Salmon Steamed in the Oven

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • serves


    as a main course

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

In this recipe, the salmon is cooked very slowly. Only a little steam is produced, but when captured in the oven, this gentle heat results in a succulent, buttery fish, since the fat in the fish is just melted, but not cooked away. Again, I suggest leaving the skin on to both keep the fish moist and add flavor, but you can do this skin off if you prefer. As with most of these recipes, you can steam a single fillet just as easily or do as many as will fit on your rack.


  • 4 thick salmon fillets or steaks with skin on, about 5 ounces each
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt and Freshly ground pepper


You’ll need a roasting pan at least 2 inches deep and a rack that will fit in it that’s large enough to hold the salmon in a single layer.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the pan in the oven and fill with an inch or so of boiling water (the actual amount depends on the height of the rack; just make sure the water doesn’t touch the fish). Rub both sides of the fillets with olive oil and then rub in lemon juice. (Rubbing the fish will also give you the chance to feel for any little bones, which you can pick out with your fingers or tweezers.) Place the salmon skin side down on the rack and season with salt and pepper. Place the rack over the water in the pan and steam for 16 to 20 minutes or until the salmon is mostly cooked through but still slightly translucent in the center (check with the point of a knife).

Serve with a sauce of your choice, as you would poached salmon. I like this either warm with the Corn Cream or at cool room temperature with an herb-flavored mayonnaise. The Salsa Verde is excellent with steamed salmon, too.