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Monday, March 30, 2009

Broiled Salmon

I have occasionally been intimidated by fish. No one wants to eat fish that makes you think you're eating a sponge. The good news is that not all fishes are equal. Having grown up in the clouds of the Pacific Northwest, I've come to know salmon quite well. It's relatively high fat content makes it less prone to becoming dry and tasteless. It's also full of heart-healty omega-3 fatty acids. It's a fish to put all other fish to shame.

Growing up, the only way I ever really ate it was smoked on a grill. While that way is fabulous (I'll post it sometime), I don't always feel like dragging out the grill when salmon starts to call me. Broiling salmon for dinner has to be the quickest, simplest, tastiest way to make dinner, ever. Cook for one, cook for ten, all in a smattering of minutes.

Broiled Salmon

Salmon filets (skin on or off)
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Coarse ground pepper
Crushed dried rosmary

Turn on the broiler in your oven; raise the oven rack to the highest position. Line a sheet pan with foil. Place filet(s) on pan, drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Place under the broiler. While the cooking time will depend on the thickness of your filets, I find typically they are ready in about ten minutes. Salmon is easy to tell when it's done because it is such a flaky fish. To test, use a fork to try and pull apart the fish, if it comes apart easily, and the fish inside is opaque, you're good to go (be sure to test somewhere near the middle, as the edges will cook faster). While salmon tends to give you a little more leeway than other fish, for the best results, try not to let it stay under the broiler longer than necessary. Remove from the oven and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Serve immediately.

Salmon filets are much better, in my opinion, than salmon steaks (which cut completely through the fish). Filets rarely have bones, unlike steaks, and tend to be thinner and cook faster. While fresh salmon is great, I also use the portion sized, frozen salmon found in the grocery freezer section. And while I love a good wild-caught chinook, I enjoy Atlantic farm-raised too (just don't tell the Seattlites!).


  1. 2 questions...

    1) can you do this with tuna steaks?
    2) why do you turn the broiler on and then raise the shelf? Do they go in the oven or in the broiler? I am ashamed to admit that I have never once, in my entire life used my broiler...

  2. said broiler..I wasn't paying attention

  3. If you haven't used your broiler, you are really missing out on some good stuff! Maybe I'll make a "Ways to Use Your Broiler List"... I may actually use my broiler more than I use my oven.

    If you have a gas stove, the broiler may be under the oven in a separate compartment. If this is the case, no rack placement is necessary.

    Yes, you can use the technique for any fish, but you may want to consider a different herb for tuna. Maybe thyme or oregano. Or, I probably would forgo the herbs and sprinkle with a little lemon zest. You can use lemon juice, but it mixes with the oil and in the heat of the broiler can spatter into a HUGE mess (not to mention smoke you out of the house).

  4. yeah...cause I would love to know how to make steaks (fillets) in the broiler..


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