How to Cook Salmon in a Steamer Basket

by Jordan Whitehouse

Along with being a great source of protein, vitamin B12 and selenium, salmon is best known for delivering those all-important omega-3 fatty acids — the kind that, according to the American Heart Association, can decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats and even lower blood pressure slightly. One of the best ways to retain all of those good nutrients and keep the salmon moist and full of flavor is to steam it in a basket. Figuring out the steaming time can be tricky on a first try, however, so use a meat thermometer to ensure that it's cooked just right.

Fill the steaming pot with about 2 inches of cold water and bring it to a boil.

Slice the lemon into thin circles, then line the bottom of the steaming basket with them.

Lay a few sprigs of fresh dill on top of the lemon slices. Use about two sprigs per 8 ounces of salmon.

Sprinkle salt and pepper over the salmon to taste, along with other herbs you enjoy with salmon; parsley and thyme are good choices. Go easy on the seasonings, however, to avoid overpowering the delicate taste of the salmon.

Drizzle the salmon with olive oil and then place it on top of the dill and lemon in the basket.

Reduce the water in the steaming pot to a simmer and then place the steaming basket inside.

Cover the basket with a lid and steam the salmon for about 10 minutes per 8 ounces of fish or until the flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.

Remove the lid and insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the salmon. It should read at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit before consumption.


  • Try using an aromatic steaming liquid instead of water, such as fish broth, to add even more flavor to the salmon.

Photo Credits

  • Diane Shear/Demand Media

About the Author

Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jordan Whitehouse has been writing on food and drink, small business, and community development since 2004. His work has appeared in a wide range of online and print publications across Canada, including Atlantic Business Magazine, The Grid and Halifax Magazine. Whitehouse studied English literature and psychology at Queen's University, and book and magazine publishing at Centennial College.