Keep the Protein in Cooked Salmon

albuminWe’ve all noticed it, the white stuff that oozes out of our salmon no matter how long or short we cook it, whether poached, baked or grilled.  It really ruins the presentation. I have always wondered if it’s normal, and what I did wrong to make my salmon not look as pretty as it is when served to me at a restaurant.

What is that white stuff?

It’s called albumin, which is coagulated protein that is escaping the salmon filet because you (ok I) didn’t take 10 minutes to prep the fish properly to minimize this loss of protein.

What’s the 10 minute fix?

America’s Test Kitchen came up with a simple solution for keeping more if the protein inside the fish you are preparing:

  • 10 minutes in a basic brine solution (about 1 tablespoon of salt per cup of water) before cooking.  “The salt partially dissolves the muscle fibers near the surface of the flesh, so that when cooked they congeal without contracting and squeezing out albumin.”

It’s that easy to preserve your dinner’s nutrients and keep the salmon looking pretty.

Once you’ve brined your salmon, you can finish prepping your filets for the oven or grill and/or stuff them then poach, grill, or bake as you choose.

I’m making salmon for dinner tonight and am definitely going to let my filets spend a few minutes swimming in a zip bag filled with salt water.  Sounds painless to me.

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