Learn how to cook the perfect piece of salmon, whether it's baked, roasted or pan-fried. Our guide reveals the best way to crisp skin plus five different ways to cook this versatile fish.
Salmon is the easiest of fish to cook – pieces of fillet tend to be relatively thick and this makes them robust enough to move around and turn over halfway through cooking should you want to. The skin also comes off easily, so if you cook pieces with the skin on, you can lift it off when the fish is cooked before serving. You can buy whole salmon (especially good value at holiday times), sides of salmon (half a fish), large pieces of fillet and individual pieces. Choose what suits you best.
How to cook salmon
Salmon can be baked, roasted, pan-fried, stir-fried, cooked ‘en papillote’ (wrapped in foil or paper) and steamed. The easiest way to cook salmon is in a baking dish in the oven. This causes the least mess and also - if it bothers you - less of a fishy smell in the house. You will however need to add a little oil to stop it sticking to the dish.
If you’d prefer not to use any oil then steam your salmon by putting it on a plate with any flavouring you want to use inside a steamer, or wrap it in foil or paper, then steam or bake it. If you want a crisp skin then pan-fry the salmon skin-side down to make this happen.
How to cook salmon in the oven
- 4 pieces of salmon fillet
- 1 tbsp olive oil or melted butter
- Chopped herbs, a slice of lemon or a sprinkle of spices
- Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Brush each piece of salmon fillet with oil or butter and season well. Add any flavourings.
- Lay the pieces of salmon in an ovenproof dish and either cover the dish if you want the salmon to stay tender on top, or leave it uncovered if you want the flesh to roast slightly.
- Cook for 10-15 mins. The best way to gauge how long to cook for is to base the initial time on 4 mins per 1cm of thickness in the centre. When the salmon is cooked it will look opaque and the flesh will flake if you poke a fork into the centre. Try not to overcook salmon. It can easily dry out and should be only just cooked in the centre.
5 great salmon recipes
Ginger & soy salmon en papillote
Wrap your salmon to seal in all the flavourings that you add. The steam will be extra fragrant as you unwrap the parcels.
Poached salmon with pink grapefruit & basil sauce
Cook salmon gently in flavoured water and serve it with this flavourful sauce for a special dinner.
Roast salmon with peas, potatoes & bacon
A whole side of salmon makes a fantastic centrepiece for a meal and a lovely alternative to a Sunday roast.
Salmon with greens & crème fraîche
This gorgeously creamy salmon dish makes the most of frozen veg and is super quick to stir up.
Steamed salmon & veg rice bowl
A quick dinner that uses a steamer to good effect.
Try more delicious salmon recipes...
How do you like to cook salmon? Leave a comment below...