Cooks and food lovers will understand what I mean when I say that most people don’t understand the art that is properly cooked salmon. It is easier to overcook salmon than it is to ride a bike. Just one minute longer is enough to ruin it completely. This is why the majority remain confused about how to properly cook salmon.
Can you eat salmon rare and medium-rare? How do you even know if it is rare or medium-rare?
It is easy to get lost in the magic of cooking, so we have brought you this short guide to preparing and eating salmon. Feel free to recommend delicious and easy-to-follow recipes in the comments!
Can You Eat Salmon Rare?
Yes, you can eat salmon rare. However, you should ensure it has been previously frozen to -4 or degrees Fahrenheit or below for a week or -30 degrees Fahrenheit or below for 15 hours. Then it can be seared on the outside and left rare on the inside. This is because of safety reasons. Eating raw or undercooked, never frozen salmon can give you a bacterial or viral infection.
If you are going to eat salmon rare, then freezing it beforehand provides an extra layer of safety by killing some of the parasites that might be in it. Also, ensure it is not undercooked, otherwise, you might get really sick. Another factor to consider is where the salmon was gotten from. Farmed salmons are known to have lower parasite rates compared to others because they are mostly fed food pellets.
Although the recommended and safer way to eat salmon is medium or medium-rare – because it is easier to mess up rare salmon – with some extra caution, you can also safely eat rare or even raw salmon.
Can You Eat Salmon Medium-Rare?
Yes, you can eat salmon medium-rare. The best way to eat salmon is between medium (125 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) and medium-rare (110 degrees Fahrenheit to 125 degrees Fahrenheit). It is also best to properly freeze the salmon first as described above to further kill any existing parasites. Medium rare salmon leaves it with the best texture and flavor – a flaky crust on the outside and moist on the inside.
A properly done medium rare salmon is translucent and deep orange or red. It should be moist on the inside but not raw. A lot of restaurants serve salmon medium because of the flavor. However, it is not always easy to attain. When cooking salmon in any particular way, it is best to follow experienced guidance because of how easy it is to mess up. And once it is messed up, there’s no going back.
What Temperature Is Medium-Rare Salmon?
The temperature of a properly done medium rare salmon is between 110 degrees Fahrenheit and 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above this is medium salmon and anything above 145 degrees Fahrenheit is overcooked.
Read also: Can I Eat Chicken Nuggets with Braces?
Can Eating Undercooked Salmon Cause Food Poisoning?
Yes, eating undercooked salmon can cause food poisoning and parasitic, bacterial, and viral infections. It is best to completely avoid undercooked salmon especially if you are in a high-risk group, for example, children, pregnant women, older adults, cancer patients, liver disease patients, people with transplanted organs, diabetics, immunocompromised persons, or HIV patients. You can have properly done raw, rare, medium, and medium-rare salmon but never undercooked salmon.
We recommend ensuring that any salmon you plan to eat has been previously frozen to -4 or degrees Fahrenheit or below for a week or -30 degrees Fahrenheit or below for 15 hours. This freezing is going to help kill some of the parasites that might be in the salmon and protect you from getting any kind of food poisoning or tapeworm infection. You should also check the salmon properly to ensure it’s safe to eat. It should not smell so fishy or musky, it should not look gray and it should feel moist and firm not slimy or breaking apart.
Read also: Can I Eat Pancakes After Tooth extraction?
Salmon and Its Nutritional Benefits
Salmon is a popular fish that is widely consumed worldwide. It is known for its distinctive flavor, versatility in the kitchen, and numerous health benefits. In this section, we will explore the nutritional benefits of salmon and its potential impact on human health.
Description of salmon as a nutritious food
Salmon is a nutrient-dense food that is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. A 3.5-ounce serving of cooked salmon provides approximately:
- 22-25 grams of protein
- 116-146 calories
- 2-8 grams of fat (depending on the species and cooking method)
- 0-1 grams of carbohydrates
Salmon is also a good source of B vitamins, including niacin, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6. It is also high in minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, and selenium.
Explanation of the omega-3 fatty acids present in salmon
Salmon is particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for maintaining healthy brain function, reducing inflammation, and lowering the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Salmon is a particularly rich source of two types of omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These two types of omega-3s are more easily absorbed by the body than the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in plant sources such as flaxseed and chia seeds.
Health benefits of consuming salmon
Consuming salmon regularly has been linked to numerous health benefits. Some of the potential health benefits of eating salmon include:
- Improved brain function: The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are essential for healthy brain function and have been linked to improved memory, cognitive performance, and mood.
