The ultimate guide to Frozen Salmon
Salmon is such a popular fish and for good reason, its healthy, filling, super tasty and very versatile. It has a thick, flaky texture, almost steak-like which fills you up more so than Plaice or Sole.
Its health benefits such as Omega 3 and protein are essential for a balanced diet and Salmon goes with so many things.
When buying salmon look for a good pink or red colour and for the thickness being the same the whole way through the fillet. If you get Salmon that is very thin at one end it will cook much quicker than the rest of the fish, it will burn and crisp leaving you with only half a fillet! So, go for CENTRE CUT fillets, these are taken from the centre of the fish, usually boneless and can be bought skinless or skin on.
Skinless fillets are great for oven baking or microwave cooking but if you prefer skin on Salmon it is best to have crispy skin and you achieve this by pan-frying. There are two main sources of Salmon, Wild Atlantic Salmon & Farmed Salmon, we always recommend farmed Salmon as the Marine Conservation Society has the Wild Atlantic Salmon on the Endangered (do not fish) list and farming Salmon is an excellent way to keep it sustainable, it is responsible sourcing at it’s best, especially as there is a growing demand for Salmon. Farmed, Centre Cut, Skinless & Boneless
Can you cook Salmon from Frozen?
One of the most popular questions we get asked is “can you cook Salmon from frozen”, the answer is YES, it’s easy, and there are lots of different ways to cook Salmon from frozen. Each method is just as good as the other -the method you choose is down to personal preference. Cooking salmon from frozen is very convenient, great for the evenings you need a quick meal, just grab it from the freezer and you’re off! We have put together some guidelines below, tried & tested for the perfect cooked from frozen Salmon…
Oven cooking salmon
Lightly brush the salmon fillet with olive oil and season with a little salt & pepper. Place the lightly oiled, seasoned portions in an oven proof dish, at this point you can add a little lemon juice or knob of butter if you like, then cover the dish with the lid or aluminium foil. Make sure the lid / foil is tight enough so that no steam can escape – cooking time – 18 – 20 minutes at 170 degrees C.
Cooking Salmon in the Microwave
Lightly brush the Salmon with a little olive oil, just enough to have a little shine all over, then season with salt & pepper and place in the salmon portions in a microwave oven proof dish, wrap the dish in cling film and cook for 7 – 8 minutes (900 watts). If you microwave oven has less wattage increase by 1 minute. Once the salmon has cooked through leave the dish to stand for 30 seconds, then remove the cling film and serve.
Pan Frying Salmon
Pan frying is not recommended when cooking salmon from frozen – if you would like pan fry it is best to defrost the salmon first. Take out of the freezer and let defrost.
Place the frozen salmon portions in a shallow pan, fill the pan with liquor until the salmon portions are almost covered. Poach on a medium heat for 10 – 12 minutes. Liquor can be fish stock, vegetable stock etc. A drop of wine can be added depending on your taste.
A posh name for boil in the bag. To be fair at a lower regulated temperature which gives a great texture and helps for great presentation. If you have Sous Vide equipment the instructions for cooking a 6 oz portion will be in the guide.
To give an idea a low temperature of 46 deg C for about 50 minutes. Finish off in a pan with oil or butter to give colour.
If you have bought frozen portions vacuumed packed you’re ready to go. Just remember to add seasoning and lemon juice and/or herbs when finishing off in the pan. If you are doing the Sous Vide packing then you add the seasoning, oil, lemon and herbs to the pack before placing in the water bath.
Salmon Nutrition and Health Benefits
Is Salmon a healthy fish? YES – Salmon is healthy, not only is it high in Omega 3 Fish Oil (fatty acids) it has lots of vitamins too.
Whilst Salmon is still low in fat it has a little more fat than a similar size portions of white fish such as Cod or Haddock BUT it has Omega 3 to compensate which is essential for a healthy balanced diet. The fatty acids have been shown to have a positive effect on blood count levels, infant development and the immune system. In a typical portion of Salmon weighing 150grams you will find 3.2grams of Omega 3.
It is recommended to have Salmon for dinner once at least once a week to meet the body’s needs for Omega 3. Salmon also has Vitamin A, Calcium & Vitamin B12 along with Selenium and Iodine. Follow this link to see why these vitamins are essential for your body. So a typical 150gram (4-6oz) serving of Salmon contains:
Omega 3 3.2g
Vitamin A 4%RDA
Vitamin B12 1.6%RDA
Foods and Sauces that compliment Salmon
You may wonder what is best to serve with Salmon and although there are lots of things to compliment salmon we tend to change this depending on the time of year.
