Our Michelin Chefs Cook series takes different ingredients and dishes to show you how some of our favourite chefs prepare them on video. Here, we look at salmon, as four Michelin chefs share healthy salmon recipes and tips on how to cook the best salmon in the oven.
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Oven baked salmon is perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner that can be prepared in as little as 15 minutes, with the advantages of being handsfree and easy clean up. As Michelin-starred chefs Gordon Ramsay, Tetsuya Wakuda, Josiah Citrin and Tom Aikens will show you in the video recipes below, there is no one best way to bake salmon in the oven.
From chef Wakuda’s 24 hour miso marinated salmon fillets, Citrin’s juniper berry flavoured salmon ‘sheets’ to Ramsay’s whole baked salmon, these recipes show you a variety of ways to prepare this very versatile fish.
Find out about salmon nutrition facts.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON HOW TO COOK SALMON IN THE OVEN
Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions on how to bake salmon in the oven:
What temperature should salmon be cooked to?
Salmon can be cooked generally at temperatures of 350F/175C - 375F/190C in the oven. Lower temperatures (below 350F) ensures more even cooking as opposed to higher temperatures, which often results in the outside of the fish cooking faster than the middle. Take into account that with residual heat, the salmon will continue to cook once it is taken out of the oven so it is always best to undercook the fish than overcook it.
How do you know if salmon is cooked?
You can test whether the salmon is cooked using a fork, similar to as you would test the doneness of a potato. Poke the salmon with the fork and if it slides in without any resistance then the fish is cooked. For larger pieces of salmon on the bone, if the flesh comes easily off the bone then it means that it is cooked.
How long do you bake salmon at 350F?
Cooking times will depend on the thickness of the fish. This can take 3 minutes for thin 5mm sheets of salmon, or up to 30 minutes for a whole salmon. Smaller fillets will generally be cooked in 5-6 minutes.
How do you know if salmon is good or gone bad?
Check if the salmon is fresh by first inspecting the eyes if it is a whole fish, then by checking the smell. Like with any fish, the eyes should be clear and not cloudy. The flesh should have a mild smell, but if it is pungent or ammonia-like then it has probably gone bad.
The flesh of the salmon should also appear translucent and feel firm when you press on it. If the colour looks off and there is a white film covering the flesh, then don’t go any further as it means that it has gone bad.
How do you bake salmon in foil?
If using a whole fish, use chef Ramsay’s tip and double foil the salmon to make sure it is properly sealed and to prevent any tearing. Add a drizzle of olive oil or cooking spray on the foil, then place whatever herbs and vegetables you are using, followed by the fish. Fold over the foil and seal it, then place in the oven to cook at 375/190 for 25-30 minutes. The salmon is cooked if the flesh slides off easily from the backbone.
4 MICHELIN STARRED CHEFS COOK BAKED SALMON RECIPES
1. Gordon Ramsay’s Whole Salmon Baked with Herbs and Caramelised Lemons
Salmon baked entirely in foil keeps the fish moist, cooks it evenly, and makes clean-up afterwards easier. Chef Gordon Ramsay cooks a stunning whole salmon in foil, which is a lot easier than you think, perfect for a Sunday lunch.
For whole baked salmon, first take the fins off and score it before placing it in foil with herbs, lemongrass, unpeeled garlic cloves. Add lemon slices in the interior of the salmon as well as on top then season with salt and pepper. Close the foil and place in the oven at 190C / 375F for 25-30 minutes. Follow this with a pink grapefruit hollandaise sauce like Ramsay.
2. Tetsuya Wakuda’s Miso Marinated Salmon Fillets in the Oven
Japanese-born Australian chef Tetsuya Wakuda, (Asia's 50 Best Lifetime Achievement Award 2015) shows you in this video recipe how to cook fresh Tasmanian salmon fillets marinated in a white miso sauce. Plan the marinade ahead as it needs to stay 24-36 hours in the fridge, but the salmon takes just 5-6 minutes in the oven at 375F/190C. Caramelise under the grill for a couple of minutes to get a nice golden finish.
3. Josiah Citrin’s Slow Baked Salmon Recipe
Looking for that fine dining touch? Josiah Citrin of 2 star Michelin restaurant Mélisse shows you in this video recipe how to cook salmon in the oven slowly to preserve more flavour and texture of the fish.
First, he sears the fillets on the pan skin side down, then places them in a 350F/175C oven for two minutes. The chef then takes them out of the oven to rest for two minutes, and repeats the process until the salmon is warmed through. This results in tender fillet that has a texture that sits in between that of sashimi and baked salmon.
4. Tom Aikens’ Thin Salmon Slices Cooked in Oven with Juniper Berries, Thyme and Lemon
Another unique way to prepare oven baked salmon is Tom Aikens’ recipe for thin salmon slices. Here, see how Aikens layers the salmon sheets on a parchment paper lined pan with fragrant juniper berries, thyme, lemon zest and seasoned with salt and pepper. This quick and easy oven baked salmon method takes just 3 minutes at 360F/180C.