1. It is best to prepare and eat your salmon immediately after it thaws.
2. Place the salmon (still in the packaging) on a baking sheet in 1/2" of cold water. Or in the sink with a couple of inches of cold water
3. For quicker thawing, flip the salmon and change the water regularly.
4. Once the salmon is fully thawed, cut open the packaging, rinse in cool tap water, and pat dry with paper towels.
We always prepare our salmon in the oven when we are out on the water. This is how we prefer it, and the way that I am most comfortable preparing it. Whether baking or oven-poaching (with 1/2" of broth or water in the pan), using the oven produces a consistently delicious piece of salmon. Cooking in a pan or on a grill can work well too. The most important thing to remember is that sockeye salmon is incredibly lean and tastes best when slightly undercooked!* When this fish is cooked all the way through, it becomes very dry and difficult to eat. The picture below shows a piece of salmon that is perfectly cooked.
The tail and the belly (the two thinnest parts of the fillet) can be cooked all the way through, but the center of the thickest part of the fillet should be darker and almost translucent.
Baking the salmon at 410 degrees for about 7-9 minutes generally works well. I typically start checking the fish at 7 or 8 minutes to avoid overcooking it. A few cooking ideas that we use consistently on the boat:
Simple salmon: salt, pepper, olive oil (rub the oil into the fish after seasoning it)
Simple sweet salmon: salt, pepper, butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar