How to Cook Salmon in Order to Make it Less Fishy?

Published Categorized as Fish Or Seafood, Kitchen Hacks, Recipes

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Although salmon is incredibly nutritious as well as delicious when prepared correctly, some of us have a hard time committing to it. Many tend to shy away from salmon or seafood in general because of the distinct and very apparent fishy odor. When cooking salmon, we aim to mask the somewhat fishy flavor by replacing it with delicious marinades and other aromatics. As a previous salmon hater, I’m going to show you how to cook salmon the correct way so that it doesn’t taste fishy, allowing you to eat fish in moderation and accumulate your fair share of health benefits. Without further ado, let’s get to the point of the article!

How To Cook Salmon In Order To Make It Less Fishy?_alice's kitchen

Table of Contents

Why is Eating Salmon Healthy?

Salmon is a fatty fish that is also an incredible source of unsaturated proteins. Wild salmon will provide an incredible source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can contribute to overall good health, reduce skin inflammation, and lowers blood pressure. But to be able to take advantage of brilliant benefits, first, we should master the art of cooked salmon, ensuring that we can thoroughly enjoy this superfood.

Remove Fishy Taste From Salmon

Liking salmon is a bit of a task, especially if you’re accustomed to the fishy smell and can’t seem to hack it. Though the omega-3 fatty acids scream incredible nutritious benefits, many of us push a small slice of this superfood away from our sight, holding our nose in dismay! However, I have managed to figure out how to effectively cook salmon minus the unpleasantries, and don’t you worry. I’m going to share this secret with you!

  • Firstly, opt for frozen salmon instead of fresh. Frozen pre-portioned salmon fillets are a lifesaver, trust me. These fillets are frozen fast (literally from the moment they had been caught). These pieces of fish are less likely to release a fishy odor because the longer the fish remains unfrozen, the stronger the smell and the fishier the taste. Freezing almost instantly ensures the salmon fillets remain fresh and pleasantly flavorful. Once you’re ready to cook with them, pull your salmon fillets from the freezer and pop them in the fridge so that they can defrost overnight.
  • Secondly, refrain from eating plain salmon. While the distinct flavors of Coho, King, and Sockeye are plentiful, sometimes a splash of citrus over a salmon fillet can go a long way. Or perhaps some herby sauce, delicious garlic, vinegar flavored seared, baked, or steamed salmon, pairing beautifully with a nice salad dressing, French baguette, or your favorite dip.
How To Cook Salmon In Order To Make It Less Fishy?_alice's kitchen

How to Get the Strong Fishy Taste out of Salmon?

So your fish tastes fishy, how do we get rid of it? Salmon is a popular fatty fish that omits the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Though if cooked incorrectly, eating salmon can release a foul fishy smell that’s not worth eating, let alone serving. There are some easy methods to help eliminate the fishy smell, so let’s take a look at them.

Soak it in Lemon

Fish and lemon are no strangers to each other, and you may have noticed slices of lemon placed beside a nicely baked fish fillet at certain restaurants. The reason for this is that lemon juice reacts with the TMA in fish to chase the odor. Other useful acidic ingredients that can also contribute to this include limes, oranges, vinegar, and tomato sauce.

A simple way to prepare the fish is by squeezing some fresh lemon juice over your raw salmon to add freshness or allowing your salmon to sink into a vinegar-based marinade, letting the flavors seep into the flesh of the fish before proceeding to cook with it.

Additionally, you can give your salmon a little citrusy bath by combining grapefruit, lemon, oranges, shallots, and a splash of maple syrup to bring forth terrific flavors and eliminate any fishy odors lingering flavors.

Additionally, you can create a sweet glaze of your own by making a honey and brown sugar glaze before cooking to produce a distinct flavourful finish to your fish, effectively eliminating the unpleasant fishy odor.

Add Crunch

Adding texture to your fish can also help minimize the fishy odor. One of the ways to achieve this is through coating your salmon in a flavorful glaze of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, or perhaps some toasted nuts coupled with a wonderful salt and black pepper seasoning.

This method works with almost any fish, whether it’s tuna or salmon, you can never go wrong with adding a little bit of texture and simple seasonings to produce a cooked salmon minus the fishy tasting unpleasantness. Specifically for those who don’t enjoy the texture of fish that much, adding some bread crumbs to the mix can really elevate your overall meal; you’ll be looking to cook some more salmon in no time.

Soak it in Milk

While the idea of salmon sitting in milk may sound absurd, it is certainly brilliant at eliminating the unpleasant fishy odor. While the fish is soaking in the milk for 20 minutes, the proteins present in the milk extract the TMA from the salmon, so essentially, when you’re pouring off the milk from your fish, you’re disposing of the elements that cause your fish to smell fishy.

Turn Salmon into Bacon

Another tasteful and creative way to enjoy salmon is by transforming smoked salmon into bacon bits in the oven. This produces a wonderful flavor that you can then add to additional dishes such as casseroles, egg dishes, or salads.

A Touch of Spice

Much like meat, fish absorbs spices and herbs really well, meaning that a little salt and pepper may be good enough to conceal any fish odor. You can create a wonderful rub by combining salt, black pepper, garlic, onion powder, oregano, and paprika, slathering this all over your fish, then popping it into the oven to bake for a spectacular meal. Serve this with your favorite side dish, and you’ll find yourself making salmon more often!

A Squeeze of Citrus

A little squirt of lemon juices before baking versus after baking makes a huge difference, providing the cooked fish with a fresh flavor and eliminating any remaining fishy taste. You can even serve a side of sliced lemons, limes, or other citrus fruits if you wish to make your dish look a little classier.

