The health benefits of fish are well documented, as evidenced by the American Heart Association’s recommendation to eat at least two servings of fish per week for a healthier heart. Salmon has been recognized as one of the best fish species for health reasons. It tops the list of foods that burn fat.
Salmon has the added benefit of being very tasty and easy to prepare. Due to its high demand, farmed salmon poses some health risks that the industry is reluctant to address. With virtually all of the fresh salmon we consume coming from farms, it’s important to know the healthiest ways to prepare it if we’re to reap the benefits of this delicious fish.
Most of the contaminants in farmed salmon are found in the fish’s fat and skin. Therefore, when looking for the healthiest concoction, we will look for ways to boil or eliminate these contaminated areas. Also, some ways of cooking are inherently better than others, so we’re going to look at these factors and provide recommendations for how to cook salmon.
With that in mind, we’re going to stay away from roasting or deep-frying, and oily fish like salmon don’t steam well. You can use strong spices and marinades when preparing salmon because it has a stronger flavor than most fish. There are literally hundreds of salmon recipes on the internet so I won’t go into favorites other than that I love dill with my salmon. But it’s all personal choice.
1. Grilled. Quick and healthy grilling works well for salmon, as it’s typically thickly sliced and considered fatty. If you’re worried it might fall apart on the grill, cook it on a piece of foil.
2. Baking. As with grilling, the fish can be marinated before cooking or sprinkled with a little lemon and your favorite herbs and spices. Avoid recipes that call for large amounts of mayonnaise, butter, oil, or cheese.
3. Poached. I’m not a huge fan of poached salmon, but many people swear by this method. I think it works really well for tilapia and other light fish, but other cooking methods bring out the wonderful properties of salmon better.
One constant with fish is not to overcook it. Even salmon is much more delicate than meat and can easily dry out if overcooked, so grill, bake or broil on high heat for shorter periods of time. Also, overcooking destroys much of its high nutritional value. The other constant when buying fish is that the fresher the better.
Granted, there’s nothing quite like a beautifully prepared piece of fresh salmon, but a safer, and perhaps even more nutritious, alternative is canned Alaskan salmon. There are many recipes for salmon cakes, chowder, salads and many other alternatives on the internet. Just because it’s canned doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious.
Thanks to Rich Carroll