5 Simple Recipes for Super-Healthy Salmon

Enjoy this supremely healthful fish in Wasabi Salmon Salad, Wild Salmon Bisque, Cajun Salmon Sandwiches, and other tasty but simple salmon recipes.

March 17, 2010

Citrus and salmon make a sweet combination in this Sunburst Salad.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—If you’re not already eating salmon on a regular basis, there are lots of reasons to try your hand at some simple salmon recipes. Protein-packed salmon’s an excellent source of phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, selenium, and vitamins B6 and B12. And a 3.5-ounce serving of this fantastic fish provides a whopping 90 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin D. But salmon’s greatest claim to fame is its concentration of über-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, thought to improve brain function and fend off heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. The omega-3s found in fatty fish like salmon are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). A study published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research found that the omega-3s in dark-meat fish like salmon may also help reduce prostate inflammation, lowering the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. To get a good amount of DHA and EPA in our diets, experts recommend that we angle for an average of two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish like salmon per week.

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At the fish counter, seek out wild Alaskan salmon rather than farmed salmon or Atlantic salmon. Wild salmon is both better for the environment and better for your health. While both varieties have roughly the same amounts of omega-3s, farmed salmon contains more contaminants and twice as much unhealthy saturated fat. Fresh salmon should have moist, springy flesh. Keep fresh salmon steaks or fillets in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to two days. Wrapped tightly in freezer paper, you can store salmon for up to two months in the freezer. Thaw it in a covered pan in the fridge, or to thaw salmon more rapidly, place it in the sink (in a waterproof plastic bag) under cool running water. For the fastest thawing, use the defrost cycle of your microwave; it’ll take about two to five minutes per pound.

Keep reading for salmon cooking tips, along with simple salmon recipes like Pan-Grilled Mediterranean Salmon and Sesame Noodles with Salmon.

The key to tender, moist salmon is to not overcook it. Cook thawed or fresh salmon fillets on high heat for 10 minutes for each inch of thickness, until the flesh is opaque yet still moist on the inside. It might take a few more minutes if you’re baking foil-wrapped fish. To bake salmon, brush it with oil or melted butter, season it with salt and pepper, and place it in a greased baking dish (or wrap it in oiled foil). Bake in a preheated 450°F oven. Broiling is another easy option; just place marinated or seasoned salmon on a well-greased broiler pan situated 4 to 5 inches under a preheated broiler. Low-fat cooking methods like poaching and steaming are also perfect ways to prepare salmon.

Read on for nutritious, delicious salmon recipes to add to your repertoire, courtesy of the Rodale Recipe Finder.

#1: Wasabi Salmon Salad. This recipe is a refreshing alternative to the usual tuna salad. For a delicious twist on your everyday green salad, make this salmon, citrus, and avocado salad topped with green goddess dressing.

#2: Cajun Salmon Sandwiches. For an easy, satisfying supper, make these spicy salmon burgers or opt for these Asian-inspired salmon cakes.

#3: Wild Salmon Bisque. Make soups, such as this bisque, heartier and more nutritious by adding salmon. For another soup option, try this Spicy Salmon and Noodle Soup.

#4: Pan-Grilled Mediterranean Salmon. Serve up satisfying salmon suppers like this grilled salmon with spinach and cannellini beans, Miso Salmon, and salmon with creamy avocado sauce.

#5: Sesame Noodles with Salmon. Enjoy salmon in pasta dishes as diverse as peanutty sesame noodles, whole wheat penne with salmon and herbs, and this great alternative to tuna noodle casserole.