The Big Freeze – Understanding and Cooking Frozen Salmon

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Not many of us are sufficient enough to eat Alaskan seafood "fresh" from the water. With Alaskan shores so distant from most American homes, virtually all seafood that we consume has been frozen. The "freshness" of seafood, however, is really an indicator of its quality, flavor, and texture, not of how recently it came out of the water. Alaskan seafood is frozen very soon after it is caught, and many boats are even equipped with freezing technology in order to do it at sea. The process uses fast-freezing technology to prevent cell-damage caused by slower techniques. The result is seafood sealed with all of its quality captured and waiting inside. That's why grilling salmon makes for such a great meal.

Frozen salmon often comes skinless, boneless, and packaged in manageable portions, for incredibly easy cooking. As long as it never thaws out, it will keep in your freezer for up to 6 months. You can be grilling salmon year-round, without losing any of the decadent freshness of flavor. If you choose to thaw out your salmon before cooking it, place it in a shower dish in the refrigerator, allowing 8-10 hours. Do not try to speed the process along by using warm water or leaving the fish at room-temperature, as these methods will compromise quality. If you do thaw it, then the guidelines on how long to cook salmon will be the same as if it had never been frozen.

The best part about frozen salmon is that you do not need to thaw it at all. It can easily go from freezer to stove, grill, or oven, without requiring those extra 10 hours to thaw. All you need to do is lightly rinse off any icy glaze, using cold water, and pat it dry. Then use an oil like olive, peanut, or safflower to light coat the frozen fish. If you are cooking it in a pan, make sure the surface is nice and hot – around 400 degrees – before adding the salmon. Grilling salmon is a cinch, but because the pan is so hot, it is wise to wait and add any seasoning until after you have cooked the first side, to prevent the spices from burning to the pan.

In considering how to cook salmon steaks that are frozen, there are not many differences from thawed fish. Cook the first side for 3-5 minutes, and only flip once. The second will need a bit longer, 6-8 minutes. Watch as the flesh grows less translucent. When all the meat is opaque, your salmon is cooked and should be immediately removed from the heat.

Frozen salmon makes a quick, fresh, and healthy meal. Stop sweating the preparation and thaw time, and just get to cooking!

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Source by Allie Moxley

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