With the amount of salmon consumed in the U.S.—about 3 pounds per person annually (!)—I've started to wonder: Why aren’t there more recipes for using up your leftovers? Why don't I encounter more recipes like kedgeree, an Indian-English dish of leftover rice and salmon, and why not use cooked leftovers in a recipe like salmon and sweet potato cakes?
In general, the dearth of purpose-built recipes for leftover salmon (whether that’s fresh or frozen) reflects a conventional wisdom that dictates any fish warmed over is never quite as good as when it was first cooked.
So don’t reheat it. Here's how to use cold, cooked salmon with abandon:
Salmon has a particularly great texture after it has been cooked and cooled, and you can use it in a whole swath of great summer salads. And since it has a strong taste to begin with, eating it cold doesn’t dull its flavor and it can stand up to crunchy vegetable counterparts and acid-tinged dressings. Take into account both the flavor profile of the salmon as it was cooked—were there spices, marinades, sauces?— and the method in which it was prepared. You’ll want to mesh those elements with the salad’s ensuing construction.
You can also substitute a piece of hot-smoked salmon in any potato salad that calls for the cold-smoked variety, like in la domestique’s tarragon potato salad. If a salad calls for gravlax, six ounces of flaked, grilled salmon tossed with a teaspoon each of capers and their juice, a pinch of sugar, and a sprinkling of fresh dill will render a good substitute.
I am an excellent eater (I have been all my life). I’m a pretty good cook (Ask my kids!). And my passable writing improves with alcohol (whether it's the writer or the reader that needs to drink varies by sentence.). I just published my first cookbook, Green Plate Special, which focuses on delicious recipes that help every day cooks eat more sustainably.