This Steamed Salmon is a hassle-free, yet incredibly delicious way to enjoy flaky fish. This is a game-changer in the world of weeknight dinners. With just a handful of simple ingredients and a foolproof steaming method, you’ll have a perfectly cooked, tender, and flavorful salmon dish on your table in no time.
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Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Delicate and Moist Texture: Steaming salmon helps retain its natural moisture, resulting in a delicate, tender, and flaky texture. This makes it enjoyable to eat, especially for those who prefer milder and less oily fish.
- Versatility: This dish can be customized with a wide variety of seasonings, herbs, and sauces.
- Quick and Easy Preparation: This is a super quick cooking method, making it a convenient choice for busy individuals or weeknight dinners.
- Gentle Cooking Process: Steaming is a gentle cooking process that doesn’t involve direct contact with high heat. This can help preserve the natural flavors and nutrients of the salmon.
- Minimal Cleanup: This meal requires minimal cleanup since you can use a steamer basket to prevent the fish from sticking to the pan.
What Type of Salmon to Use
The most common types of salmon include:
- Wild and/or Sockeye: Known for its deep red color and rich, oily flavor. It is considered one of the most flavorful types of salmon.
- Atlantic: It is farm raised and has a milder flavor than wild-caught salmon.
- Pink: It is the smallest of the Pacific salmon and has a mild, delicate flavor.
Ultimately, the best type of fresh salmon to use will depend on your personal taste preferences.
Salmon that is sourced from the Atlantic is usually farmed. Farmed means antibiotics and food coloring (to give it a pink color) are used. Wild caught salmon is known for its high nutritional value and delicious flavor. It is also generally higher in beneficial nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, due to its natural diet and lifestyle.
There are many different types of fish that you can use for this recipe. Some popular options include:
When choosing fish consider the flavor and texture of the fish. Some fish, such as salmon, have a strong flavor, while others, such as cod, have a more mild flavor. Some fish, such as salmon, are flaky, while others, such as cod, are firm.
What Steamer to Use
I recommend using a steaming basket that is large enough to accommodate all of the salmon.
You can also use this steaming basket. It’s small so you will likely have to cook in batches if used.
How to Make Steamed Salmon
- Fill a large pot or pan with 1-2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil.
- Season the salmon with the spices and ensure the salmon is fully coated.
- Once the water is boiling, place a steamer basket or metal colander into the pot.
- Arrange the seasoned salmon in the steamer basket or colander.
- Cover the pot with a lid and let the salmon steam.
How to Tell When it’s Finished Cooking
- Temperature: Use a meat thermometer and ensure the fish has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Check the temperature in the thickest part of the fish.
- Appearance and Touch: Perfectly cooked salmon will have a light pink color and will be opaque throughout. The flesh will also start to flake when pressed with a fork.
- It’s important to note that salmon can be cooked to varying degrees of doneness, some people prefer it cooked through while others prefer it medium-rare at 135 degrees. Decide what works for you.
Overcooked salmon is dry and has little flavor. Fish (along with meat) will continue to cook when you remove it from heat. This is why it’s important to pay attention to how long the fish cooks.
When the fish is done, it will be a translucent pink in the middle. It should also look flaky. You can check out more tips on How to Tell if Salmon is Overcooked here.
More Ways to Season the Salmon and Substitutions
- Dill: Dill pairs exceptionally well with salmon. Sprinkle fresh or dried dill for a refreshing, aromatic touch.
- Lemon Pepper: A mixture of lemon zest and black pepper adds zesty and mildly spicy flavors to the fish.
- Lemon, lime, or orange zest and juice can add brightness and acidity to balance the richness of the salmon. Drizzle the juice over the salmon or grate some zest on top.
- Soy Sauce or Teriyaki Sauce can add an Asian-inspired twist. You can brush the salmon with soy sauce or teriyaki sauce before or after steaming. This adds a savory and slightly sweet umami flavor.
- Honey or Maple Syrup: A touch of honey or maple syrup can provide a sweet contrast.
- Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, or chives can be chopped finely and sprinkled over the salmon for a burst of freshness.
How to Store Leftovers
Leftovers can be stored tightly covered and sealed for 3-4 days in the fridge.
How to Reheat
The best way to reheat is in the air fryer at 350 degrees until warm or seared in a pan with butter. The more you reheat it, the tougher the texture will become so be cautious.
The texture may change slightly upon thawing and reheating. You can freeze it for 2-3 months.
Pair With These Recipes
More Salmon Recipes
- Fill a large pot or pan with 1-2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil. Use enough water to fill the pot without the steamer basket touching the water.
- While the water is coming to a boil, prepare the salmon. Season the salmon with the spices and ensure the salmon is fully coated.
- Once the water is boiling, place a steamer basket or metal colander into the pot. Ensure that the bottom of the basket or colander does not touch the boiling water.
- Arrange the seasoned salmon in the steamer basket or colander along with the optional fresh herbs.
- Cover the pot with a lid and let the salmon steam for about 4 to 6 minutes, depending on the size of the salmon.
- Carefully remove the steamer basket or colander from the pot, using oven mitts or tongs to protect your hands from the hot steam. Transfer the steamed salmon to a plate or serving platter.