What the Pros Know
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Keep it simple when it comes to cooking salmon.

Seafood Cooking Tips from Top Chefs

Do you sometimes feel like your home cooked seafood dishes aren’t quite as good as the ones prepared at your favorite restaurants.

Ever wonder what their secrets are to that perfect char and texture? We asked a few top chefs and restaurateurs to share their top secret tips for preparing seafood at home.

“Keep it simple. Get the salmon as fresh as possible and don’t overcook it.” – Chef Massimo Fabbri of Ristorante Tosca & Posto

“Always sear your seafood very dry. Meaning, take a paper towel and really pat it dry. Moisture on fish or shellfish will keep it from getting a beautiful browned crust.” – Chef Dan Bauer of Atlantis Steakhouse

“Use a blue steel pan or cast iron – good and hot. Season well, sear hard, finish with fresh herbs, shallots, splash of vermouth, squeeze of fresh lemon and a pat of butter, poele to finish, let rest in pan, the residual heat will carry over.” – Chef John Brand of Ostra restaurant and Las Canarias restaurant

“First, season well with salt and pepper, even add some herbs or lemon zest. Second, get your pan hot. It’s really important when searing fish to do it in a hot pan. It makes a huge difference.” – Chef Anne Coll of Meritage Restaurant and Wine Bar

“You always want to cook it on a hot grill to keep it from sticking. Also, remember to take it off of the heat when the doneness is medium rare. Seafood can rapidly overcook while waiting to be served.” – Chef Clay Slieff of Bistro Napa

“When cooking seafood – don’t mess with it! Don’t touch it as much as you want to. And, you probably want to sear it one minute longer than you think. You know the fish is properly seared when it releases from the pan on its own.” – Chef Davis Denick, Samuels & Son Seafood

“Buy fresh from a reputable source, and don’t overcook it. Like other proteins, let it rest a few minutes off the heat.” – Chef Susan Moses of 212 Market

“When it comes to salmon or any fresh product I believe less is more and you should let the quality of the product shine.” – Chef Jess DeGuzman of Sunda New Asian

“Salmon is at its best cooked medium rare. This philosophy took years for our customers to get used to; seeing the improved flavor and texture of eating fish at the perfect temperature and not overcooked. The home cook usually thinks of the old school idea that fish should be cooked to 150 degrees killing all bacteria rendering the fish well done and dry. The mere suggestion of asking our customers how they would like the salmon cooked gave them an unknown decision. The guest who weren’t sure would ask the server how it is recommended and as you know medium rare was the answer, bringing out the full flavors and textures of the fish at its best.” – Carmine DePasquale of Mediterra Restaurant & Taverna

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