Salmon – one of the most preferred types of fish for many people. It’s silky texture, rich, nutty and buttery flavour, the bright colour – everything about that fish makes it stand out!
Not all people however can afford it fresh, or live nearby a place where it is being sold fresh, like a fish market or a bigger store. This is why frozen fish is so popular – it is easy to find, convenient to store for a longer period of time and easy to prepare.
As straightforward the cooking is though, the defrosting of a salmon, if not done right, can ruin the beautiful piece of meat and affect poorly your dish. This is why we are ready to tell you everything important about defrosting salmon and how to do it properly.
Keep on reading and find out how to defrost salmon like a pro!
Let’s Learn About The Basics – What Happens To The Fish When It Gets Frozen?
Going back down the memory lane, we can all think of one time when we said to a teacher: “When will I ever need to know that?” and this may apply for some fields of Math for example, but in this particular case, our lessons from Biology will turn out to be quite useful.
Do you remember when you studied in class that all living creatures – no matter flora or fauna are created for parts of water? And what has Physics taught us, when it comes to freezing water – it’s molecules expand.
But how does this translate to freezing and defrosting fish? Stay on board, we are getting there just now!
When you get a fresh slice of fish and put it in the freezer, the cold temperature makes the water molecules in the fish expand, thus causing damage to the delicate flesh. Of course, this entirely depends on the type of seafood or fish and the cut; generally the bigger the piece is, the higher the chance of the freezing water crystals to cause any damage.
So the answer to the question: “Why is my fish mushy after defrosting” – because it was frozen slowly and the delicate tissue has been damaged. If you have the opportunity to freeze the fish faster, this will definitely reduce the possible chance of mushy-ness.
Now that we know the risk of freezing a fish, le’s move to the actual question:
How Do We Defrost Salmon?
Generally, there are a lot of ways to defrost a piece of fish or a whole fish. For salmon, however, we recommend the following:
1. Under The Tap
Make sure that the piece of salmon you will be using is tightly sealed in a leak-proof bag. Place it in a bowl and leave it in the sink. Now turn on the water tap and let the cold water run over the salmon for about 10-15 minutes. Depending on how thick the piece is, this time should be enough.
2. In The Fridge Overnight
Again, before we actually move to the defrosting process, please make sure the fish is tightly sealed. We do not want it to defrost directly into the water – it will become tasteless and mushy.
Grab a deep bowl and fill it with cold water, you can add ice as well, if you have any. Place the piece of salmon in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap – let’s not risk your fridge smelling like raw fish, even though it has been sealed.
Leave the fish there overnight or for at least 6-7 hours. This is the best way of defrosting a piece of fish, as the slow change in temperature will cause the least amount of tissue damage to the flesh and it is most likely not to turn slushy and soft in the end.
Ways To Defrost That We Do Not Recommend
Now that we have learned about the two best ways to defrost a beautiful piece of fish, let’s learn what we should avoid doing.
1. Over The Counter
Defrosting fish or meat over the counter in a bowl of water is not advisable and the warm temperature can contribute to spoiling the meat faster. We recommend you to defrost it in the fridge, or if you do not have enough space – place some items in the freezer like fruits or vegetables, or some leftovers and rearrange in a way to have enough space for the bowl with salmon.
Not having space is not a reason for having a spoiled meat in the end, please be safe!
2. In The Microwave
We know that this is most people’s favourite appliance and it can be used on various occasions. Most microwaves do have a defrosting option, some even have one specifically for fish.
As we know, the microwave is famous for not distributing the heat waves evenly, so for the 7-10 minute program, the edges or the end parts of your fish can start cooking, while the inside is still frozen. You will be left with half-thawed fish and this middle situation will not contribute to the taste of your dish in any way.
To Summarise How to Defrost Salmon
The best way to defrost a salmon or a piece of meat is in a bowl with cold water, overnight or for at least 6-7 hours in the fridge.
Defrosting salmon on the counter can spoil it, while the microwave will do an uneven job and the result will be highly unsatisfactory!
We hope you enjoyed reading our article and that we helped you learn something new today. Now go and defrost that salmon like a boss!