The rule with all fish is to get it as fresh as possible. It is far preferable to buy fish that has been frozen and recently thawed at the market than to buy fresh fish that has been sitting for a few days. If you are able to see the whole fish, look for clear eyes and clean red or pink gills. If you are able to smell the fish, it should smell like the sea, not “like fish”. Again, these rules are true of all fish.
Being one of the fattier fish, salmon is sturdy, and holds up to a great variety of cooking styles, including grilling, baking, poaching, broiling, or pan-frying. The important thing is not to let it dry out. When using a dry heat method (baking, grilling), cook just until it flakes. This is about 10 minutes for each inch of thickness (on the grill, 5 minutes per side). It does not have to be opaque all the way through to be cooked – it will probably be dry if you wait that long.
So let’s cook some salmon the way i like to have. Let me list what we need first and explain how to prepare it.
4 salmon fillets
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2 small tomatoes, finely chopped
1-2 chopped shallots
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
½-1 tsp dried thyme
Fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Meanwhile, rub salmon fillets with salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with olive oil on both sides. Stir the tomatoes, shallots, lemon juice and thyme in a medium bowl to blend.
Place a salmon fillet over a sheet of foil. Wrap the ends of the foil to form a spiral shape. Spoon the tomato mixture over the salmon, layering evenly. Fold the sides of the foil over the fish and tomato mixture, covering completely. Seal the packets closed. Place the foil packets on an oven tray. Bake until the salmon is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Using a large metal spatula, transfer the foil packets to plates and serve hot.