Baked Salmon is my preferred way to cook this popular and satisfying fish, as it's easy, delicious, and cleanup is a breeze. It can be enjoyed as the main course, or used in other recipes!
1lbfillet of salmon*
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Unless they've been removed already by the fishmonger, remove the pinbones from the salmon fillet with tweezers.
Season the top of the fish generously with salt, about 1/2 tsp for a 1lb piece. I don't season the bottom of the fish, since I discard the skin.
Add freshly ground black pepper to the fillet, about 1/4 tsp, or to your taste.
Place the fish on the lined tray, and bake for 12-14 minutes, until the top is no longer shiny and the fish registers between 125-140F in the middle, depending on desired doneness. 125F is for medium, and 140F is for fully cooked salmon.
Serve and enjoy!
*If you want to use a bigger piece, feel free, as the cook time should be about the same (so long as the thickness is consistent).Salmon species: Different types of salmon vary tremendously in terms of eating experience. For wild species, King will be the most moist, but it's expensive. I like the Farmed Atlantic salmon at Whole Foods for affordability, flavor, and moisture. Sockeye and Coho dry out very quickly, so be extra careful not to overcook them. Avoid Chum, which has inferior flavor to the other species.Storing leftovers: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.Freezing: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To thaw, leave in the refrigerator overnight.
Reheating: The best options are in the microwave or in the oven. For the microwave, do 30-second intervals at 50% power, until warmed through, being very careful not to overcook the fish. For the microwave, try 300F for 10 minutes, until warmed through.
Variations and Uses: Add leftovers to salads, or make Salmon Salad out of it (like a tuna salad, but with salmon). Feel free to add simple seasonings like fresh dill, dijon mustard, maple, teriyaki sauce, and more. My favorite preparation is rubbing it with a tablespoon or two of Cajun Seasoning, moistened with 1 tablespoon olive oil so the spices don't burn.