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Cooking Trader Joe's (thin) Wild Alaskan Salmon Fillets

I've been eating a lot of wild salmon, because it's healthy 'n delicious. I mostly steam it and serve it, sauceless, with whole grains and vegs (at home, I'm mostly a startlingly unchowhoundish hippy/health food cook...for balance).

I just noticed that Trader Joe's sells frozen wild salmon, and I bought some. Unfortunately, their fillets are much thinner than the stuff I'd been buying elsewhere, so I'm a little worried about overcooking, what to do with it, etc.

Any comments on skillfully preparing this stuff? It seems too thin to just let my food steaming contraption have at it (which works with more forgiving thicker cuts).

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  1. Steamed, poached, or baked in a foil packet usually keeps salmon (or most fish) moist so you don't have to be so exact with cooking times. If it's really thin, a quick sear in a frying pan on both sides would cook it and you can easily poke at it to check when it's done.

    I've also baked salmon fillets at 200-250F, which helps keep it from getting overcooked and also gives it a more "melty" texture.


    1. Jacques Pepin's "Fast Food My Way" has a method that cooks the salmon fillets in the oven right on the serving platter at low heat. This method would be the least likely to overcook the fish I would think

      1. 2 ways I like to prepare these
        1. sprinkle with panko bread crumbs, dot with butter and broil, or bake.
        2. marinate fillets in a mixture of soy sauce, & mirin, a tiny bit of ginger, and a tad of garlic, then broil.

        1. General rule is 10 minutes per inch thickness for stovetop cooking' I give about twice as much time oven cooking.

          For thin sliced salmon (and many other fish), just use a filet of sole recipe.

          Two I like are meuniere and almandine. Or if you don't like frying, poach in a flavored liquid. Or wrap in foil with wine, lemon juice, butter, dill and onion, and bake in a 350 d. oven 10-15 mins.

          3 Replies
          1. re: mpalmer6c

            One of my favorite ways currently to cook salmon filets is to season them with salt and pepper, and then coat the flesh side with a thin layer of dijon mustard and sprinkle on, and pat in, panko crumbs. I heat the pan until it is v. hot, add a tablespoon or so of grapeseed oil, heat until just smoking, then put the salmon in coated side down. Cook for two or three minutes, then flip onto the flesh side for a minute, then put the lid on and cook for a minute or two, checking for "doneness" periodically. That may not jive with your healthy eating however. I've also used the method suggested by another poster of cooking it at a very low temperature in the oven, and that has worked well. Let me know if you'd like more details on that.

            1. re: MMRuth

              mustard on salmon IS good, as suggested by MMRuth!
              Now, off to Trader Joe's....

            2. re: mpalmer6c

              Over the weekend I made a recipe posted on the Home Cooking Board. It's for Shrimp De Jonghe, but I think it would go really nice with salmon too. Here's the link. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/44961... It was delicious! The only change I might make next time is to add a couple squeezes of lemon before serving.

            3. I would tend to agree with other posters if you were using fillets other than frozen but I've used TJ's fillets as well and they dry out quickly if pancooked or baked. I'd tend to go with suggestions to use foil packets or poaching because I think you may need the moisture and the slower heat. I love the idea of having fish on hand but I truthfully haven't had much success with TJ's frozen fish.

              1 Reply
              1. re: 4chowpups

                I'm with you, 4CP. Whipped up some last night. Certainly not bad, but definitely underwhelming on all counts. I vastly prefer the from-frozen, thicker, more expensive wild salmon found in places like Fairway. Simple steaming. Perfect.

              2. Not related to cooking it but our Trader Joe's now has fresh thick wild sockeye filets in the meat section.

                1. Do you find the trader joe's frozen salmon to be very old and smelly? I bought three different types there to try, and honestly, they were awful and inedible. I found some wild copper river frozen salmon at cosco that's very good. I think it costs a little more than joe's, but it is worth it.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: burntcream

                    I have always disliked their salmon (TJ's). I don't know why. The last severla times I have gotten any fish there we've left it unfinished.

                    1. re: burntcream

                      I've had Hits and Misses with TJ frozen fish. Their scallops and shrimp are always fine, though. I, too, prefer the salmon from Costco.


                    2. Hi-

                      I posted this about Trader Joe's wild sockeye salmon fillets--2 inthe pack, with skin on--(don't know how to link--so cut and pasted below). I like it because it's delicious, healthy, easy and affordable:

                      This is so delicious that I just had leftovers for lunch and will probably go home and make it again for dinner!!

                      Fill a casserolle dish ( I us a 9" long oval, usually) with two pint sized packs of organic grape tomaotes and a diced onion (if you feel like onion). Toss with EVOO (a little-maybe a TBS) and S&P. Bake in oven at 425 for 40 minutes.

                      Meanwhile--dregde salmon (I use frozen wild-caught sock-eye from TJs) in:

                      Ground --flax seeds and a handful nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios-whatever you may have, if you have any). Add to the ground mixture hemp seeds (if you have them), some dried thyme, dill, cayenne--our whatever herbs/spices you like you like, S&P.

                      Lay the salmon on top of the tomatoes and put back in the oven for 8 minutes (depending on the size of fillets and how well done you like your salmon. I like mine on the rare side).

                      It's so easy and delicious: the tomatoes turn into a heavenly sweet/savory/saucy blend and combine so well with the salmon. Plus--it's super healthy, easy to make (great for a meal after work as the prep time is all of 5 - 10 minutes). Also, I have not loved those frozen fillets grilled (texture's not great, to me) but they are terrific prepared this way.

                      Also, this is great for folks who are trying to be healthy and/or low carb and/or even gluten free! Most important-it's delicious!!

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                      SeaSide Tomato Sep 05, 2007 12:19PM

                      1 Reply
                      1. We make salmon burgers from TJ wild frozen all the time -- rough chop the fillet, and add a raw egg to bind it with minced shallot, plain and preferably homemade bread crumbs, mustard, black pepper, and fresh parsley. Fast and YUM.
                        You can coat the outside with flour or panko.
                        I fry them in a pan, in a small amount of butter.

                        Nice with chipotle mayo, or roasted poblano peppers . . .