Our Delicious Baked Salmon Recipe

written by 1859’s Home Grown Chef Thor Erickson


The alarm clock went off at 3:30 a.m. My hand flew up and knocked it off the nightstand. It was a cold and black-coffee morning in Lincoln City.

Ron, a salty old prep cook with a nose like W.C. Fields and thick glasses, sat and waited for me in his rusty pickup. I tumbled out the door, threw my waders, pole and tackle into the back of his truck. We were off to fish for Chinook salmon. The Salmon River is 24 miles long and flows into the Pacific between Lincoln City and Cascade Head.

Ron had a secret fishing hole just off Route 18 west of Otis. We geared up, waded in and threw out our lines. It was pitch dark and dead quiet as my legs and feet went numb.

As the sun rose, the other fishermen began to appear. Ron’s spot was not so secret. At least three dozen people waded and fished. Fishermen shouted: “Fish on!” They reeled in their line, snagged big ones. The use of corkies and yarn left little to my success. I got skunked. Ron pulled in a beautiful 23-pound Chinook.

If you are lucky enough to catch a salmon, eat it promptly or freeze it within two days to ensure flavor and quality. If you buy salmon, ask the fishmonger where it came from. Most farmed salmon is just not that tasty, and salmon farming destroys the environment and spreads disease to wild salmon populations. I recommend wild salmon. Don’t overcook the salmon, otherwise it will dry out. Keep the Rons of the world happy by keeping it moist and tender.

Baked Salmon

Makes six to eight servings.

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 side (3-4 pounds) of wild caught Chinook (king) salmon with skin on (ask your butcher to remove the pin bones)

6 tablespoons of coarse sea salt

2 tablespoons of fresh coarse ground black pepper

1 lemon (for its zest and juice)

1 tablespoon of fresh thyme (minced)

1) Line the sheet pan with foil. Rub foil with half the olive oil. Place salmon on the foil and rub with the rest of the oil. Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over the salmon. Zest the lemon with a micro-plane grater; sprinkle it evenly over the salmon. Save the lemon for juicing.

2) Place salmon in the refrigerator uncovered for one to two hours (the longer, the better).

3) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sheet pan with salmon in the oven.

4) After eight minutes, check the internal temperature of the fish. Stick the thermometer probe into the thickest part. The salmon is done when the internal temp reaches 133 degrees. Pull sheet pan from the oven and let it rest on the counter for five minutes before serving. During this resting time, sprinkle the thyme and squeeze the lemon juice on the salmon.

Share
Published by
1859 Oregon's Magazine

Recent Posts

Spring Whiskey Events Around Oregon

MARCH 25 Distillery Startup Workshop Mon, Mar 25 – Fri, Mar 29 Corvallis Corvallis, OR MARCH 28 The Eastburn’s Whiskey…

1 month ago

Women and Whiskey at Freeland Spirits

Freeland Spirits sets out to do distilling differently written by Sheila Miller Freeland Spirits started with a Texas grandma, a…

1 month ago

Gravel Riding Calendar 2019

WASHINGTON Cascadia Super Gravel (Olympia) — March 30 www.racecascadia.com Vicious Cycle's Gran Fondo Series wwwrideciciouscycle.com Ephrata — March 17 Goldendale…

1 month ago

Gravel Ride the PNW

Get off the pavement and into backcountry on gravel roads across the Pacific Northwest by Kevin Max I climbed the…

1 month ago

Northwest Destination: Spokane Rising

Spokane is the right jumping-off point for outdoor adventure and sophisticated city life written by Cara Strickland If you’re looking…

1 month ago

Trip Planner: Redmond

Central Oregon’s oft-overlooked city is getting cool before our eyes written by Sheila Miller Not so long ago, downtown Redmond…

2 months ago