There’s probably a bajillion ways to cook salmon, but for ease and fool-proof-ness, “in the oven” is the best way to do, it in my opinion. You might know by now, I didn’t grow up eating a lot of seafood (daddy didn’t care for the fruits of the sea, or the lake) so I learned how to cook salmon from my friend Shannon (who also taught me how to fry catfish, incidentally). She just bakes it simply with lemon pepper and lemon juice, maybe some olive oil. I love it like that, but wanted something a little more unusual for you, my sweets.
Maple and salmon is a classic combination in the upper western parts of the continent, where the trees grow tall and there’s lumberjacks and sawmills and maple trees and salmon rivers or maybe I just made up that scenario in my head? Cute pic, though. Anyway, I’m fairly certain that someone somewhere put maple and salmon together and I’d bet it was someone who lived near a river filled with salmon and a maple tree. WHATEVER.
The point is, with the oven-baked method you can basically put anything you want to on your salmon and it will turn out A-ok, probably even delicious. I got some maple and lime going on, but you could try the lemon pepper thing I mentioned, or you could do some orange and parsley combo, or garlic and lemon, or lime and mint, or just olive oil and salt’n'peppa! Seriously, guys, any one of those simple combos would be awesome.
This oven-baked salmon dealy works with both boneless salmon portions (usually about 6 ounces weight) and whole boneless fillets (cut to about any size you like, but for the two of us, I usually ask for 3/4 pound). I’m sure you could do it with salmon “steaks”, those cross-cut slices, though I haven’t tried it and actually rarely even see that cut in stores. With whatever you use, inspect the salmon first visually and even by running (clean) hands over the fleshy side to feel for any pin-bones that the fishmonger may have missed. They are tiny, 1-2 inches long, white-almost-translucent. They can be a nuisance when you’re eating and bite into one. Use tweezers or small pliers to pull them out before cooking.
One you have your salmon all inspected, you’re ready to apply this recipe:
- ¾ pound salmon fillet (about 1 inch thick)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 lime
- Sprinkle of salt and pepper
- Check the salmon for pinbones and set your oven to 450ºF.
- Get out a baking sheet or pie pan or something to hold your salmon
- Sprinkle half the salt over the bottom of the pan and set the salmon in, skin down.
- Drizzle the meat with the maple syrup. Zest about 1 teaspoon lime zest over that. Sprinkle with remaining salt.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on thickness; rule of thumb is 10 minutes per inch) or until salmon is opaque.
- Remove and squeeze lime juice over salmon before serving.
Click here to watch how to cook salmon on Youtube!
Also, Shannon had a BABY GIRL today! What a coincidence! We love you, baby Kendall!