Types of salmon
When learning how to bake salmon, it's important to select the right fish. Fresh salmon is often available farmed or wild, with wild carrying the higher price tag. The country-of-origin label should tell you where the fish is from and if it is farmed or wild. Common forms of salmon include fillets, steaks, and whole fish. When cooking fresh salmon or making baked salmon fillets, ask your fishmonger to skin them for you.
Prepping the Fish
If frozen, thaw salmon in the refrigerator. Rinse and pat dry with paper towel. Cut larger pieces of salmon into serving-size pieces. Place in a single layer in a greased or foil-lined shallow baking tray. For fillets, tuck under any thin edges to ensure even baking. Brush the fish with olive oil or melted butter and season as desired.
Tip: Seasoning salmon can be as simple as using salt and ground black pepper, especially if you are planning to serve it with a sauce. Common and simple seasonings are fresh or dried herbs, such as dill, thyme, or minced garlic. Sprinkling seasoning blends like garlic pepper, lemon pepper, or Italian seasoning is also a simple way to boost flavour.
Tip: To skin a raw fish fillet, slide a sharp knife just under the skin on one side. Take skin with one hand and slide the knife between fillet and skin, pointing the knife slightly toward the skin. Remove and discard.
How Long to Bake Salmon
Oven-baked salmon can be tricky; the key is how long to bake it. Knowing how to cook salmon in the oven is essential to mastering basic cooking techniques for weekday meals.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C for baked salmon fillets or 180 degrees C for a dressed fish. Fillets can be baked at a lower temperature, if desired, with an increase in cooking time. Put salmon in oven and bake, uncovered, 4 to 6 minutes per 1.5cm thickness. Bake a dressed salmon 6 to 9 minutes for every 200g of fish.
To test whether the salmon is cooked, insert a fork and gently twist. You'll know the salmon is done as soon as it becomes opaque and begins to flake.
Baked Salmon in foil parcels
For oven-baked salmon with veggies and some extra flavour, learn how to bake salmon in a foil parcel with desired seasonings.
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Place desired vegetables, such as precooked carrots, sliced mushrooms, and sliced green onions, on a piece of foil large enough to accommodate both the vegies and the piece of salmon. Place a salmon fillet on top. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, melted butter, or a splash of dry white wine. Sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper and, if desired, snipped fresh oregano, dill, finely shredded orange peel, and/or minced garlic. Top with halved orange or lemon slices.
3. Bring together two opposite foil edges and seal with a double fold. Fold remaining edges together to completely enclose salmon, allowing space for steam to build. Place the foil packets in a single layer in a shallow baking pan.
4. Bake 30 minutes or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork and vegetables are tender (open packets carefully, as hot steam will escape).
Tip: You can substitute foil for baking paper if you prefer.