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Kitchen Diva: Overcome ‘fear of fish’ with this easy dish

The microwave is a quick way to make perfect salmon fillets. They stay firm and the house doesn’t smell like you cooked fish at all.
The microwave is a quick way to make perfect salmon fillets. They stay firm and the house doesn’t smell like you cooked fish at all.

I’ve found during my years of teaching adults how to cook that the thing they fear most — and ruin most often — is fish. My favorite fish recipe for novice cooks is Italian-Style Salmon cooked in the microwave.

The microwave is the perfect way to cook seafood because it cooks food from the inside out and also creates steam, which keeps the fish moist. Salmon can be prepared in the microwave in just five minutes.

If you’ve been afraid to venture out into the deep, start your voyage with salmon. It’s flavorful, versatile, easy to cook and a healthy source of protein.

Salmon is low in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids. Eating two to three servings per week of foods rich in omega-3 is a healthy choice.

A 4-ounce serving of wild salmon provides a full day’s requirement of vitamin D, and more than half of the necessary B-12, niacin and selenium. It’s an excellent source of B-6 and magnesium, too.

Omega-3 fats also have been found to help slow cognitive problems such as Alzheimer’s disease and age-related mental decline and reduce incidences of depression and aggression.

Canned salmon has almost the same health benefits as fresh, and it’s inexpensive. Canned salmon is typically wild Alaskan salmon that is processed and packaged immediately onsite.

Canned salmon also contains large amounts of calcium — due to the bones of the fish, which are soft and easily digestible. Canned salmon is ready to eat and can be used in a variety of dishes from soups to stir-fry.

Fresh salmon can be baked, broiled, grilled or pan-fried in 10 minutes or less. This recipe for Italian-Style Microwave Salmon is the perfect dish to conquer your “fear of fish.”

Eat more salmon and ride the “wave” this summer by using your microwave to get in and out of the kitchen in record time!

Italian-Style Microwave Salmon

You can vary the flavor of this recipe by changing the type of olive oil-based salad dressing you use. Try substituting an Asian, citrus-flavored or honey-mustard-based oil dressing for the Italian dressing to create a flavorful new fish dish!

Servings: 6


3 pounds salmon fillets with skin, thawed, washed and patted dry

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup Italian salad dressing

1/4 cup diced green or red bell peppers (or a combination of both)

1 tablespoon orange juice or lemon juice


Season both sides of the fillets with the poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Place the fillets in a shallow microwave-safe baking dish. Fold and tuck the narrow ends of the filets under to make the pieces uniform in shape. This will help the fish to cook evenly. Place the thickest pieces near the edge of the dish.

Using a small bowl, mix together the Italian dressing, bell peppers and orange or lemon juice. Pour dressing mixture over the fillets. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap. Fold back a small 1-inch section of the plastic wrap in the corner of the dish to allow steam to vent.

Place a small, microwave-safe saucer, upside down, on the turntable in the microwave. Place the dish containing the fillets on top of the saucer to elevate the dish and ensure that the fish cooks evenly. Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes on High. Fish should be moist and flake easily. Serve immediately.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her website is www.divapro.com. 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.

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