One perfect all year round match is Asparagus, you can’t go wrong with Salmon & Asparagus, just add your favourite carbohydrate and you have a healthy balanced meal. In spring & summertime, a simple green or mixed salad with parsley buttered new potatoes and a serving of coleslaw is just the thing, of course, a jacket potato is just as tasty (you can lose the butter if you are being good). In the wintertime a perfect accompaniment is savoy cabbage mixed with leeks and bacon, we use savoy as it is a little sweeter than regular cabbage. The best addition to this is roasted potatoes, simple yet delicious!
If you like a sauce with your salmon there are quite a few that are just great: Dill sauce, Lemon sauce, Parsley Sauce, Sweet chilli sauce and the old favourite Hollandaise sauce. All of these sauces can be bought ready-made from your local supermarket but if you prefer to make them yourself please see our recipe page for full instructions.
A Seafresh favourite
Salmon En Croute is one of the most popular dishes we get asked about, this is Salmon Fillet topped with a creamy dill / lemon sauce that is then wrapped in puff pastry, not only extremely delicious and very comforting it is an impressive dish to serve – delicious. We have our very own Salmon En Croute that you can buy readymade, you simply add to a baking tray from frozen and bake for 30 minutes! Super quick and easy for busy households. You can buy the readymade Salmon En Croute at www.seafreshuk.com/salmon-en-croute or we have a fabulous recipe on our recipe page you can easily follow to make your own.
Farmed Vs Wild
Farming Salmon is the best way to keep it sustainable. Over the years Salmon farms have been given bad press and some rightly so. However, there ARE excellent Salmon Farms out there, they are farmed at sea in a natural environment, no harmful chemicals are used and cleanliness is paramount. These farms are superb and a necessity to keep Salmon sustainable. A reputable online fishmonger will know exactly where their Salmon comes from and should provide information about the farm on request. Wild Salmon is excellent when available, the MCS (Marine Conservation Society) has an excellent guide to what fish is good to be eating and what fish we should avoid ….because it’s endangered.
Frozen Vs Fresh
Unless you are catching Salmon yourself, the BEST way, without doubt, is to buy frozen Salmon from a reputable fishmonger. Salmon that is frozen within hours of being caught in the freshest way to have it. When you freeze Salmon or any kind of food it stops the deterioration process in its tracks, no bacteria can form, no histamine can form, nothing breaks down from this point on. So when you come to eat your Salmon you can guarantee it’s as fresh as can be! When purchasing fresh Salmon or any fresh fish it’s hard to know how fresh it actually is, it may have been a few days since catch before it even reaches your local shop/supplier. Of course, there are wonderful companies out there, local fishermen & the dockside fish markets that provide fresh Fish BUT the freshest will always be frozen at the source.
What sauces go well with Salmon?
When I think sauce for Salmon, my first thought is always Hollandaise Sauce, it goes so well with Salmon. The colour of Hollandaise is light yellow because of the amount of butter & egg yolks it has in it. The name Hollandaise sounds quite luxurious too so a great sauce for dinner parties and restaurant menus. Another common sauce for Salmon is Dill sauce, whereas Cod goes with Parsley Sauce, Salmon goes will Dill Sauce. These particular sauces are a White Sauce base with the addition of your chosen herbs. Of course, there is nothing stopping you using Parsley with Salmon if you don’t like Dill.
What’s the best way to cook Salmon?
When looking how best to cook Salmon firstly we look at the fillet… Is it skinless or skin on? The skin on is best to pan fry as this crisps up the skin perfectly. Skinless is best (or certainly for me, it’s easiest) to oven cook. When oven baking Salmon from frozen there is really is nothing to it, simply heat your oven to 180c, place the frozen Salmon Fillets into an ovenproof dish, add a little butter, leave uncovered and bake for 15-20 minutes. Done! By adding the little butter and cooking uncovered the Salmon will brown slightly. You can also cook frozen Salmon using a loose foil parcel (instead of the oven proof dish). If you add a little lemon juice and a dash of white wine the Salmon will steam and cook beautifully in the same amount of time. This method will keep the Salmon moist but won’t allow it to brown slightly…..So, the choice is yours and it really is down to personal choice with what you like and how you like it!