We all know that the American Dietary Guidelines recommend eating more salmon and deep sea fish for a heart-healthy diet. That’s great, but how do you cook the salmon? Sister-in-law, Vicki, shared this three-ingredient recipe for “Baked Salmon with Marmalade Glaze.” The salmon is tasty; and you can’t find an easier recipe than this one. And it is a great choice for the Passover meal coming up this week.
Health benefits of Salmon — the good and the bad
The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults eat 8 ounces of seafood each week. That equals 2 average size servings a week. This is a lofty goal for many of us and most Americans fall short of this recommendation. But with all the health benefits of eating deep-sea seafood such as salmon, it is worth striving for this recommendation. My recipe this week, “Baked Salmon with Marmalade Glaze” is one way to cook salmon; I have several ideas for future posts, too.
Salmon is a good choice for achieving the goal of 8 ounces of seafood a week due to its many nutritional benefits. Salmon is a cold water, fatty fish and it is one of the best food sources of essential long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The body can’t manufacture omega-3 fatty acids. Instead they must come from our diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are important for heart health, reducing inflammation and blood pressure and reducing the risk of some types cancer. Plus, newer research shows that omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain health and possibly providing protection against dementia, Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases. In addition, salmon is high in protein, B-complex vitamins and potassium. With these benefits, let’s find ways to cook and eat salmon!
The downside of eating deep-sea seafood is that these fish do contain trace amounts of mercury — some fish have more mercury contamination than others. Pregnant women are advised to limit their seafood choices to avoid these fishes. Large fish, including swordfish, king mackerel, marlin and shark, have higher levels of mercury than smaller fish. Fortunately salmon falls into the category of “smaller fish” and is lower in mercury.
Over use of antibiotics in controlling unwanted diseases found in farm-raised salmon is another concern. For example, this became an issue with Chilean salmon several years ago and some American retailors, such as Costco’s, decreased their purchases of Chilean salmon. On the other hand, the Chilean seafood industry states that there are no antibiotics in the salmon when they arrive at market. As a consumer, it is wise to be aware of where our food is produced and the pros and cons of what we are eating.
The salmon that we find in markets is either wild salmon or farm-raised. The benefits and disadvantages of each type of salmon is another entire conversation. But most experts agree that eating either type of salmon — wild or farm raised — is better than eating none. I’ll try to minimize the negative impacts of certain types of salmon by purchasing salmon from a variety of sources.
Vicki’s recipe is so easy to make. It includes three ingredients — salmon “steaks,” Dijon mustard and orange-style marmalade. In this variation I used Tangelo marmalade. The Tangelo fruit is a type of citrus — a cross between a tangerine and the pomelo, a fruit similar to a grapefruit. You can also use orange marmalade or even homemade kumquat marmalade in place of the Tangelo marmalade in this recipe.
The salmon shown here is Chilean-farm raised salmon produced in the Pacific coastal waters of this country (termed Atlantic salmon even though it was harvested in the Pacific Ocean). I learned that salmon production is a huge industry for Chile making it the second largest exporter of farm-raised salmon. It made a delicious salmon entrée and I will alternate Chilean salmon with salmon caught from other sources around the world.
In her recipe, sister-in-law Vicki purchases pre-portioned salmon. This salmon is termed “Wild Pacific Salmon.” The 1-1/4 pound is enough to serve four people. This product was frozen and vacuum sealed.
To make the recipe, first defrost the salmon in the refrigerator (take it out the night prior to cooking) or let it set under slowly dripping cool water (retain the inner packaging while defrosting). Line a baking sheet with foil. Pat the salmon dry and place on baking sheet. Spread on Dijon mustard and then the marmalade. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 12 minutes.
How long do you bake salmon?
That’s the tricky part — how long to cook the salmon steaks. If cooked too long, salmon dries out. When cooked for 12 minutes, the salmon is cooked on the outside and rare on the inside. It is perfect and moist, especially if you like rare salmon.
However, if you are just a little tentative about eating this fish when cooked to the rare stage, you may want to bake it just a little bit longer. Try 15 minutes for “medium” salmon and 20 minutes for “well done” salmon. The salmon should be 145 degrees F. to be cooked throughout the steak.
Serve the salmon with slaw, lettuce, asparagus or any other vegetable of your choosing.
This easy recipe is a great way to cook salmon and to meet the Dietary Guidelines of 8 ounces of seafood a week. If you don’t care for salmon, give it another chance. Try purchasing these frozen salmon steaks, defrosting and cooking the salmon in this manner. The salmon “steaks” are very tasty — and healthy! Enjoy.
Vicki's Baked Salmon with Marmalade Glaze
- 1-1/4 lb salmon steak(s) (pre-portioned)
- 2 to 4 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade or variation
- fresh dill, garnish (optional)
Instructions and Steps:
- If the salmon steak(s) is froze, defrost overnight in refrigerator or under cool water, dripping slowly. (Keep salmon in inner wrapper while defrosting.) Drain and pat dry.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Place defrosted salmon steak(s), skin side down, on foil-lined baking sheet.
- Spread Dijon mustard in thin layer on top of salmon.
- Add dollops of marmalade over Dijon mustard and spread out over top surface of salmon.
- Bake, uncovered, in 400 degree pre-heated oven. For salmon which is cooked on outside and rare on inside, bake 12 minutes. For salmon which is entirely cooked, bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven, use spatula to transfer to serving platter. If not proportioned, cut into four serving sections.
- If desired, garnish with fresh dill.