How to Make Salmon Less Fishy Before Cooking


Whether you are eating more salmon for its healthy omega-3 oils and plentiful supplies of vitamins A, or just to expand your culinary horizons, begin by buying fresh fish so you can minimize its fishy odor. Treat the salmon properly once you get it home, and use a strongly scented marinade to mask some of the strong flavors. Then, cook the fish outdoors on a grill, poach it in water or microwave to minimize or contain fishy smells that will emerge during cooking.

Step 1


Buy the freshest salmon you can to avoid a fishy smell. Fresh salmon has no liquid at the bottom of the packaging and has a smooth appearance, with no gaps or separation between the muscle fibers.

If you're buying frozen salmon, make sure it has no visible frost. Thaw frozen salmon in your refrigerator overnight, and use it within one day after buying it. Keep the salmon covered in plastic so it doesn't leak or smell.

Step 2


Marinate the salmon with ingredients that have strong scents, like garlic, curry or cilantro, to overpower any fishy smells. An Asian-inspired combination includes equal amounts of soy sauce, vegetable oil and rice vinegar, plus a few teaspoons of minced garlic and grated, fresh ginger.

Step 3


Place the salmon fillets or steaks in a glass baking dish and coat both sides in the marinade. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, place it in the refrigerator and let the salmon sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking, turning the pieces once or twice during that time.

Step 4


Boil a lemon half to rid your kitchen of any fishy smells that do linger after you prepare the salmon for cooking. Wipe off counters and your hands with water and lemon juice, white vinegar and baking soda.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic wrap

  • Marinade ingredients.

  • Glass baking dish

  • Lemons

  • Pot

  • Vinegar

  • Baking soda


No matter where you live, the most reliable way to get fresh salmon is buying steaks and fillets that have been flash-frozen at very low temperatures within a few hours of being caught. Ask your fish seller if the salmon for sale has been flash-frozen.

Serve a flavorful chutney or salsa, such as ones with mango or pineapple, on top of the salmon to reduce any fishy tastes.


Pan-frying salmon produces lots of splatters and odors that you avoid by using other cooking methods.

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