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Food find: Delicious, nutritious salmon

Basix Cafe's salmon burgers incorporate a touch of lemon juice and chopped capers for fresh, bright flavor. Basix serves the burgers on brioche buns with coleslaw and a little tartar sauce. (Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

RED WING, Minn. — Like tuna and other similar fish, salmon can be prepared in many different ways; from a pan-fried main course to a flaky addition to a salad. Apart from fresh filets, it also is available in ready-to-eat canned and smoked varieties.

Here are a few recipes to add this nutritious fish to your next meal:

Pan-fried salmon

4 center-cut salmon fillets about 1-inch thick, skin on or off

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

Bring salmon to room temperature about 10 minutes before cooking. Warm a large nonstick skillet with olive oil over medium-low heat. Season fish with salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium-high and place salmon, skin-side up, in pan. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn fish over with a spatula and cook additional 3 minutes or until it feels firm to the touch and the skin is crisp, if desired. The skin can be served or removed easily with a knife or spoon.

Source: Food Network

Salmon Burgers

1 can (14-16 ounces) drained or 2 pouches (7-8 ounces each) salmon

8 saltine crackers

Nonstick cooking spray

3 tablespoons Caesar dressing or mayonnaise-type salad dressing

1/4 cup sweet red pepper, diced (optional)

1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

4 drops hot sauce (optional)

4 hamburger buns

Lettuce, tomato, avocado or other toppings

Remove skin from fish and flake with a fork. Mash fish with bones in a medium bowl. Place crackers in a re-sealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or cup. Add crumbs to bowl. Add dressing and optional ingredients to bowl and mix well. Shape contents into four patties. Coat a large frying pan with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium heat. Cook patties, turning once, until lightly browned on each side. Place on buns and top as desired.

Source: Minnesota WIC Program

Smoked Salmon Salad

6 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

6 tablespoons olive oil

6 cups baby greens

1½ tablespoons drained capers

½ small red onion, thinly sliced

16 red cherry tomatoes

16 yellow pear tomatoes

Whisk oil and vinegar in small bowl to blend well. Season with salt and pepper. Place greens in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat lightly. Divide greens among four plates. Arrange smoked salmon slices over greens on each plate, dividing equally. Drizzle more dressing over salmon. Sprinkle salmon with capers. Garnish salads with red onion and tomatoes.

Source: Bon Appétit

Safe eating guidelines

Although salmon is rich in nutrients, like other fish its flesh also may contain small amounts of mercury, making it potentially dangerous to eat for children and pregnant women.

The Minnesota Department of Health recommends eating no more than two meals a week containing salmon for

  •  Children younger than 15.
  •  Pregnant women.
  •  Women who are breastfeeding.

The amount of salmon consumed per meal should not exceed 6 ounces for a 110-pound person; 8 ounces for a 150-pound person; and 10 ounces for a 190-pound person, the Health Department says. 

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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