If I could, I would eat almost all fish raw. Why ruin something when it is already close to perfection in its natural state? Cooking too often dries out the delicate flesh of seafood, especially fish. Salmon especially tastes really different cooked compared to raw. However, you can’t always guarantee that your salmon is fresh enough to eat raw. Therefore, sometimes you must cook it.
Well, if I must cook it, why not at least cook it minimally?
I’ve tried cooking salmon at low-temperatures once before, with my sous-vide technique that I tried several weeks ago. I love that method, but I also realize most people don’t have a vacuum sealer, a Magic Cooker, nor their own Sous-vide machine at home. In the comments of that post, a reader suggested to me an alternate way to slow-roast salmon in the oven.
This version is very similar, but takes a little less time and uses a bit more heat. It all comes down to this: the lower the temperature, the longer the cooking time, and the lower the risk of overcooking. To save time, you can increase the temperature and reduce the time, but you run the risk of overcooking. This combination seems to achieve a decent balance between the two.
Some recipes suggest cutting small slits in the salmon to render excess fat. In my case I’m not sure if it made a difference. Has anyone else ever tried this?
Slow Roasted Salmon
1 lb Salmon filet, cut into 4 equally sized pieces
salt (preferably sea salt or kosher salt)
pepper (preferably freshly ground)
herbs (e.g., fresh dill!)
Preheat oven to 250 °F. Cut salmon into equally sized pieces and allow the pieces to warm up to room temperature. Season salmon by lightly coating the meat in olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs. Bake for about 20 minutes.
The resulting fish will still be very soft and moist and will retain its gorgeous bright orange color. I used wild Alaskan sockeye salmon here, which is leaner but is quite flavorful. I think my favorite is still Alaskan King Salmon, though, which I most recently prepared via sous-vide in a magic cooker. I find Alaskan king salmon to be wonderfully fatty, rich, but definitely more expensive!
In any event, low heat cooking, similar to sous-vide cooking, will ensure that your fish will not overcook into a sad, dry version of what it once was.
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