Does brining salmon sound strange and a little scary? I thought so, too, until I tried it. While submerging seafood in water isn't recommended for long periods of time, a 20-minute soak imparts lots of flavor all through the meat with only declicious outcomes. The brine here has some lemon juice, which adds extra depth. It does begin to chemically cook the outermost layer of the meat but doesn't affect the finished product. Be sure to drain the salmon well and pat it dry before cooking via your favorite method—roasting, grilling, or pan frying. I like to sear brined portions in a hot skillet, then bake to doneness for about 8 minutes in a 325 degree oven. Top with your favorite sauce or glaze, and you'll know perfection.
Go-To Salmon Brine
for 2 pounds of salmon
2 cups boiling water
¼ cup kosher salt
¾ cup lemon juice
Ice to make 4 cups of liquid
Fresh herbs such as rosemary, bay, tarragon or thyme, if desired.
In a quart measuring cup, stir the water and salt until dissolved. Add lemon juice and enough ice to equal 4 cups. Stir until the ice is completely dissolved. The brine should now be cool enough to use. Pour over salmon and brine for 20 minutes. Drain well. Pat dry before cooking.