9 of Our Favorite Salmon Cooking Tips

August 10, 2016

We partnered up with our friends at Alaska Seafood for one of our latest contests—Your Best Recipe with Salmon. Now, in celebration of "Alaska Wild Salmon Day" on August 10, here are some of our favorite tips the contest winners taught us about cooking salmon.

You probably have your favorite way to cook salmon. Maybe you roast it. Or, maybe, you place it on a cedar plank, close the grill, and let those two sizzle and smoke.

But if we've learned anything from one of our latest contests, Your Best Recipe with Salmon, it's that little techniques—like not tossing your corn husks and instead using them to imbue sweet, corny, smoky flavor to whatever you're grilling—make all the difference between average fillets and something you'll make over and over again.

The contest winner: Corn Husk-Smoked Salmon with Grilled Corn Salsa. Photo by Bobbi Lin

So, we looked to the contest's winners (congrats, aargersi!) and Community Picks to find 9 of our favorite tips for cooking salmon. Check them out—and don't forget to add your favorite tip for cooking salmon in the comments below:

Shop the Story

1.) Corn Husk-Smoked Salmon with Grilled Corn Salsa: Corn husks, when soaked and placed on the grill with corn, add a sweet, subtle smokiness. Plus, it’s a no-waste way to cook dinner—and a good reason to make grilled corn salsa.

2.) Shallot Topped Salmon & Jade Rice: Placing your aromatics, like shallots and red onion, on top of the fish is an easy way to infuse flavor into the fish while it cooks (and an easy way to cook the vegetables, too!).

3.) Miso and Ginger Poached Salmon with Warm Soba Noodles: When poaching, using all water or broth can be a little “eh.” Instead, add aromatics and/or spices to the poaching liquid for more flavor. As you might guess, this recipe uses miso and ginger.

Perfect roast salmon is, well, perfect. Photo by Bobbi Lin

4.) Perfect Roast Salmon: Coat fish with mayonnaise instead of oil to add flavor and moisture. Then, don’t oil or grease foil when roasting skin-on fillets so that you can easily remove the fillets, leaving the skin on the baking sheet.

5.) One-Pan Salmon with Spicy Creamed Greens and Tomatoes: Creamed greens aren’t just a side for barbecue—they’re a great bed for seafood, too, and an easy way to cook salmon without worrying about overcooking the bottoms or flipping the fillets. This recipe uses collard greens, but any sturdy green, like kale, would also be lovely.

Tea and smoked salmon are meant to be. Photo by Bobbi Lin

6.) Lapsang Souchong Cured King Salmon with Ginger Lime Cream Cheese: Curing salmon in tea makes for one complex hors d’oeuvre. And such a fish deserves an equally inventive spread, so treat cream cheese like compound butter and add zing with grated ginger, lime zest, and a bit of sour cream.

7.) Ginger Scallion Salmon: Pour a gingery, scallion-y sauce over fish right out of the oven to not only hear the sizzle, but also to bring out the flavor of the sauce.

Everything is better with a little butter, including salmon. Photo by Bobbi Lin

8.) Butter-Basted Salmon with Buttermilk Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Start salmon in oil, then baste in butter. That way, you get crispy skin (without worrying about the butter burning) and all the flavor butter has to offer.

9.) Quick-Smoked Grilled Salmon: Yes, you can smoke AND grill salmon at the same time. By using both coals and wood chips, you get perfectly cooked fish with a hint of smokiness in just 10 minutes.

Have a favorite salmon cooking tip? Tell us in the comments below!

It's summer harvest season in salmon country, so we partnered up with our friends at Alaska Seafood for one of our latest contests—Your Best Recipe with Salmon. Five species of wild salmon are available from Alaska—king, sockeye, coho, keta, and pink. Learn more about them here.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I fall in love with every sandwich I ever meet.