Many people have mentioned to me over the years that they don’t cook seafood because they can’t tell how long to cook it. While it is difficult to give an exact time to cook fish — as this will vary depending on the thickness of the filet and one’s desired degree of doneness — I can say this: It is fine to remove it from the oven, make a little cut with your knife, and peek inside. Unlike other meats, the juices won’t all run out!
Sometimes, I still do this to ensure I remove the fish when it is all but cooked through. I like to see mostly opaque flesh, which is fully cooked, and just the slightest bit of a translucent look to the fish in the thickest part. The fish will continue to cook for a few minutes upon removal from the oven, and this approach ensures that the fish is cooked through but never dry. If you prefer your fish medium rare, peek a few minutes earlier and look for a bit more of the translucent flesh.
This salmon uses the same spice rub I use to make Indian-Spiced Roasted Garbanzos and I made it this time because I was thinking it would pair nicely with a salad I am planning on making tomorrow night. So, I am making a few extra pieces to turn that salad into a complete meal. With work, business travels, kids activities, and so on, intentional leftovers (a great term my friend Beth coined) allow for delicious meals with minimal effort, even on the busy nights!
For the patty pan squash in the photo, I tossed with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and baked at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. They were very small, so the high heat quickly browned them before they became too soft. This approach works well with other veggies — like butternut squash — which taste great with a little caramelization but you prefer to eat al dente.
- 1 1/2 pounds salmon, cut into 4-6 ounce pieces depending on portion preference
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill
- a dash or two of cayenne pepper, optional
Preheat the broiler. If skinned, place the salmon on a greased baking sheet. If not, follow the instructions in the note below for easy removal of the skin.
Combine the remaining ingredients and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the salmon, rubbing in gently.
Loosely cover the salmon with a sheet of foil and broil for 7 minutes. Remove the foil and broil for another 3-4 minutes, keeping a close eye, or until fish is cooked to your desired degree of doneness. (Helpful tip: Leaner varieties of wild salmon, like sockeye, tend to cook more quickly. For tender meat that isn’t at all dry, I like to cook all salmon varieties to an internal temperature of 120℉.)
- Here is an easy way to remove the skin if you purchase the salmon that way: Cover your baking sheet with foil and do not grease. Place the salmon, skin-side down, on the foil-lined sheet and cook as directed. When cooked, simply run your spatula between the fish and the skin. The skin will stick to the foil and you can scoop the cooked filet right off. Makes for quick clean-up of the tray, too!