Coast Cooking

Give fresh salmon a try

In years past really fresh salmon was almost impossible to get.

Chances are it had a slightly moldy taste, that's salmon that is past its peak. Today many fresh seafood markets have it on ice, unpackaged, and just as fresh as you can get it this far away from their natural habitat.

As with all fresh seafood there is one uncompromising test of freshness -- smell it. If it smells fishy, it is old, if it smells worse, it is extremely old, if it smells fresh like the sea it came from, it is fresh.

Do not buy salmon that is suspect. If you are doubtful about its age, come back another day. Don't be shy about asking your fish seller when his shipments arrive.

As with Monday’s entry about shrimp, the same thing applies to salmon: do not overcook it. In fact, salmon can be served a bit rare in the center; if it is really fresh, it will be delightful.

Salmon can be served with a side, such as purple kraut, a good coleslaw, or if you are a purest and want to explore the depth and wonder of this great fish, serve it with only a hint of lemon and a dribble of best quality olive oil.

1 filet of salmon

Olive oil

1-2 tablespoons flour

1 scant pinch of salt

Remove any bones from the filet and the skin, if your fish seller has neglected to do so. Pat the filet dry, dust it lightly in flour, and sauté in medium hot oil just 2-3 minutes on a side (depending of course on its thickness). Turn it once. When it is firm to the touch, it is done. Allow it to rest for a few minutes, then serve with just a pinch of salt.