Appreciating the Many Talents of Salmon

It’s one thing to buy a great piece of fish, but it’s quite another properly prepare it.  My experience is that most Americans overcook the fish they serve. Even some of the best restaurants overcook fish menu items.  And in my mind, nothing screams ‘waste’, or ‘fowl’ or ‘disappointment’ more than a very expensive piece of fresh from the sea or ocean fish that has been cooked to death by the chef.

Now I know there are many people out there that think paper dry, overcooked fish is the way it ‘should be’ prepared.  But for those of you that like your fresh fish flaky, softly moist and tender, this spectacular Salmon Steaks with Fresh Herbs recipe is for you! 

A word about Salmon.  Foir

Many Fish, But Salmon is King!

I’m not sure if salmon is the most popular fish in America, but it’s in the top 3.  Why is that?  First off, there has to be more than 20 varieties of fresh salmon, and one of them is always ‘in season’–although with farm raising, Salmon is nearly always available.  Also, it’s versatile, can be prepared in many styles and ways, tastes great when properly prepared, it’s available everywhere, relatively inexpensive, and considered healthy.  I’m betting you have noticed people order it frequently from the fish monger and in restaurants all the time.  It’s almost become an American Icon.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that according to Celtic (Irish) Mythology, salmon has been frequently associated with wisdom.  According to the myths, whoever eats salmon will be granted super-powers of knowledge and respect.  Almost everyone I know you could benefit from a little more knowledge and respect, although on most days my Kathy informs me I have absolutely no knowledge about anything whatsoever.  Cute!  Not really that funny!

In early Welsh Mythological writings, the Salmon of Llyn Llyw is the oldest fish in Britain, and the only creature who knows the location of Mabon, one of King Arthur’s captured knights.  After speaking to many other ancient animals who do not know his whereabouts, two of King Arthur’s men are led to the Salmon of Llyn Llyw, who lets them ride his back to the walls of Mabon’s prison so they could assist in his escape.  I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for something of mine that my Kathy has ‘put away’.  And I’ve been missing some very important things for a very long time.   Maybe if I eat enough salmon, I’ll find my long lost ‘little black book’ that Kathy ‘put away’ about 40 years ago.  Or maybe I’ll find the match for the separated twins in my sock drawer. 

In Norse Mythology, after Loki tricked the blind god Hodr into killing his brother Baldr, Loki jumped into a river and transformed himself into a salmon to escape punishment from the other gods. When they held out a net to trap him he attempted to leap over it but was caught by Thor  who grabbed him by the tail with his hand, which is why the salmon’s tail is tapered.

Right about now you are thinking: ‘I need to take notes’.  Don’t bother–if you can’t remember this stuff, just make it up as you go along!  It’s mythology!  Use your imagination and create your own myths.  I do it all the time.  I even amaze myself at the stories I can fabricate when I’m under the pressure of Kathy’s not so forgiving gaze.

If the myth stuff is not working for you, and I don’t know why it wouldn’t, then here’s some interesting facts to weave into your knowledge transfer, or to impress your guests if you are the serious, rocket scientist type.

Seattle’s Pikes Market or Nova Scotia–Salmon Everywhere!

Salmon reisde  in the North Atlantic, the Pacific Ocean and now even in some of the Great Lakes.  They are born in fresh water, migrate to salt water oceans for their adult lives and then return to fresh water to spawn.  They usually, but not always, return to the same spawning grounds from where they started.  These salmon really know their way around don’t they?   When you eat salmon, you are getting lots of protein, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin D.

Well you knew there was a recipe coming.  This is by far one of the best Salmon Recipes in My Recipe Collection, because it is fantastically easy, it is very impressive and amazingly delicious.  But here’s the thing–you need to respect salmon–it’s a delicate tasting fish that rewards simple preparations and just a little love and attention while it’s cooking.  Overcook or overspice it, and it will punish you–and you will not be able to recover from this disaster!  There’s only 5 simple steps in this recipe–follow them exactly, and you’ll have one spectacular meal.

This is a baked salmon, because I’m not a fan of pan seared or grilled salmon.  I think hot coals or dry heat carmelizes the outside before the inside is properly cooked, and once you try this recipe–you may agree.  This recipe calls for salmon steaks, but you can use filets buy adjusting the cooking times accordingly downward.

A final word.  You’ll notice in the picture I’m serving my salmon with fresh-cut watermelon.  I don’t know why, but that combination is surprisingly good.  Serve this with a nice salad, a glass of Sonoma Valley sauvignon blanc, and I guarantee you’ll be rolling in Wisdom and Respect.  Try it!

Salmon Steaks with Fresh Herbs

Prep Time: 5 min | Cook Time: 15 min | Servings: 2 | Difficulty: Easy


Best Ever Salmon Steaks with Fresh Herbs

  • 2 salmon steaks (8 ounces each and about 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic, chopped finely
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


1.  Place salmon in a lightly greased 8-in. square baking dish.

2.  Combine the butter, parsley, rosemary, garlic, onion, salt and pepper and lightly saute in a small pan over medium heat until vegetables are soft.

3.  Add lemon juice to mix.

4.  Pour sauce over salmon steaks and top with sliced lemon.

5.  Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Do not overcook–if anything undercook it.


This recipe works great with Halibut too!!

Nutritional Info:

Nutritional Facts 1 serving (1 each) equals 315 calories, 24 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 98 mg cholesterol, 440 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 23 g protein.

Source: Lou’s Recipe Collection
Sent from Paprika Recipe Manager

Categories: Great Recipes, Just Great Ideas!, Loving Life!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. 15 minutes? in the NW we cook for 12 min.(max).

    • Well maybe in Seattle your ovens are hotter than they are in Pittsburgh, or maybe it’s because these are Steaks not Filets. In any event, the time will vary by how cold the fish is when it goes into the oven and by how how you like your salmon–, cooked through, medium, or medium rare. I like mine JUST cooked through which is the timing I used in the recipe.

  2. Very versatile fish. Your recipe is simple and great. Kathy’s recipe in foil is also wonderful. We have a recipe for salmon with anchovies that is wonderful

    • Thanks. I may put Kathy’s up one of these days, but in the meantime, send me your recipe with anchovies via email or snail mail and I’ll post it on the blog as a ‘response’ from a follower. That would be fun.

  3. You leave yourself open to your wife, by not complimenting her after you cut on her a bit. Always finish up with a positive. This is why you stay in trouble so much for a HOT GUY. Your brother in law in Washington takes your socks to torment you. As to you admiting in writing to embelishing the truth, WELL the tail is told and it is a fish tail. Stick to the cooking, where you are truely great.

    • Yes, you are making a good point about leaving the door open for heat seeking missles from my wife and I’ll remember your advice about ending on a positive note. And yes I’m in trouble a lot, but I learn a lot when I’m on the hot seat in the corner. Excuse me, but I only embellish the truth to create interest and creativity. That’s called fiction, not a lie. The mythology I wrote is absolutely the truth, or close to it. Our white-water rafting guide in Alaska told us these myths when we were there a few years ago.

  4. The conversation material is perfect. I’ll definitely put it to good use. Gals need to rack up Hot! points, too. Many thanks and keep it coming. Penino send your anchovy recipe to Lou so he can post it!

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