Just say no to dry and overcooked salmon! By making slow roasted salmon you’ll have tender, buttery fish which is perfectly cooked. It will melt in your mouth!
I’m sitting here today looking out at my beautiful flowering crabapple tree. It’s right outside my office window and I love seeing it in bloom every year! Though it has been a wet and overcast spring so far, we are still getting lots of lovely flowers to lift our spirits.
And I’ve been doing plenty of cooking to keep us fed! I have grill recipes, desserts, cocktails, and more coming up. 🙂 Today, though, is all about fish.
While I love fast cooked and crispy skinned salmon, it does require precise timing and plenty of attention to get it right. It’s great when you want to get your sear on, but what to do when you want amazingly tender and buttery fish?
Low oven and slow cooking to the rescue!
How to make this
To make slow roasted salmon, sprinkle a salmon fillet with salt. Then put it in a low oven, and roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 122-125F. Serve with a lemon herb sauce.
1. Dry brine the fish
The first step to tender and tasty salmon is to sprinkle it with kosher salt and let it sit.
If you think of it in the morning or the night before, I would highly recommend giving it several hours to brine. However, even a short brine is worth while. Just sprinkle the fish with salt FIRST, before you start the rest of your dinner prep. This should give it about 30 minutes of brining time. Or more, depending on what you are making along side.
2. Make the Sauce
I like to make the sauce before I put the salmon in the oven so that I can rub it with some of the herbs as it cooks.
To make the sauce, mix together lemon zest and juice, fresh parsley, fresh thyme, garlic, salt, and olive oil. It’s just a few minutes chopping and stir it together. (Or you can make the sauce in the blender. This will produce a smoother sauce.)
Tip: Use Meyer lemons for a slightly sweeter and more complex sauce.
3. Slow Roast
At this point you can cut the salmon into serving size pieces if you wish. Just note that smaller pieces will cook faster!
Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. Rub the fish with a couple tablespoons of the herb sauce and put it on the baking sheet.
Roast in a 300F oven until it reaches 122-125F on a thermometer. This will take anywhere from 12-18 minutes, depending on how thick the fish is and whether you cut it into strips.
Once it is cooked, you can eat it immediately with some more of the herb sauce or let it cool and enjoy it at room temperature or chilled from the fridge.
I’m going to say that I differ from the USDA! For food safety, the USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145F. I find it overcooked at this temperature.
If you want tender, buttery salmon, cook the fish to a temperature of 122-125F.
Note: This temperature will give you medium rare salmon. If you prefer it medium, bump up the temperature by 5 degrees and cook it to about 130F. Just know that it will be a little drier and less tender.
Wine with Salmon
Salmon is a rich and oily fish which can pair with either a red or white.
If you are having a white, you will want to choose a full bodied white, such as a buttery Chardonnay or a Pinot Grigio. For a red, you will want a lighter bodied wine, such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Beaujolais.
What to serve along side
I would recommend a rice pilaf or some crispy roasted potatoes. And then, depending on my mood either a seasonal steamed vegetable (such as asparagus) or a simple green salad.
If you try my recipe for Slow Roasted Salmon, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Roasting, Annemarie
Slow Roasted Salmon with Lemon Herb Sauce
- 1 lb salmon fillet, skinless if you can find it
- kosher salt
Lemon Herb Sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- lemon slices
- At least 30 minutes before cooking or up to one day, liberally sprinkle the salmon with kosher salt.
- Heat the oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. If using foil, brush the foil with a little olive oil.
- Place the fish on the baking sheet. Rub 2 tablespoons of the lemon herb sauce over it.
- Roast for 12-15 minutes for individual pieces or 18-20 for a whole fillet, until it reaches 122-125 on an instant read thermometer.
- Serve the salmon with the remaining sauce and extra lemon slices.
- Salmon: I use a fillet which is a bit over 3/4 inch thick in its thickest part.
- Lemons: If you can find Meyer lemons, use them in place of the standard lemons.
- Presentation: For neatly cut individual servings slice the fish before cooking. Thin slices will cook quicker than a whole fillet, so note the times I gave for precut salmon.
- Temperature: 122-125F will give you medium rare. If you prefer medium, cook the fish to about 130F.