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Three Ways to Cook Salmon

We've got three delicious recipes that maximize the flavor and health benefits of this pink-fleshed fish.
By Monica Kass Rogers
WebMD Magazine - Feature

Vibrantly colored, tenderly textured, and richly flavored, salmon is loaded with the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These polyunsaturated fats may help boost the immune system and reduce the risk of heart disease. And in the area of brain development, they’re thought to be beneficial for a developing fetus, nursing infants, and young children. Scientists also continue to study omega-3s fatty acids and their potential to lower cancer risk.

The American Heart Association recommends at least two servings a week of fish, preferably oily fish such as salmon. Salmon is one of a few fish rich in omega-3s (1.2 to 1.9 grams per serving, compared with almost none for chicken, pork, and beef). It’s also an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12, and selenium, with good amounts of vitamin B6, thiamine, and niacin.

Salmon's characteristic rosy color, which ranges from pale pink to orangey-red, comes largely from astaxanthin, a carotenoid (naturally occurring pigment) that the fish ingest from microalgae in their diet. Research suggests that astaxanthin, an antioxidant, may help protect the immune system.

Because salmon is a rich fish, the best preparation methods are those that add little or no fat, such as the following three recipes.

Salmon Cakes With Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce

Makes 4 servings


Salmon cakes:

1 pound cooked, flaked salmon

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (whole wheat panko is now available)

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 small red onion, finely minced

2 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

dash hot sauce

cooking spray


1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

1 Tbsp fresh dill

1 Tbsp chopped parsley

1/2 cup seeded, chopped cucumber


1. In a large bowl, combine all salmon cake ingredients and mix well. Form into four patties.

2. Spray a large skillet, and heat over medium heat. Sauté patties 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.

3. Make sauce by combining all sauce ingredients.

4. Serve each salmon patty with the lemon dill yogurt sauce.

Per serving: 397 calories, 30 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate, 25 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 134 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 377 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 56%

Spicy Citrus Grilled Salmon and Asparagus Salad

Makes 4 servings


4 4-ounce salmon fillets

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

dash salt

1/2 tsp pepper

cooking spray

12 spears asparagus

4 cups mixed salad greens (arugula, spinach, baby lettuce)

1 orange, peeled, sliced into wedges

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