- Reduced inflammation: Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer.
- Lowered blood pressure: Salmon is high in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Reduced risk of heart disease: The omega-3s in salmon can help lower triglycerides, reduce inflammation, and improve cholesterol levels, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
- Improved eye health: The omega-3s in salmon have been linked to improved eye health and a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration.
In conclusion, salmon is a highly nutritious food that is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and is particularly known for its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming salmon regularly can have numerous health benefits, including improved brain function, reduced inflammation, and a lower risk of heart disease.
How To Prepare Raw Salmon
When getting your salmon from a reputable fish market, remember to inspect the salmon and make sure it looks good and not slimy, smelly, or grey. Then follow the steps below to prepare the raw salmon:
- Get a big, sharp, and flexible knife – preferably a salmon or fillet knife for the best results.
- Cut off the head – place the salmon straight on its side and start cutting from just below the collarbone till you hit the spine on one side, then flip it and do the same on the other side. Then finally disconnect the head by cutting through the spine.
- Cut the salmon in two – cut above the anal fin on one side first, cutting only skin then going deeper with straight cuts along the backbone. Then disconnect the meat from the spine. On the same side of the salmon, turn to the backside and cut the same way, but above the dorsal and adipose fins. The backbone should be beneath the knife. Continue cutting until you can see the backbone. Then cut the connection between the meat and backbone, pass the knife through the salmon, hold on to the tail and cut it in half along that line. Afterward, disconnect the tail and take off the top part you just cut off.
- Remove the spine – after taking the top part off, you should be able to clearly see the spine. Put the knife in right below the spine at the top edge of the fish and cut through to the bottom. While doing this, cut off the anal fin and keep it aside, then keep cutting off the spine but angle the knife downward to cut off the rest of the tail.
- Remove the belly bones – this part has a lighter color and is the thinnest side of the salmon. First, cut off the pelvic fin and keep it aside. Then slide the knife softly beneath the belly bones making sure you can see the blade through the bones to ensure you’re not cutting off so much of the meat. Turn it and do the same, cutting off the dorsal fin as you go. Cut them off layer by layer until you’re finished.
- Pull out the pin bones – use tweezers to pull out the pin bones. Feel around the side of the salmon for the pin bones and pull them out when you feel them. Then move to the top of the salmon, pulling them out as you go. Pull the bones towards the head and not the tail to avoid breaking the meat.
- Cut into small pieces – make a straight edge at the top by cutting off the edge, keep this part with the fins you cut off earlier (you can use them later on). Then cut each piece to be 3 inches wide, you can measure this with your four fingers. After that, you can remove any other lighter parts you notice. Do the same for the top part of the fish.
- Remove the fishiness – sprinkle some salt in a tray and place the pieces in it, sprinkling more salt in the tray and on the pieces as you go. Then leave it for 30 minutes.
- Wash – rinse the salt off the pieces under the tap and then place them on a paper towel. Make sure the water pressure is low to avoid damaging the meat.
- Introduce rice vinegar – after rinsing the pieces, pour some rice vinegar into a bowl and place them in it. Ensure they are completely soaked in the vinegar. Wait for two minutes (you can flip them after a minute) and take them out. You would notice that the color is much lighter. Do the same for the rest of the pieces, with as many as the bowl can conveniently take without overlapping. After that, wrap the salmon with a paper towel to dry out the excess vinegar and then wrap the pieces tightly in any plastic wrap twice and freeze for 7 days.
Finally, after freezing, let them thaw in the fridge. You can decide to cook or eat your salmon however you wish.
Cooking Salmon: Rare and Medium-Rare
Cooking salmon to rare or medium-rare doneness is a popular preparation method for many salmon enthusiasts. However, it’s important to note that eating undercooked salmon can pose some health risks. In this section, we’ll explore the methods for cooking salmon to rare or medium-rare and how to ensure safe consumption.
Explanation of rare and medium-rare cooking methods
Rare and medium-rare are terms that typically refer to the cooking of meat or fish. Rare salmon is cooked until the outer layer is seared, while the inner portion remains rare and slightly translucent. Medium-rare salmon is cooked a bit longer until the inner portion becomes opaque but still slightly pink and tender.
