Three Ways to Cook Salmon
We've got three delicious recipes that maximize the flavor and health benefits of this pink-fleshed fish. Plus our nutrition expert has top picks for the ingredients.
Celtic myth tells the tale of Fionn MacCumhaill, a poet's apprentice who absorbed all the wisdom of the world by eating just a drop of oil from a special salmon. Turns out Fionn was on to something: We're all wise to eat salmon -- especially that marvelous fish oil. Vibrantly colored, tenderly textured, and richly flavored, salmon is loaded with the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
Multiple studies suggest that these polyunsaturated fats help boost the immune system, help reduce the risk of heart disease, and are especially beneficial for a developing fetus, nursing infants, and young children.
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). Salmon is also an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12, and selenium, with good amounts of vitamin B6, thiamin, and niacin.
Salmon's characteristic rosy color, which ranges in hue from pale pink to orangey-red, comes largely from astaxanthin, a naturally occurring pigment salmon ingest from microalgae in their diet. Research on astaxanthin suggests that it, too, points to potent protection for 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. Cook up your own poetic homage to one of the healthiest fish in the sea.
Salmon Cakes With Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce
Makes 4 servings
1 lb cooked, flaked salmon
1/ 4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg slightly beaten
½ 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
½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh dill
1 tbsp chopped parsley
½ 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 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-oz salmon filets
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chili powder
dash salt and ½ tsp pepper
12 spears asparagus
4 cups mixed salad greens (arugula, spinach, baby lettuce)