i've got some japanese friends coming to visit, and want to try cooking them some fish in my oven. i don't eat fish myself, so i'm not exactly an expert at cooking it. i want to try cooking on wet cedar shakes, as was discussed in and old thread from the yahoo archives, but am hoping for some more specific advice from someone more seasoned in this department.
will the wood plank method work well for salmon? how thin should the pieces of flesh be? what temperature is optimal, and how well done should it be? (this last question is a matter of taste i suppose, since they are quite used to eating it raw).
any advice much appreciated.
I prefer very thick slabs of filet, as large as I can fit on the plank and cook it to rare in a hot oven. Low and slow is another approach, and that is usually a 20 minute process or so. I can't tell you how long the hot oven process is because I do this by touch, but it seems to take maybe 6-12 minutes.
FoodNetwork.com and a lot of related websites have actual times and temperatures for the more scientifically minded. :-)
Generally I oil the fish, or apply a dry rub, or else a wet "marinade" like a homemade spiced mustard or wasabi. Sometimes I only apply the marinade when upon removing it from the oven and only salt/pepper the fish.
The important part, IMO, is to err on the side of undercooking the fish, because you can always throw it back on to finish it (or put it in the microwave for 30 secs), but you cannot save overcooked fish.
Here's my two cents.
Paul, fish is good for you. You should eat it more.
Soak the cedar plank for about 30 minutes. You want it to get chared and a little smokey, but not incinerate and take the fish down with it. :-)
Season the Salmon with salt, pepper and maybe a little dill.
Lay the fillet with the skin side down on the plank.
Bake in a hot oven for 5-10 mintues. Well-done on top and moist at the bottom. You don't even flip it. It's funny with fish that the time range is wide and depends so much on how hot your oven is and how well done you like your fish.
I had plank salmon in a brick oven restaurant once, where they really didn't keep the oven very hot, and they flipped the fish to cook both sides. It came out a little dry for me.
Nice fish, smokey flavor, the browned top from the oven heat and you don't even need to marinate the Salmon.
thanks for the advice james, though i can't stand fish--i can't even eat seaweed because it tastes too fishy to me, but hey, i guess it takes different strokes, eh?
would you cook with an open fire, or afterwards? i was hoping to cook with the fire, to coincide with the rest of the (pizza) meal.
I would let the first burn down when you are cooking the fish, then recharge it for pizza and other hot items. If the oven is really hot, and you have flame lapping in the dome, you will burn the outside of the fish and the inside will be raw. That could really put you off fish...
Of course, that would work for some nice ahi! :p
But I agree.. the temp has to be pretty low for fish.. relative to pizza, anyway.
I was always taught that if fish smelled or tasted fishy, it was too old and should be thrown away. That fishy smell is bacterial decay, I suppose?
Anyway, my personal favorite method of cooking salmon is to rub with a LITTLE EVOO, salt and pepper it, and PERHAPS sprinkle a little fresh allspice (when the mood strikes)... and then cook it as described above on a cedar plank and serve with a side or topping of fresh, homemade pesto.
I made a tomato/corn salsa last night, with diced tomates, corn, vinegar, EVOO, diced onion, the cool Sicilian oregano and salt and pepper. We put it on pan fried sole -- it would also work with Salmon. Nice.
here's a salmon we did recently. i can't remember exactly how long we left it in but the fish was thick and it took longer than 15 minutes. it was a hot oven. we covered it with foil for the initial cooking and then removed the foil at the end to get a little browning. (we've discovered that with foil we don't need to worry about burning anything). rosemary, evoo, salt pepper and orange slices. delicious...
Beautiful. I was hoping that using foil would counteract the need to worry about burning.
Robert- We did a couple of pizza's last night and wanted to try your salmon recipe. We cooked it this afternoon with the oven at approx. 500 degrees. My wife was amazed at how moist the salmon was and the flavor that the rosemary added. Thanks for the recipe. ---Mel
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