Q:

Baked to Perfection: How to Cook Salmon in the Oven

A:

Quick Answer

Cooking salmon in the oven is a quick and easy way to prepare this flavorful fish. Baking salmon instead of frying it offers several health benefits as well. It contains significantly fewer calories, and some research indicates it may have more health benefits in terms of cognition and memory, according to Health Magazine. Follow these simple tips for salmon baked in the oven for perfect meals every time.

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Baked to Perfection: How to Cook Salmon in the Oven
Credit: CC0/schlauschnacker/Pixabay

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon filets with skin, approximately 1 inch thick
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon slices or lemon juice (optional)Crushed garlic cloves (optional)
  • Crushed garlic cloves (optional)

Directions

Before Getting Started:

Be sure to choose the right salmon filets. There are several options available in most grocery stores. Opt for filets that still have the skin because the skin helps seal in the flavor. Many stores offer a choice between wild and farmed salmon. Wild salmon almost always comes from the Pacific and is only available fresh between May and September.

There are five kinds available: king, sockeye, Coho, pink and chum. King, which is also called chinook, has an intense flavor and tends to be the most expensive. Sockeye is firm with firm, deep red flesh and has a rich taste. Coho tends to be more delicate in flavor, and it has a high oil content. Pink is the most common Pacific variety and has a mild taste. Chum is not common in the U.S., but sometimes appears under the name Keta or Silverbrite. Farmed Atlantic salmon is another option. This mild-tasting fish is affordable and available throughout the year.

Cooking:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a roasting pan with foil.
  2. Remove excess moisture from the filets with a paper towel. Coat each filet with olive oil and rub it in. Season the filets with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, sprinkle them with lemon juice, add lemon slices to the tops or sprinkle them with crushed garlic.
  3. Add salmon to the roasting pan with the skin sides down. Alternately, place them on a cedar plank. The plank transfers a rich, woody flavor to the fish and is a popular cooking method in the Pacific Northwest.
  4. Put the salmon in the oven and roast it for eight to 12 minutes. Remove the fish when it flakes easily with a fork.
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