Salmon: Your secret to simple summer cooking


Posted: May 26, 2022 | Word Count: 564

The summer heat calls for lighter dishes and less time in the kitchen. The key to tasty and simple warm weather dining is a meal that cooks quickly and doesn’t heat up your home! One of the easiest, most nutritious (and delicious!) choices for summer is salmon. Registered dietitian, Bianca Tamburello, explains that Chilean salmon is her top choice because it’s packed with health benefits for the whole family and is so versatile.

Choose the best in taste and nutrition

Taste and nutrition vary among salmon options. Tamburello recommends looking for Chilean salmon because it's low in mercury and high in healthy omega-3 fats, which are fantastic from a nutrition perspective and hard to find in other foods. Tamburello explains, “Omega-3 fats in fish support healthy brain and eye development for growing babies and children. Research shows that omega-3s are beneficial for heart and joint health and associated with a longer life-expectancy.” She also notes that the high healthy fat content gives the fish a luxurious taste and buttery texture.

Opt for summer-friendly cooking methods

Try these warm-weather cooking methods to eat more fish and stay cool this summer.

  • Poke: The easiest way to beat the heat is not using heat at all. Poke is cubed raw salmon marinated in a citrus or vinegar dressing. This adds a tangy flavor and helps preserve the fish. The result is a refreshing protein with a punch.

    How to: Look for a sushi-grade skinless and boneless salmon filet at the fish counter or freezer aisle. The belly is the tastiest as it’s higher in fat, but any cut will be delicious! Next, cut the filet in one-by-one inch cubes and add to a bowl or bag big enough for the salmon and a marinade. Add your favorite citrus or vinegar marinade and refrigerate for two to three hours. Once time is up, your salmon poke is ready to serve!
  • Cedar Plank Grilling: Level up your grilling skills with a cedar plank. The cedar plank infuses a delicious and smoky summertime flavor into the fish. This plank method allows cooking a whole salmon at once, making it great for a barbecue with your favorite family and friends.

    How to: Find a cedar plank at your local hardware or cooking store and let the plank soak in cold water for one hour. While you wait, add your favorite flavors to a salmon filet using a dry rub or a marinade of your choice. Next, coat the top of the plank in cooking spray and place the salmon skin down. Grill on medium heat until cooked through.

For more recipes for poke, cedar plank grilling, and other delicious ways to cook salmon, visit chileansalmon.org.

Pair with sides that showcase the best of summer

Salmon pairs perfectly with simple summertime favorites like salads, slaws and grilled vegetables. Embrace the taste of summer with in-season vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini and peppers! Chilean salmon poke pairs deliciously with rice made with a rice cooker (no stove needed), fresh garden cucumbers and avocado. Your favorite salad could also serve as a light bed for fish poke. For cedar plank salmon, grilled vegetables are a no-brainer. Brush your veggies on the grill with your favorite dressing for more flavor!

Cooking in the summer shouldn’t be complicated — but it should be delicious! Salmon is the perfect choice for a weeknight dinner or family cookout.

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