Fish & Seafood/Salmon

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Question
QUESTION: Is it common to bake Salmon? I went to a seafood restaurant and they only had fried and broiled and looked at me funny when I asked about baked salmon. I've had broiled haddock and it looked like a goey mess. I wouldn't want Salmon like that. I normally get salmon at grocery store as part of their $12 meals and I assume it's baked. What is most common?

ANSWER: Hi James.  Salmon can be prepared just about any way including baked, broiled, blackened, poached, grilled, steamed and I've even seen it fried and of course raw.  We serve baked salmon at our restaurant all the time.  We bake it topped with a ritz cracker crumb "stuffing" which we make with ground scallops and onions cooked in butter and sherry mixed with crumbled ritz crackers.
If the broiled haddock you had was a gooey mess, then they either didn't cook the fish properly or it wasn't good fish.  Most fish should be firm and flaky when broiled and never gooey.
I hope this helps.
Thanks,
Chris

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: What is broiling? From a youtube video it just looks like baking with an elevated grate so drippings can fall through.

Answer
Broiling is direct heat source, usually flame or infrared, from above.  In grilling the heat source is below and in baking or roasting, the heat source is radiant or all around.
Most of the time when broiling, especially fish, you place the product directly on a pan made for broiling.  Sometimes it's vented with a catch pan below, but in commercial restaurants it's usually placed on a broiler plate and broiled until cooked through.
At our restaurant, we season the fish for the broiler, usually some spices mixed with oil and add water or wine to the broiler pan so the fish doesn't burn and stick to the pan and to help keep the fish moist.  When the fish is a nice brownish on top, we either lower the heat or drop the fish down away from the heat and let it finish cooking.
When it's just cooked through, we remove it from the plate, leave the liquid behind and serve it.
Thanks for the follow up, please let me know if you have additional questions.
Chris

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Chris A. DiNunno

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding the preparation of seafood as well as most general culinary questions.

Experience

I've been in the seafood retail and restaurant trade for 38 years. I owned my own restaurant for 22 years (150 seats, 2 locations) as well as a catering operation.

Organizations
Past member of American Culinary Federation

Publications
Seafood Leader Magazine

Education/Credentials
Johnson & Wales University, N. Miami, Florida, Associates in Science, Culinary Arts.

Awards and Honors
Previously Certified Executive Chef (expired), ACF Competition Medalist

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