You are currently viewing Seven Minute Salmon: Eating for Breast Health

Seven Minute Salmon: Eating for Breast Health

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.

Seven Minute Salmon

Salmon is a weeknight wonder.  Rich, meaty, and forgiving to cook it is also a nutritional powerhouse. As a sustainable seafood advocate, I know there are many resources for properly managed wild and farmed salmon fisheries. This makes for a winning combination. What about all that as a one-pot dish made in seven minutes start-to-finish? No, this recipe for speedy salmon is not cooked in an air fryer, tricked-out toaster, a chef’s alto shaam, or even the dishwasher! It’s made in the microwave! The microwave, the solid soldier of the kitchen is not just adept at nuking leftovers, zapping prepacked meals, and popping popcorn. The microwave is an excellent tool for rapidly steaming fish.  Read on for how this cooking method all guarantees a silky smooth and luscious bite.

Five Minute Salmon

How to Steam Fish in the Microwave

The microwave is a tool like many culinary tools. It excels at one thing — and we try to make it do others, too. It’s not so great at baking cakes and can’t broil to save its amp, but it’s really, really good at steaming things.

Microwaves cause water molecules in the food to vibrate, producing heat that cooks it. Foods that are high in water content, like fresh vegetables, can be cooked more quickly than other foods. Fish, also high in water, reacts the same. It’s a snap.

Seven Minute Salmon


Since a microwave very efficiently and rapidly uses the liquid inside the salmon itself to heat it from the inside, you can micro-steam the fish in a matter of minutes. Combine a few flavorful ingredients to form a liquid medium – here it’s garlic, lemon, tamari, sesame oil, and herbs. Add the fish, roll to coat, and seal. Pop it in the microwave and hit go.

Thicker, larger filets may take up to five minutes. But if your fish is thinner, you will want to start checking at the 90-second mark. If the fish does not yet look opaque, continue microwaving it and check the fish every 20 seconds or so for doneness.

Once the salmon appears to be opaque all over, let it rest for a bit with the cover on. Be sure not to skip this step as the resting period allows for some gentle carry-over cooking the fish needs. Still, start to finish, it’s seven minutes!

Here I use plastic wrap. I know this is controversial. If you wish, you can steam the salmon in a dish with a lid. (It may take longer depending on the strength of your microwave.)

Seven Minute Salmon

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Mama and I are great friends and good travel companions. We’ve tromped up steep, winding stairs in Italy, walked sun-bleached limestone roads in Turkey, splashed in the waters of the Adriatic, fished in the Rockies, and traipsed the cobblestone streets of London. She’s joyfully joined me in France for cheese, chocolate, and croissants; been starved, stretched, and sunned at the spa in Mexico. We love to cook, fish, and play cards. We have fun!

Although we now text a lot during the day, for years we called one another at an  unexpected time the immediate greeting was “Nothing’s wrong.” One day I was in the parking lot of Whole Foods in Sandy Springs. She didn’t say those magic words. Instead, the words that no one wants to hear, “They’ve found something.”

A week later my sister and I were grasping hands with Mama in a doctor’s office. The surgeon said it had been caught early, it was small, and it was the “kinder, gentler breast cancer.” He thought she’d be fine. Thankfully, he was right. Mama had a small lump removed. Her lymph nodes were clean.  Chemotherapy wasn’t necessary and she had several months of radiation.

She is now 19 years cancer-free. Her breast cancer was caught by a routine mammogram.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Finishing the Susan G. Komen Three Day in 2015.

Top Foods For Good Breast Health

Fish is a very important part of a healthy diet. Fatty fish such as salmon are the major sources of healthful long-chain omega-3 fats, rich in vitamin D, high in protein, and low in saturated fat. Our bodies don’t produce omega-3s and we have to get them in the food we eat.

(For more information, please check out 9 Foods to Eat for Better Breast Health from Eating Well magazine for more information about foods to include in your diet.)

