Salmon is one of the most versatile and forgiving of fish, a sure-fire winner for even the most inexperienced of cooks. Its firm flesh stands up to rough handling, and its mild but rich flavor is suited to almost any cooking method or flavoring. One of the simplest ways to cook salmon is on a griddle, where you can prepare enough portions at once for even a large gathering. It's quick and easy, like pan-frying, but on a larger scale.
Pat the steaks or fillet portions dry with clean paper towels, rubbing away any blood spots or stray scales. Season the pieces with salt and pepper, or your choice of spice rubs.
Preheat your griddle. On a stovetop or grill, set your burners to medium heat. If it's an electric griddle, choose 325 degrees Fahrenheit, or whichever numerical mark the user's manual recommends for fish.
Mist the salmon pieces lightly with oil. This is optional, but it helps prevent the portions from sticking to your griddle.
Place the salmon pieces on the griddle, leaving enough space between them to reach in with your utensils. Fillet portions should go onto the griddle skin-side up, to start.
Cook the salmon pieces until the area of pink, fully-cooked flesh reaches almost halfway through the thickness of each piece, approximately 3 to 4 minutes depending on their thickness. Turn the portions using a wide spatula or a pair of tongs.
Finish the salmon on the second side for another three to four minutes, until the thickest part of each portion is barely translucent. Remove the portions from your griddle and let them rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving. This allows them to finish cooking, without becoming overcooked and dry.
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- On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals; Sarah Labensky, et al.
- Fine Cooking: Salmon
- If your griddle is the type with ridges to simulate grill marks, allow an extra minute or two on each side. The ridges don't cook the salmon as quickly, because less of its surface area is in contact with the hot metal.
Fred Decker is a trained chef and prolific freelance writer. In previous careers, he sold insurance and mutual funds, and was a longtime retailer. He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. His articles have appeared on numerous home and garden sites including GoneOutdoors, TheNest and eHow.