped foil or parchment and place it on a sheet pan.
• Fold the foil at the midway and place the fish on the foil surrounded with garnishes. Fold the remaining part to wrap the contents tightly.
• Transfer the foil to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
• Your salmon is ready to serve.