Did you know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime? While you can’t prevent cancer, it is important to be proactive about your health. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, and oily fish such as salmon are among the top foods for good breast health.  This Seven-Minute Salmon with one of my favorite recipes, Broccoli Cauliflower Slaw checks all the boxes.

Seven Minute Salmon
Mama and I at the Resort at Paws Up in 2020.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I’ve had two people I dearly love experience breast cancer. I know how difficult it can be for families. Sadly, I have a friend and former co-worker that died. However, they’ve come a long way in treatment.

According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%. Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams and regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.

If you are 40, go get a mammogram. If you are over 40 and late on your mammogram, call and make an appointment. NOW. You know who you are. Do it. You are loved and the world is a better place with you in it.

Five Minute Salmon

Point it Out

In honor of eating for better breast health, I am sharing this quick and recipe for Five Minute Microwave Salmon. I hope you give it a try! It’s great with the Broccoli-Cauliflower Slaw and this ready-to-go Seeds of Change Quinoa and Brown Rice.

For those of you following WW, the salmon has 4 green plan smartpoints and 1 blue plan smartpoint.

Bon Appétit, Y’all

Virginia Willis

I am an affiliate with the Wild Alaska Company, a huge fan of their fish, and a paying customer. If you order a seafood subscription and use the promo code VIRGINIA you will get $25 off your order. 

Five Minute Salmon

Seven Minute Salmon

This recipe doubles easily. For those of you following WW, the salmon has 4 green plan smartpoints and 1 blue plan smartpoint.
Prep Time4 mins
Cook Time3 mins
Course: Breakfast, dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American, asian, French
Keyword: asian salmon, easy fish recipe, microwave, microwave salmon, poached salmon
Servings: 2
Author: Virginia Willis


  • 2 salmon filets 6 ounces each
  • 1 clove garlic very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium tamari
  • 2 tablespoons pulled herb leaves such as parsley or cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Place the salmon in a shallow microwavable dish. Set aside. Add garlic, tamari herbs, ginger, oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a bowl. Turn to coat. Season with freshly ground pepper.
  • Cover with plastic film or a tight-fitting microwavable lid. Cook on high in 90 second intervals. Let rest for a moment then carefully remove the plastic to avoid steam. Serve.

If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #virginiawillis on Instagram.

Heads up! I am not a doctor, RD, or health professional nor am I an official WW ambassador or representative. I am simply sharing what works for me. Thanks for reading!

If you are interested in hosting me for a speaking engagement, event, cooking class, or a book signing, let me know! Send an email to and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links and I may make a commission if you use my affiliate link to buy the product.

Please be nice. Unauthorized use and/or duplication is prohibited. All photos and content are copyright protected. If you wish to republish this recipe, please link back to this recipe on Thanks so much!

Let’s connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest!

cookbook banner

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.

Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis’ biography includes making chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraging for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunting for truffles in France. She is talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen. Her segments feature authentic and innovative Southern cooking. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Virginia has spoken at SXSW, cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Fonda with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Recently, her work has been inspired by her weight loss success story, Virginia has lost 65# and kept it off for over 2 1/2 years! “If a French-trained, Southern chef can do it, you can, too.” She is the author of Fresh Start; Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards and were also named by the Georgia Center of the Book as “Books Georgians Should Read.” She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, GRLSQUASH, Culture, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in content creation, recipe development, culinary editorial and production services, cookbook writing, media training, spokesperson and brand representation, and public speaking. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board, as well as the Community Farmers Market Advisory Board. She is a food and hunger advocate for No Kid Hungry and a premier member of the No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. She a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Southern Foodways Alliance.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Marian

    Curious if you think this method would be safe for blsl chicken breast? It wouldn’t necessarily have to be the same flavor profile but could be.

    1. so sorry for the delay in my response! My blog had a hiccup! Yes, I think it would work and be very similiar to poached chicken. Thanks so much for reading!

Leave a Reply