Salmon recipes often require generous portions of salmon chunks or slices. It is sometimes inevitable to have leftovers. Because of the nutritional value of salmon, throwing away leftovers is not a practical solution. As much as possible, you want to keep it for future consumption and preserve its fatty acid omega-3 content.
Cooked salmon can be frozen, but it depends on how it was cooked. It is best to freeze salmon that was cooked with the least additional ingredients in it such as sauces and condiments. For best results, cooked salmon must be placed on the sides or bottom part of the freezer for immediate freezing. This is to prevent water content of the fish to ooze out and crystalize during freezing. When frozen fish is thawed with ice crystals, it tends to become a bit soggy and destroys the texture.
What’s good with freezing cooked salmon is you get rid of the stink compared to frozen raw salmon. Frozen cooked salmon can last 6-9 months in the freezer.
Proper food handling requires that fish must be frozen first to kill parasites and keep them fresh longer. When properly cooked, the oil and proteins contained in salmon will be kept unbroken.
Before cooking, ensure the quality of the salmon to be used. Have it sourced from trusted markets or fishermen. If possible, try to look for whole salmon to assess its freshness before having it sliced.
Best cooking methods before having a salmon frozen are poaching, steaming, smoking or grilling. Sauce ingredients such as milk, oil, tomatoes, and onions may destroy salmon’s natural flavor because of the acids and enzymes they contain, so better not mix it with salmon to be frozen.
When thawing frozen cooked salmon, it is important not to expose it to abrupt changes in temperature. From the freezer, place it first in the fridge for about three hours or overnight before taking it out for reheating.
After thawing, avoid using immediate high-temperature cooking methods as the fish tends to get dried and sides to be burnt.
How to Freeze Cooked Salmon
Before freezing cooked salmon, make sure that it has cooled completely. There should be no more steam evaporating from the cooked fish since this will form as moisture that permits bacteria growth.
To freeze cooked salmon:
- Cut the pieces into serving sizes. Use sharp knife to maintain the shape of the fish. Keep the fish from crumbling to preserve its visual appeal for future plating.
- Wrap each piece in parchment paper and before placing them in freezer bags. Keep in mind to use food grade and quality parchment paper that will not absorb liquid from the fish. The use of parchment paper avoids the fish from sticking to the bag when frozen.
- Gently squeeze out excess air in the bags or use a straw to sip air.
- Seal, label, and put a date on each bag.
- Place them on the bottom or sides of the freezer. The bags to be placed in the bottommost should be the ones to be consumed last. Do not pile heavier frozen items on top of the salmon to prevent the fish from being squished.
Cooked Salmon Recipes
Seared Salmon with Lemon Butter Sauce
Salmon goes best with little seasoning and cooking so as not to overpower its natural taste. Lemon gives a little kick to the combined effect of butter and fish oil.
This recipe is a complete meal, which has salmon for protein and mashed potatoes for carbohydrates. Having a pre-cooked salmon, this is a perfect quick fix for busy people.
A baked French dish with eggs, cream, and leeks. This resembles like a deep dish pizza. Other vegetables can be added such as broccoli and spinach.