This healthy Mediterranean-style steamed salmon with garlic, lemon and fresh herbs is the perfect quick dinner (25 minutes start-to-finish!) You get spectacular results--perfectly cooked salmon that is tender, moist, and flavor-packed--with very little effort. Be sure to check out the step-by-step tutorial, and grab my tips and suggested sides and salads!
I'm a big fan of salmon. It's healthy. Quick. And frankly, it's the perfect dinner when you want to look fancy but don't want to work too hard for it.
A few days ago, I was learning about steamed fish in the Professional Chef. And on the very same day, I came across a Turkish-style steamed salmon recipe as I thumbed through the book Istanbul and Beyond. I took inspiration from these two sources to create this tasty steamed salmon with a Mediterranean twist!
Why this Steamed Salmon Recipe Works?
Steaming is a great cooking method that really preserves food's natural flavor especially delicate foods like fish and seafood. As the little bit of cooking liquid turns to steam, it quickly and gently cooks the salmon, producing delicious, tender fish.
For this Mediterranean-style steamed salmon recipe, we rely on a delicious broth with a combination of white wine, extra virgin olive oil and citrus in the form of lemon slices. More flavor comes from a trio of spices (cumin, coriander, and Aleppo pepper); a bed of onions; minced garlic; and fresh parsley.
To create the perfect environment for steaming, we use parchment paper to wrap the salmon and the rest of the ingredients (see photo below.) I like to cook this salmon in a heavy pot of sorts, like a ceramic braiser, with a lid. The lid is so important again to help steam the fish quickly and properly. This steamed fish should cook in 15 minutes or so.
Step-By-Step for How to Make Steamed Salmon Recipe:
- First thing you do is prepare a large piece of parchment or wax paper and place it right in the middle of your pan or braiser. (There should be a lot of slack on either side of the pot because you need to be able to fold the parchment over the fish.)
- Now that you have the parchment down, spread sliced onions at the bottom (I add a little of the green onions as well) to make a nice bed for the fish. Arrange the salmon on top and season well with kosher salt and pepper. Rub or coat salmon with the spices. Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil directly over salmon.
- Now jazz things up! Add the minced garlic, fresh parsley and remaining green onions (by the way, we're using both the whites and greens of the onions, of course. So much more flavor!)
-Arrange lemon slices on top. Add generous drizzle of oh-so-good extra virgin olive oil. Pour about ½ cup white wine (if you don't want to use white wine, you can do broth or even water.)
- Fold the parchment over the salmon, and make sure to bring the sides together and seal them. You want to create the perfect pouch for this salmon to steam. Cover with the lid. Cook on medium-high for 5 minutes, then lower to medium heat and cook another 8 minutes or so, covered. Remove from heat and let rest another 5 minutes
IMPORTANT TIP: Do NOT remove the cover while salmon is cooking.
What to Serve with this beautiful Steamed Salmon?
I like to serve this salmon right out of the cooking pot--so much easier and prettier than transferring it to another dish. A loaf of crusty bread is the perfect thing to sop up the tasty little bit of broth.
This Mediterranean-style steamed salmon is perfect on top of a bed of Greek lemon rice, Lebanese rice, or your favorite grain. You can also add a side of this beautiful asparagus, or a hearty salad like Balela or fattoush!
More Recipes to Try:
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This Mediterranean-style steamed salmon with garlic, lemon and fresh herbs is the perfect quick dinner! You get spectacular results--perfectly cooked salmon that is tender, moist, and flavor-packed--with very little effort. Be sure to check out the step-by-step tutorial above, and grab my tips and suggested sides and salads!
- 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
- 4 green onions (spring onions), trimmed and sliced lengthwise, divided
- 1 lb skin-on salmon fillet (such as wild Alaskan), cut into 4 portions
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1 tsp/ 1.67 g ground coriander
- 1 tsp/2.6 g ground cumin
- ½ tsp/ 1.33 g Aleppo pepper
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve Greek EVOO)
- A large handful fresh parsley (about 28 g)
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- ½ cup white wine (or you can use water or low-sodium broth, if you prefer)
- Cut a large piece of wax paper or parchment (about 2 feet long) and place it right in the center of a 10-inch deep pan or braiser (like this one)
- Place the sliced yellow onions and some of the green onions the onions on the bottom of your braiser that's been lined with parchment. Arrange salmon, skin-side down, on top. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
- In a small bowl, mix together the coriander, cumin, and Aleppo pepper. Coat top of salmon with the spice mixture. Drizzle with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.
- Add garlic, parsley and the remaining green onions on top of the salmon (arrange so that everything is spread evenly over the salmon portions.) Arrange lemon slices on top.
- Add another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, then pour the white wine.
- Now, fold the parchment paper over to cover salmon and secure the edges. Cover the braiser with its lid as well.
- Place over medium-high heat and cook for 5 minutes (do NOT uncover.) Lower heat to medium and cook for another 8 minutes or so, covered still.
- Remove from heat and let rest undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- Remove lid and serve directly from pan/braiser.
- Cook's tip: You need a pan or braiser with a lid to make this steamed salmon. The parchment paper is also necessary, it traps the steam in and allows the salmon to gently cook until nice and tender. Resist the temptation to uncover or open up the parchment at all.
- What to Serve Along? This salmon is perfect on top of a bed of Greek lemon rice , Lebanese rice, or your favorite grain. Add a side of this beautiful asparagus, or a hearty salad like Balela or fattoush!
- Visit The Mediterranean Dish online store for all-natural and organic spices and our collection of Greek extra virgin olive oils (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives.)
- Recipe adapted from Istanbul and Beyond
- Category: Fish and Seafood
- Method: Steamed
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Steamed Salmon, Steamed Fish, How to Steam Fish