The best way to cook salmon to rare or medium-rare is to use high heat methods such as grilling, broiling, or searing. To grill or broil salmon, place the fish on a hot grill or broiler pan, and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side for rare doneness or 5-6 minutes per side for medium-rare doneness. To sear salmon, heat a skillet over high heat and cook the fish for about 3-4 minutes per side for rare doneness or 5-6 minutes per side for medium-rare doneness.
Risks associated with consuming undercooked salmon
Consuming undercooked salmon can pose some health risks, as raw or undercooked fish may contain harmful bacteria or parasites that can cause food poisoning or other infections. Some of the common symptoms of food poisoning from raw or undercooked salmon include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. Additionally, consuming raw or undercooked salmon over a long period of time can lead to infections and other health problems.
How to ensure safe consumption of rare and medium-rare salmon
To ensure the safe consumption of rare or medium-rare salmon, it’s important to follow some guidelines. First, make sure to buy fresh salmon from a reputable source and store it properly in the refrigerator or freezer. Additionally, always cook salmon to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) to ensure that harmful bacteria or parasites are killed. You can use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the salmon to ensure that it is fully cooked.
It’s also essential to handle raw salmon with care and avoid cross-contamination with other foods or surfaces. Wash your hands and cooking utensils thoroughly after handling raw salmon, and avoid consuming any salmon that smells or looks off or is past its expiration date.
Eating Salmon Rare and Medium-Rare
Eating salmon rare or medium-rare is a personal preference that depends on cultural and individual tastes. While some people enjoy the unique flavor and texture of undercooked salmon, others prefer their fish cooked through. In this section, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of consuming salmon rare or medium-rare.
Perceptions of rare and medium-rare salmon
Rare and medium-rare salmon are often considered a delicacy in many cuisines worldwide. In Japanese cuisine, for example, raw salmon is a popular ingredient in sushi rolls and sashimi. Similarly, in Scandinavian countries, gravlax or cured salmon is often served raw or lightly cured.
However, the preference for rare or medium-rare salmon varies depending on cultural and individual tastes. Some people may find the texture or flavor of undercooked salmon unappealing, while others may enjoy the soft, buttery texture and unique flavor profile of rare or medium-rare salmon.
Advantages of consuming salmon rare or medium-rare
Consuming salmon rare or medium-rare can have some advantages. For example, cooking salmon to rare or medium-rare doneness can preserve the delicate flavor and texture of the fish, which can be lost with longer cooking times. Additionally, consuming salmon in its raw or undercooked state can provide the full health benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients in the fish.
Disadvantages of consuming salmon rare or medium-rare
There are also some potential disadvantages of consuming salmon rare or medium-rare. As discussed in the previous section, eating undercooked salmon can pose some health risks, as raw or undercooked fish may contain harmful bacteria or parasites. Additionally, rare or medium-rare salmon may have a slightly different texture and taste profile that some people may find unappealing.
Another consideration is the potential impact of overfishing and sustainability concerns associated with consuming salmon. Some salmon species are overfished or farmed in unsustainable ways, which can have negative environmental consequences.
Can you eat salmon with pink in the middle?
Salmon can be safely consumed when it has a slight pink hue in the middle. In fact, many people prefer their salmon cooked to a medium-rare or rare doneness, which leaves the middle slightly pink and tender. However, it’s important to make sure that the salmon has been cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C) to ensure that it’s safe to eat. Consuming undercooked salmon can pose some health risks, as raw or undercooked fish may contain harmful bacteria or parasites that can cause food poisoning or other infections. Additionally, always handle and cook salmon with care, and avoid cross-contamination with other foods or surfaces. By following proper cooking and handling guidelines, you can safely enjoy salmon that is cooked with a slight pink hue in the middle.
Is it OK if salmon is a little undercooked?
No, it is not advisable to eat salmon that is a little undercooked, as it can pose some health risks. Salmon can contain harmful bacteria or parasites that can cause food poisoning or other infections. Consuming undercooked salmon can increase the risk of foodborne illness and other health problems. It’s important to ensure that salmon is cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C) to kill any harmful bacteria or parasites. If you are unsure about the doneness of your salmon, you can use a food thermometer to check its internal temperature. Additionally, always handle and cook salmon with care, and avoid cross-contamination with other foods or surfaces. By following proper cooking and handling guidelines, you can safely enjoy fully cooked salmon without putting your health at risk.
There are many different ways to eat and cook salmon. It is versatile, expensive, and difficult to prepare – the perfect combination for an elegant meal. It requires a learning curve, but with proper guidance and continuous practice, it’ll become easier and you won’t have to worry about undercooking or overcooking your salmon.