How do I cook a side of salmon in the oven?
April 6, 2016 7:11 PM   Subscribe

DialMforMara and Canageek were at the grocery store yesterday, and the fishmonger managed to talk us into getting a side of salmon and trying a soy sauce recipe he recommended. We kept it in the fridge overnight, and then went to start cooking it, and realized that Canageek has only ever pan-fried fish before, and Mara has never cooked fish at all. Advice for oven temperature, cooking time and procedure would be appreciated.

(Details from Canageek) Fish is wild sockeye salmon, with a weight of 0.556 kg. The rub we are going to put on it is half cup of brown sugar, plus soy sauce with mixing till it had the texture of peanut butter, then cook until you can pull the flakes apart with a fork and they have constant colour. However, I'm used to pan-frying my fish, where I can watch them. Never done them in the oven. Advice? I was supposed to cook these for Mara 40 minutes ago.

(Yes, I can google how to cook fish, but every time I do that I get many, many conflicting instructions so we thought we'd try this.)

PS We were advised to put water in the pan to keep the fish from drying out. Is this necessary with the rub?
posted by WizardOfDocs to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Yes a bain Marie will help with dryness by moderating the heat--don't put the fish right in the water. I'd say probably 15 minutes @ 350F should get you beautifully cooked fish, not dried out. Check the centre and see if it's to your taste.

Wild salmon is much better medium rare to medium, not well, FYI.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:15 PM on April 6, 2016 [4 favorites]

Use double layers of foil and it'll be easier to clean up. But basically cook until done and that means checking by separating at a thick spot for the flesh changing to the pink opaque look. 350-400 is a reasonable temp for a half an hour or so but unless you have the uniformity of a commercial kitchen you gotta check so you don't over cook.
posted by sammyo at 7:18 PM on April 6, 2016

300F oven, about 25-30 minutes, to a temperature of 117F in the thickest part. That's just shy of medium.
posted by wnissen at 7:28 PM on April 6, 2016

If you have no accurate probe thermometer, that is also the temperature where the juices are just starting to turn from milky to clear when you cut into the fillet.
posted by wnissen at 7:30 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

35 minutes at 350. I cook slabs of salmon about once a week.
posted by raisingsand at 7:55 PM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

yea, about half an hour at 350. if you line the pan with foil, and put the skin side down, you will be able to lift the fish with a spatula, and leave the skin stuck to the foil - then the cleanup is suuuuper easy. Also, I like to shake a light layer of panko over the fish - you get a really simple crust, and it helps seal the juciness in.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:02 PM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

I was just in this same situation at Easter! I followed this NYT butter-baked recipe and it turned out amazingly - succulent, perfectly done, crisp outside/tender inside. Highly recommend.
posted by Miko at 8:06 PM on April 6, 2016 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Okay, we've got it in the oven and will let you know how long it ends up taking. Thank you all for your help!
posted by WizardOfDocs at 8:10 PM on April 6, 2016

You can broil it in 8-10 minutes.
posted by crazycanuck at 8:10 PM on April 6, 2016

Response by poster: We think it took 25 minutes, but we did it in 5-minute intervals and lost track.

Canageek: Eating now. Tastes very good. Took somewhere between 20 and 40 minutes, might have overcooked it a little. Thank you all.
posted by WizardOfDocs at 8:24 PM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'd cook salmon for a little less than half an hour because I prefer salmon rare - on preview: that's what you did too! Now I'm craving salmon (at 9am... tricky)
posted by Ziggy500 at 8:26 PM on April 6, 2016

I was surprised how long it took, even with wanting it rare in the center. A whole lot depends upon the thickness of the filet, which really varies.
posted by Miko at 8:36 PM on April 6, 2016 [3 favorites]

For a 1 lb piece of salmon, I will marinate it in soy sauce, worcestershire, and some vegetable oil for an hour or two, then put it on a foil lined tray, sprinkle with salt, and put it in the toaster oven at 450 for 20 minutes. I brush on some melted butter halfway through.

For that size piece of fish, the toaster oven is definitely where it's at.
posted by ryanrs at 10:37 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

I do this all the time. Only fish my kids will eat. I wrap it in parchment (which is just a fancy name for brown paper that can go in the oven), cook it at 400 for about 20 minutes (a thicker piece takes a little longer.) Wrapping it in paper keeps it nice and moist, so you're a little less dependent on getting the timing exactly exactly right.
posted by escabeche at 11:10 PM on April 6, 2016

How to Cook Salmon In The Oven, from the Kitchn. I use this recipe about once a week.
posted by Brittanie at 5:14 AM on April 7, 2016

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