Another step to consider when you’re planning to grill your salmon is to grill your citrusy fruits along with it. This will produce the perfect little flavorful twist to your overall meal, saving some additional prep time as well.

How To Cook Salmon In Order To Make It Less Fishy?_alice's kitchen

How to Make Salmon Not Taste Fishy?

Like most seafood, salmon requires some careful preparation before it is considered ready to eat. As with all sorts of food, here are a few easy cooking methods to make your salmon taste less fishy.

  • Pan Fry After Milk Soak
  • Oven Cooking the Salmon
  • Cooking Salmon by Poaching

Method 1: Pan Fry After Milk Soak

Pan frying is a simple salmon cooking method and can be done quite quickly. But you must take care during the soaking process. Both under and overdoing can lead to failure. Therefore to achieve a spectacular plate of food you’re excited to eat minus the foul smell, you’ll need to prepare and follow some specific steps.

Step 1: Milk Bath to Remove Fishy Taste

  1. Take a bowl and fill it with enough milk to soak the salmon
  2. Soak the salmon fillets
  3. Wait for 20 minutes
  4. Remove the fillets, and prepare to cook them.

Step 2: Prepare the Salmon for Cooking

  1. Season the salmon with salt and pepper
  2. Add a little olive oil or butter to the fish
  3. Place the fillet into a hot cast iron skillet
  4. Keep the stove on medium-high heat

Step 3: Pan Fry the Salmon

  1. The skin side should be facing up on the skillet
  2. Spread some oil or butter over the salmon
  3. Let it sizzle for 6 minutes
  4. Flip your salmon using a spatula
  5. Let the skin side cook for 3 minutes
  6. Wait until the color of your salmon transforms to a wonderful golden brown shade
  7. Serve with your favorite side dish and enjoy

Method 2: Oven Cooking the Salmon

If you like eating fish, then you know that oven cooking is an excellent way to cook your salmon; it’s an effective way to eliminate fishiness. You can roast more than one salmon fillet at a time, saving lots of time and effort.

Step 1: Prepare the Salmon for Oven Roasting

  1. Grab the salmon and place them on a plate
  2. Season your salmon with salt and pepper
  3. Use a baking dish and lightly grease it with butter or oil
  4. Place the fillet skin side down
  5. Preheat the oven top to 400 degrees

Step 2: Place the Salmon into the Oven

  1. Put the baking dish into the oven
  2. Allow the fish to roast for 15 minutes
  3. Don’t worry about flipping the salmon
  4. Check the color of your salmon
  5. Once it has turned opaque, remove the salmon from the oven, and check if it smells fishy
  6. Serve your salmon on a plate
  7. Squeeze fresh lemon over your salmon

Method 3: Cooking Salmon by Poaching

When cooking salmon or any other type of fish in water, it’ll soften the flesh, meaning that the fishy odor will have evaporated with the tendrils of steam. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

  1. Fill a large pot with water
  2. Season the water with your choice of spices and herbs
  3. Turn on the stove and let it simmer on medium heat
  4. Put the salmon into the water
  5. Turn the heat to low
  6. Once the salmon has turned flaky, remove them from the pot and serve

How to Make Salmon Taste Less Fishy in Maple Syrup Glazed Salmon

A great marinade coupled with brilliant ingredients is what will contribute to a wonderful-tasting salmon. To bake the fish, make sure you’re using fresh or pre-frozen salmon. Remember to rinse your salmon under cold water, patting it dry to remove all the moisture. Try to bake with salmon skin on to eliminate the risk of searing the salmon. And remember to preheat your oven before baking.

Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe.

  • Salmon
  • Maple Syrup
  • Sesame oil (or olive oil)
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green Onions

Take your salmon fillets, and run them under some water, then pat them dry. Set them aside for a couple of minutes while you get the marinade ready. In a shallow dish, whisk maple syrup, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, ginger, and pepper. You won’t need to add salt, as the soy sauce provides a perfect salty taste. Whisk these ingredients in a mixing bowl, then add the salmon to the mixture, coating both sides. Make sure the salmon is marinating skin side up, then cover the salmon with a plastic film and pop it in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.

Try to avoid marinating your salmon for extended periods, as you can risk the texture of your salmon becoming mushy. This can occur when using more acidic marinades. Transfer the marinated salmon to a baking dish and bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, transfer the marinade into a small saucepan, bringing it to a boil, and cook for some minutes until it begins to thicken. This maple glaze will be the perfect addition to your salmon once it’s done baking.

Bottom Line

No one likes their fish tasting fishy, despite it being pretty normal, there’s nothing worse than having a perfectly cooked salmon that releases an unpleasant fishy odor, ruining the pleasantries of the meal. Using the outlined methods in this article, you’ll be able to effectively eliminate the fishy taste and smell, allowing you to enjoy your future meals without a problem!


How do I Cook Salmon Without it Smelling Fishy?

To eliminate the fishy smell, cook your fish while it is wrapped in parchment paper or foil. Solid materials like foil prohibit strong smells from seeping through. You can also poach your fish fillets instead to get the fishy smell trapped in the water.

How do You Eat Salmon if You Hate it?

You can always make the fishy taste of salmon using other condiments and spices to make it a little interesting. Cook your salmon and transfer the fish to a plate alongside some lettuce. Spoon some herby garlic sauce over the salmon and greens, then finish with a splash of lemon.

What Does Cooking Salmon in Milk do?

Soaking the salmon in milk eliminates the odors and fishy taste. The protein in the milk binds with the compounds that cause a fishy odor, so you’re left with a sweeter, brighter, and fresh fish.