how to cook salmon

How to Cook a Perfect Smoked Salmon?

Did you know smoked salmon is one of the favorite dishes of French people? I remember to eat salmon during special occasion but more a grow and more I love it. Since I overcook the salmon I decided to learn and improve myself to share it with you.

How to Choose the Salmon?

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Red-label salmon, an organic salmon that you buy in supermarkets or from the caterer. (better food, less antibiotic treatment, lower density).

– Choose an expiration date as far back as possible because smoked salmon oxidizes quickly. Basically, you buy it and you eat it. Do not store it for too long in the refrigerator. Afterward, it can get a little mushy.

– Choose large salmon.

– Choose a Salted Salmon with dry salt which ensures that the fish has not been immersed in brine and therefore has not been swollen in water. This gives a more pasty flesh. 

– Prefer to buy a fresh salmon than frozen 

Better to cook in the oven or in the saucepan? It depends, I personally prefer to cook in the oven but if you want a faster way the best is in the saucepan. 

Oven: Cook the salmon en papillote, which will preserve the flavors while ensuring that it stays soft. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C); On a large sheet of baking paper, place the salmon fillet, skin side down. Pour a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and any spice that you want. I advise parsley or herbes de Provence. Wrap the salmon foil and place it in an oven. Cook for 20 minutes or until pink and opaque before tasting. Do not use aluminum foil, which can become toxic on contact with acidic citrus juice, when cooking.


Saucepan: Heat a pan over high heat. Brown the salmon skin side down for 4 minutes, then turn it over for 3 minutes cooking time. If you are not sure about the cooking, you can use a food thermometer. 

What to eat with salmon? In France we like to eat with white rice or potatoes and vegetables. 

If you are short on time or inspiration, don’t hesitate to play the card of simplicity. The salmon goes perfectly with rice. This will allow you to spend more time preparing a good sauce that will enhance the sauce’s flavor. It could be based on sorrel, lemon, or fine herbs, for example. We can also make our taste buds travel with a soft and creamy salmon risotto.

Do not hesitate to vary the pleasures by choosing brown or wild rice, whose aromas will be unexpected compared to ordinary white rice. You can also change your rice cooking method (pilaf, risotto) during your various preparations for an even more surprising result.

The Potato, the Star of Young and Old
For a family meal that will satisfy everyone at the table, the potato is your best ally. Whether you serve it in the form of fries, mash, or steam, it will be the perfect accompaniment to your salmon for your Sunday family gatherings or your holiday meals. Remember to choose your potatoes according to the cooking method you decide to use for perfect hold and optimal results. Your salmon will only be more appreciated and highlighted.

The Couscous, a different side. Whether you choose to cook your salmon in a pan, en papillote, or steamed, semolina will remain the accompaniment that no one around your table will expect. As with rice, you can play with the cooking and the sauces.

The different spices that you will use to accompany your salmon will also vary the flavors provided. However, you take care not to mask the taste of the fish. Fennel seeds, pink berries, dill will meet the challenge hands down – as long as you use them sparingly!

What vegetable eat are the best? All greens vegetable, spinach, peas, leak etc 

Pan-fried Vegetables, the Light Alternative
Seared vegetables will be the perfect accompaniment to your salmon. They will allow you to keep a healthy and balanced base without losing gluttony. Bet on seasonal vegetables, roots in winter, green vegetables in spring, vegetables from the sun in summer. Don’t forget the spinach, which goes well with salmon. Melting leek fondue or crispy zucchini gratin will also do the trick.

What to Drink with Salmon?

Once your recipe is concocted, then comes the question of the accompanying drink. What Wine to Serve with Salmon? Almost all white wines are suitable, as long as they are dry and light. The preferred Wines for a perfect food/wine pairing are Picpoul-de-Pinet, Riesling, Puligny-Montrachet, Pouilly fumé, or Mercurey.


  • Leave the skin salmon is essential for the cooking.
  • Before cooking rince the salmon with clear water
  • Never frozen the salmon for long time 
  • Serve it in a hot plate.

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