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Salmon has a unique earthy flavor and silky, rich texture that lends itself to a variety of preparations and cooking methods. One of the simplest ways to use salmon involves no cooking of the fish itself. Smoked salmon is fully cooked and delicious served with fresh green salads, eaten with cream cheese and bagels, or prepared as an appetizer spread. For an easy variation on your favorite tuna recipes, try canned salmon (another popular no-cook product), or use a mixture of the two.
Because of its rich, healthy fat content, salmon is a relatively forgiving fish-meaning it stays moist even when cooked to a slightly higher temperature than recommended. To help lock in flavor and moisture, spray salmon with a light coating of oil before broiling or grilling and season with salt and pepper if desired. Or, try quickly marinating salmon for an added boost of flavor. Pair cooked salmon with fruit salsas, savory chutneys or refreshing yogurt-based sauces to add variety to your meals.
Pan-searing works well for individual portions of salmon, such as salmon steaks. Whole sides of salmon may be poached for parties and buffets.
No matter which way you choose to prepare salmon, you will find that it is best enjoyed when cooked no higher than a safe internal temperature of about 140 degrees. To avoid overcooking, use an instant-read thermometer to take the temperature of thicker fillets or steaks and remove the salmon from the heat source when it is about ten degrees away from being cooked. For thinner pieces, peek gently inside the thickest part of the fish and remove it from the heat when it just begins to flake and the majority of the flesh is no longer translucent.