RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—If you’re not already eating salmon on a regular basis, there are lots of reasons to try your hand at some simple salmon recipes. Protein-packed salmon’s an excellent source of phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, selenium, and vitamins B6 and B12. And a 3.5-ounce serving of this fantastic fish provides a whopping 90 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin D. But salmon’s greatest claim to fame is its concentration of über-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, thought to improve brain function and fend off heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. The omega-3s found in fatty fish like salmon are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). A study published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research found that the omega-3s in dark-meat fish like salmon may also help reduce prostate inflammation, lowering the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. To get a good amount of DHA and EPA in our diets, experts recommend that we angle for an average of two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish like salmon per week.
At the fish counter, seek out wild Alaskan salmon rather than farmed salmon or Atlantic salmon. Wild salmon is both better for the environment and better for your health. While both varieties have roughly the same amounts of omega-3s, farmed salmon contains more contaminants and twice as much unhealthy saturated fat. Fresh salmon should have moist, springy flesh. Keep fresh salmon steaks or fillets in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to two days. Wrapped tightly in freezer paper, you can store salmon for up to two months in the freezer. Thaw it in a covered pan in the fridge, or to thaw salmon more rapidly, place it in the sink (in a waterproof plastic bag) under cool running water. For the fastest thawing, use the defrost cycle of your microwave; it’ll take about two to five minutes per pound.
Keep reading for salmon cooking tips, along with simple salmon recipes like Pan-Grilled Mediterranean Salmon and Sesame Noodles with Salmon.