How to cook salmon in a plastic bag

Last week a very clever former vegetarian friend confessed she was terrified of cooking fish. After years of avoiding it, she felt completely in the dark about where – and how – to start. I rattled off a few easy methods and then decided she needed to know this one. If you can boil a kettle, you can master this stress-free, mess-free method of cooking salmon. Here’s how to do it.

No-stress salmon
I think this is the easiest way to cook salmon tail fillets, which are often on the skinny side. Plus, it’s a great method for first-time cooks, because you can peep through the plastic to see how the salmon changes colour.

2 x 120g salmon tail fillets
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt and cracked black pepper

Set the kettle to boil. Drizzle the olive oil over the salmon fillets and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Insert the salmon into a zip lock sandwich bag and smooth out as much of the air as you can before sealing tightly.

Half fill a heatproof bowl with the just-boiled water, then add the bag of salmon. You may need to weight it down with a spoon to keep it under the water level.
The salmon will take between two and five minutes to cook, depending on its thickness. When it’s done to your liking, take it out of the plastic and serve. I like it straight out of the bag with a dollop of horseradish mixed with Greek yoghurt and snipped chives.



  1. October 28, 2015 / 5:07 pm

    Very nice article.
    I learned something new from this.
    Thanks for sharing this.!!

  2. Eukaable
    October 20, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    this is a fantastic idea! I love fish but my family are so sensitive to the smell of it cooking I never get to eat it unless I cook it outside! I buy frozen vacuum sealed portions because i’m the only one who eats it.. this is a fast odour free way to cook it! Thanks so much!

  3. Kelly Allen
    May 22, 2023 / 4:47 pm

    This sounds great but since these zip lock bags aren’t designed for this purpose there may be a concern for plastic particles to leach into the food. Sorry to be a downer but just thought this might be worth pondering.

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