Mastering frozen Salmon through the “quick thaw”

To me, it is more of a medicine than a food, but as a food it is such a tasty treat that I consume almost every day. Living up here in the Great Northwest in Portland, Oregon, I find myself in many ways closer to this health powerhouse.

Though fresh salmon is in abundant supply up here, I often purchase frozen salmon for convenience sake. However, I wasn't truly a big fan of frozen salmon until one of the Whole Foods workers told me the secret to preparing frozen salmon.

When it comes to delicious healthy eating, I'm pretty lucky because I am one of those people who can eat the same thing every day. Salmon is one of those foods that, if one can consume it every day, you can reap the rewards of all of it health benefits, and reap the rewards of that salmon taste that us fish lovers crave. I have learned to become very innovative with preparation of salmon.

Often, I like to experiment with other creations, such as salmon and asparagus, salmon with garlic mashed potatoes, and salmon and steamed veggies. I prefer to use a bamboo steamer, which makes my broccoli and asparagus come out oh so perfect.

Although fresh salmon is always within walking distance, either at Whole Foods, or one of the many Ma and Pop organic grocery stores here in Portland, I find myself preparing a lot of frozen salmon, since it is easier to purchase a decent number of filet and store them for later.

I wasn't a big fan of frozen for a long time, but I learned the key to having it come out almost as good as fresh, after observing a Whole Foods worker running water over a pan of frozen Sockeye Salmon.

Basically, I no longer let it thaw out overnight in the fridge. Instead I will "quick thaw" it by placing the salmon in a pan and running cold water over it, which allows it to thaw in 10 minutes or so.

Then I will dry it off with a paper towel, and proceed to place it in a glass oven pan, after I pour a fair amount of Organic Coconut Oil on the bottom of the pan.

Once I lay my highly anticipated treat on top of the oil, I will pour even more oil on top of the uncooked salmon after I season with Pink Himalayan Salt and coarse ground black pepper. 

The coconut oil will replenish the salmon with oils that have been taken away during the freezing and thawing process. The result is "almost" as good as fresh, but at a level where I can enjoy it as much as fresh.

I also learned that if you cook it in a frying pan on the top of a stove with liberal coconut oil after thawing, as opposed to baking, and have the heat under the frying pan very low, for my stove the it is all the way down low, to the point where it is almost turned off.

Then cover the lid of the frying pan, lifting the lid to turn occasionally, then the salmon cooks very nice and slow , and the steam helps it get back tender. If you can hear the salmon sizzling, then it is cooking too fast, and will taste dry.

I can never stop singing the nutritional praises of salmon, especially for Omega-3 fats and Vitamin D, having obtained optimal vitamin D levels of 46.5 from its consumption, but as person tasty gourmet delicacy, just about every day I look forward one of my innovative creations, and here in the great Northwest, the abundance of salmon makes the creative process even that much easier.

More importantly,  I can take advantage of frozen salmon and truly enjoy it as much as fresh, now that I have mastered the art of frozen. Thanks Whole Foods guy.

~stay healthy~


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4 Responses


great article & beautiful pictures. Portland is a cool city.


Hey k marissa james,

Yeah Portland was an interesting 3 year “blip” in my life’s journey. I is a great city. I’m in Seattle now.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment

Doug at GAIA Health Blog


An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague
who had been doing a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him…
lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this issue here on your web page.


Instead of water we just use a heavy aluminum sheet pan. Thick aluminum will defrost virtually anything (including thick beef steaks and salmon filets) in an hour, two at most at room temp. The thicker the pan the better it works, and it seems to retain more moisture in the fish than faster defrosting methods. The slightly scary part is leaving fish out at room temp: check it periodically and cook it as soon as it’s finished defrosting. Don’t leave it at room temp for more than two hours before cooking.

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