Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Make sure that salmon is fresh

Salmon is simply a wonderful fish. If you are “po,” as they say, buy it in a can and makes salmon cakes out of it. 

If you are on the opposite end of the spectrum, buy Scottish wild-caught smoked salmon and serve it to your equally as well heeled friends. If you are lucky enough to know a fish seller who gets in really, really fresh, buy a filet and sauté it, bake it or grill it, and it will be absolutely delicious, as long as you don't overcook it.

There is one serious caveat. It has got to be absolutely fresh. If you buy it, it will have slightly moldy flavor. It's old, not bad, not ruined, but old. 

If you find it fresh and it is not screaming pink, it is old. When you do find it fresh at the fish seller, lean over and smell it. If it smells anything but like the salty sea, it is old. Ask the fish seller when he got it in and if he is worth salt, he will tell you the truth.

All this is just about one thing. Salmon must be fresh to be enjoyed as it should be. If you are buying it old, you might as well buy a less expensive fish and save a few coins. Once you have it absolutely fresh, you will never accept second best again.

Salmon is quite versatile. Serve it on a bed of broccoli rabe, red cabbage or just neat with a few capers. 


1 2 inch by 4-6 inch filet per person

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons oil

Fresh ground white pepper

Melt the butter in a sauté pan, add the oil and heat to almost smoking. Add the salmon and cook just until it browns and forms a thin crust, reduce the heat dramatically, cover and cook till medium rare. Please do not overcook.