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How to grill salmon well

How to grill salmon well
This is not as simple as it might at first appear. A properly grilled piece of salmon should be crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. This soft interior is achieved by very strict timing (cooking fish just right is a sign of a true chef), as undercooked it is unpleasant, and overcooked the salmon dries out.
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Preparation : 11 min.
Resting : 5 min.
Cooking : 6 min.
Start to finish : 22 min.
Preservation : To eat right now.

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Step by step recipe:

Heat a plate.

Get salmon portions that are fairly thick (about 2 cm or 1"), with skin, and of as even thickness as possible. The best part for this is the back of the salmon.

Wash and dry them.

Put a non-sick pan on medium heat, and when hot, add the salmon skin side downwards, without any fat or oil.

How to grill salmon well : Photo of step #1
Leave to cook like this for 3 minutes, season with salt and pepper then turn over.
How to grill salmon well : Photo of step #2
When turned, pull off and discard the skin, which should now come off easily.
How to grill salmon well : Photo of step #3
Scrape the top of the salmon with a serrated knife to remove all the grey part and discard it. This is the fat which is unattractive and tasteless.
How to grill salmon well : Photo of step #4
Remove the fat completely. Be thorough, especially around the central backbone where it is thicker, as shown by the green arrows.
How to grill salmon well : Photo of step #5
Salt and pepper the top side, then turn over again.
How to grill salmon well : Photo of step #6
Now comes the tricky moment: knowing when to stop cooking.

the simplest method is to stick an thermometer into the middle, and to stop when the temperature reaches 60°C (140°F).

How to grill salmon well : Photo of step #7
If you don't have a thermometer, you can watch the cut end of the pieces for the change from translucent pink (red arrow): undercooked, to opaque (green arrow): cooked.

Remove from the heat immediately as soon as the centre turns opaque.

As a general rule, you should allow 3 minutes cooking per side.

How to grill salmon well : Photo of step #8
It's quite likely that a sort of white paste will form on the slice during cooking, as shown by the green arrow. This is normal, and you can remove it by scraping with a small spoon. Once again it's unattractive and adds nothing to the flavour.
How to grill salmon well : Photo of step #9
Place the salmon pieces on a hot plate, then cover with aluminium foil.

Leave covered like this for 5 minutes which will tenderize the salmon.

How to grill salmon well : Photo of step #10
The salmon is now ready to be used in your recipe,for example salmon with sorrel as in this photo.

For a simple healthy meal, you can serve it as it is with just a sprinkle of lemon juice. This is also the best way to judge how well you have cooked the salmon.

How to grill salmon well : Photo of step #11


Use white pepper rather than black if possible, it's less visible on the salmon.

Pay attention to the cooking time. If your are watching for the change from translucent to opaque, don't hesitate to remove the fish from the heat while it is still very slightly translucent, as it will finish cooking while standing.


Home made.

Last modified on: October 13th 2010

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