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Cooking Tips

Two Tricks to Rid Salmon of That White Stuff

Picture-perfect salmon is just a salt soak and a dab away.

Published Mar. 30, 2021.

The Problem

You’ve just taken the temperature of your cooking salmon, and it’s not quite done. You cook it longer, but now there’s an unsightly, bumpy white streak on the surface where the probe pierced the fish. 

The Explanation

When you pricked the fish with the thermometer, a small spout of juices containing water and a dissolved protein called albumin was released. As the fish continued to cook, the released water evaporated, but the albumin dried and turned semisolid and white. 

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The Solution

Dried albumin is harmless, but if aesthetics are important there are two easy ways to avoid it. First, brine the raw fish (5 tablespoons of table salt dissolved in 2 quarts of water) for 15 minutes. This will not only reduce the presence of albumin but also season the flesh and help prevent it from drying out as it cooks. Second, swab the puncture site with a paper towel before continuing to cook the fish. 

Bonus: The same tricks also work for beautifying poultry.

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