This straightforward method for poaching salmon results in tender, buttery fish every time. The secret to achieving perfectly flaky salmon? Microwave it in a simple saltwater solution at full power and allow it to rest for an equal duration before serving. The saltwater not only seasons the fish but also ensures even cooking. For a touch of subtle sweetness, you can add a teaspoon of sugar or syrup to the saltwater, along with aromatic herbs like rosemary or dill, to enhance the flavor.For optimal results, consider brining the salmon overnight in the refrigerator, as this helps reduce the presence of albumin, the harmless white protein that often appears on the surface of the fish during cooking. It's important to note that microwave wattages typically range from 600 to 1200 watts. This recipe was developed using a 1000-watt microwave to boil one cup of cold tap water in 2 minutes. However, cooking times may vary among microwaves, even those with the same wattage, so monitoring your fillet closely is advisable to prevent overcooking.
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons fine or coarse sea salt
- 1 12-ounce salmon fillet, preferably skin on and 1½ inches thick (see Tips)
- Fill a microwave-safe dish that can snugly hold the salmon with lukewarm water. Add the salt and stir until dissolved. Place the salmon in the dish, skin side down, and baste by spooning the salt water. Ensure the top of the fillet remains above the surface of the saltwater. Loosely cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or plate.
- Microwave the salmon on high power for 3 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a sharp paring knife into the center of the fillet. If the knife slides in effortlessly without resistance, the salmon is cooked. Typically, it takes around 4 minutes for medium-rare doneness and about 5 minutes for medium, but cooking times may vary due to differences in microwave performance.
- Allow the fish to sit, still covered in the dish, for 4 to 5 minutes. Then, please remove it from the water and serve.
- This method is optimized for farm-raised Atlantic salmon, which tends to have a higher fat content. For leaner, less thick wild salmon varieties, reduce both cooking and resting times by half.
- Ensure the salmon is surrounded by, but not submerged in the water. If using a larger dish, adjust the quantity of saltwater accordingly by dissolving an additional teaspoon of salt in each extra cup of lukewarm water.