Cooking Salmon: Tips for Minimizing That Weird White Stuff

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

If you’ve ever cooked salmon, you’ve probably noticed an unappetizing white, chunky foam appear on the surface of the fish. It’s called albumin and the folks at America’s Test Kitchen recently shared some insight on how it forms and what you can do to minimize it.

Albumin is a protein that is pushed out of the muscle fibers of the fish as it cooks, coagulating on the surface. Canned, smoked or poached salmon are especially prone to albumin formation, but a small amount of the protein will appear on the surface of even perfectly-cooked fish.

Overcooked salmon, however, will have even more albumin on its surface, so the best way to avoid it is to be careful not to overcook your fish. Glazing the salmon in recipes like our Simple Salmon Teriyaki also seems to help.

Do you have any tips for cooking better salmon?