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​3 Easy Salmon Recipes for Busy Families

Posted by Edna B. Wilson on

I love gardening, digging in the dirt, planting in the early spring, and putting in herbs and different varieties of tomatoes and greens like spinach, lettuce, and kale. Most of what I put in the garden I like to eat raw or grilled. 

I enjoy fresh salads and grilled vegetables, things like squash, sweet corn, green beans and fresh peas, tomatoes and red onion with mozzarella slices. And I’ve been around good food most of my life; my family managed and ran resorts and restaurants where good food and presentation was always paramount. Somehow though, I never enjoyed cooking. And then I met a foodie from Chicago, one of the most diverse food meccas in the United States; a guy that loves farmers markets and the many restaurants that Chicago offers.

I was quickly introduced into his world of Mediterranean cooking, where spices, herbs, flavors and tastes all play into a recipe. Cooking with healthy fats, eating lots of vegetables, red or white wine, and seafood including shrimp, salmon, lobster, and some red meat became part of my evening meal. I’m not a great cook yet, but I’m a willing student.

In addition to being an avid gardener, I also enjoy fishing. It’s no surprise that one of my favorite meals is sourced from the water. Salmon has always held a special place on my table, so I’ve included a couple of my favorite salmon recipes that my partner and I often prepare together in our kitchen. Although salmon is good any time of year, I prefer it in summer or fall. It’s a perfect dish for the grill, but can some salmon recipes might push your imagination and cooking habits to places you've never ventured...

Simple Grilled Salmon Recipe

This recipe can be used with any type of salmon and any size fillet. Although many cooks prefer grilling with king salmon, sockeye, keta, or coho salmon are just as tasty on the grill. Prep time is 5 minutes and the salmon is finished in 15 minutes.


  • 6 ounce salmon fillets, skin-on
  • Cooking fat of your choice
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Heat grill to medium – let it warm for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Prepare the salmon fillets. Rinse them and pat them dry. Remove any pin bones; pull them out with pliers. Brush the skin with the fat of your choice. Sprinkle the fleshy side with salt and pepper.
  3. Brush the cooking grate with a healthy cooking oil. Place the salmon, skin-side-down, on the grill and cover.
  4. Cook undisturbed until the salmon starts to release its fat and changes color or the flesh flakes easily. 10 to 15 minutes for most 1-inch-thick fillets. Allow another 10 minutes for each extra inch of thickness.
  5. Use a spatula to remove the fish from grill and serve with lemon wedges or other garnish. Add fresh vegetables or salad and enjoy.

Sous Vide Salmon

If you prefer to bathe or steam salmon in hot water, try this recipe by Maria Hines. The formal name for sealing food in vacuum packages is called Sous Vide. This recipe has a few more ingredients and is done in about 12 minutes. This recipe is modified off of one you’ll find on Food and Wine 1. If you’re worried about plastics (I like to avoid them, too), just poach the salmon in the water bath, and add a little extra salt and pepper to the bath itself. The bath shouldn’t be deeper than 1 centimeter if you poach your salmon this way.


  • 2 seedless cucumbers, peeled—1 sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick, 1 halved,
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Four 6-ounce, center-cut skinless salmon fillets, chilled
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 8 ounces plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Preheat a water bath to 122° for rare salmon. Preheat a grill pan. Season the sliced cucumber with salt and black pepper. Grill over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred (about 2 minutes.) Transfer to a plate.
  2. Season the salmon with salt and white pepper; transfer to four 1-quart vacuum-pack bags and vacuum-seal. Submerge the bags in the water bath and cook at the desired temperature for 12 minutes.
  3. In a blender, blend the yogurt with the dill; season with salt and black pepper. In a small bowl, toss the julienned cucumber with the oil and lemon juice; season with salt.
  4. Remove the fillets from the bags and transfer to plates. Top with the grilled and julienned cucumber, dollop with the dill sauce and serve.
  5. The salmon ought to be moist and tender when done. For more well done salmon, turn up the temperature. Place the salmon and dill and yogurt sauce on a bed of couscous and enjoy.

Dishwasher Salmon Recipe To Stretch Your Culinary Creativity

Yes, you read that correctly. We’d never heard of it but were intrigued and wanted to try it. Dishwasher cooking was big in the 1970s and is making a comeback. Even Oprah, yes Oprah, chimed in with a recipe for 6 that could be cooked in your dishwasher. Apparently, some chefs have found it’s a great way to cook at low temperatures, roughly 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s perfect for a slow-poached keta salmon, although it works great with any wild salmon filet.

The original recipe was printed in the Los Angeles times in the 1970s, and later modified and presented on NPR 2.


  • Ginger
  • Oil
  • Fresh Peppercorns
  • One lemon
  • Cilantro
  • 2 six ounce fillets of keta salmon


  1. Put ingredients in canning jars, aluminum foil, or food vacuum bags (I prefer the canning jars, but the filets won’t look as pretty)
  2. Seal tightly and put in the top rack with the glassware
  3. Leave in for the entire cycle (usually 50 minutes)

NOTE: It sounds a little environmentally intensive, right? It doesn’t have to be. If you want to do your dishes while you cook the salmon, put your ingredients in a canning jars or food vacuum bags. As long as the ingredients are in sealed containers, you can add soap to the dishwasher. Either way you choose to cook it, the salmon comes out creamy and moist.

Wild Salmon versus Farm Raised Salmon

There’s an ongoing debate about what’s better and healthier for you: farm raised or wild salmon. Most farm raised salmon come from the Atlantic Ocean, so if you prefer wild salmon, start by looking for filets from the Pacific Ocean. In my book, wild salmon is better - it's more nutritious, and doesn't contain as much of the heavy metals like lead and mercury that you'll find in farm raised salmon.

There are five types of Pacific salmon and each have multiple names: king salmon is also known as Chinook salmon; pink salmon is often called humpback salmon and keta salmon is sometimes referred to as dog salmon. If you’re a fan of Coho salmon, you might find it labeled silver salmon, and sockeye salmon is also called Red Salmon. Wild salmon are found along the Pacific coast from California through Alaska, with most of the salmon coming from Alaska. Like other wild salmon, Keta and Coho salmon spend several years living in fresh water tributaries along the coast before migrating to the Pacific Ocean.

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding salmon these days, but it packs a lot of nutritional power. Loaded with healthy fats, salmon is one of the best meals your family can enjoy – just don’t overdo it. 2-3 ounces of salmon (cooked) is the perfect portion for most adults. 

Images courtesy of Pixabay. 




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