The Best Way to Cook a Sockeye Salmon Fillet

by Benna Crawford
Sockeye salmon's distinctive red color is matched by superior flavor.

Sockeye salmon's distinctive red color is matched by superior flavor.

Sockeye salmon is a Pacific wild-caught fish, popular for its firm texture and good flavor. The salmon's red flesh comes from an orange pigment in its diet which is a strong antioxidant. Sockeye salmon is a healthy meal choice for the whole family. It provides rich amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that are important for brain and eye development and reducing the risks for heart attacks, dementia and depression. Cook sockeye salmon simply to preserve its naturally appetizing taste.

Simple Slow Roast Salmon

One effortless way to seal in the flavor of sockeye salmon is to slow roast it in a barely heated oven. You can prepare dinner while tending to other chores because slow-roast salmon almost cooks itself. The fillets roast in a 200 degree F oven for 20 minutes and then rest in the oven with the heat turned off for another 20 minutes. It couldn't be easier, and the fish emerges moist and tasty to serve with everybody's favorite creamy dipping sauces, herbed butters or sweetened soy sauce.

Savory Sustainable Salmon

The Monterey Bay Aquarium maintains a Seafood Watch for fish that are sustainably harvested and healthy enough to eat. Sockeye salmon are a "Best Choice" on the aquarium's salmon list, and net-caught wild Alaskan salmon ranks first on the list. The aquarium recommends broiling boneless sockeye fillets that have been pressed into a mix of ground brown sugar, pepper, lemon or lime zest and kosher salt. The sugar and citrus caramelize to form a tangy glaze, balanced by the salt and pepper and ocean taste of the fish. For a simple, kid-friendly variation on this broiled salmon dinner, spread the fillets with a ranch seasoning mix before broiling.

Traditional Catch Fried Salmon

If you're lucky enough to get some Lummi Island sockeye salmon, you can taste the sweet results of an ancient fishing tradition. "Sunset Magazine" rhapsodizes about the catch of the fishermen off the Washington coastal island. They use reef nets to catch salmon at the beginning of their spawning run when the fish are fattest, hand-sort the live fish and return anything else caught in their nets to the water. Fishermen lightly fry the fillets in olive oil, pressing them first in chopped local herbs like fresh parsley and thyme.

Seasoned Salmon Barbecue

A summer sockeye grill takes minutes to prepare and cook. It works as a healthy meal with a big platter of garden vegetables with creamy dips and cold potato salad. Season fillets with salt and pepper and baste them on the barbecue grill with a sauce of brown sugar, white wine, lemon juice and melted butter. Make as much as your grill will hold and save the leftovers for a cold salmon salad made with creamy dressing for tomorrow's supper.

About the Author

Benna Crawford has been a journalist and New York-based writer since 1997. Her work has appeared in USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, and in professional journals and trade publications. Crawford has a degree in theater, is a certified Prana Yoga instructor, and writes about fitness, performing and decorative arts, culture, sports, business and education .

Photo Credits

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