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Most recipes for salmon soup say that you cook it in just 5-10 minutes. If that were beef or pork, I would boil it for hours. Then why do they say such a short period of time will work with fish?

I have no access to fish that is safe to eat raw so I have to properly cook it through. Will salmon really get cooked safely in just 10 minutes?

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It just has to get to 145F for safety, and in boiling water that happens really fast. 5-10 minutes is totally believable. On top of that, fish is really unpleasant when overcooked, so you really want the minimum possible cooking. (For that reason, boiling is not usually a great way to cook fish - you tend to overcook it easily, especially the outside.) Note that this is the conservative, safe temperature, intended to be good even for people with weaker immune systems. Many people prefer it cooked to a lower temperature.

When you cook beef or pork for hours, it's presumably because it's a tough cut with lots of connective tissue to break down so that it's tender enough to eat. For cuts that are pleasant to eat as soon as they're cooked through, there's no reason to cook longer. You wouldn't cook a steak or pork chop for hours, and that's if anything even more true for fish.

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    If it is just for food safety alone, cooking times for most foods are surprisingly short. – user110084 May 10 '17 at 5:31
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Normally salmon soup is made with salmon cut into 1cm to 2cm cubes or similar pieces. At that size immersed in simmering stock, it does indeed only take salmon about 5 minutes to cook fully (see Serious Eats recipe, which cooks it for 3 minutes). Try fishing a piece out after that time; you'll see that it's cooked through. If you're really concerned with the safety of the fish, you could go as high as 10 minutes. If you cook the fish a lot longer, though, the salmon will tend to disintegrate into tiny fragments, which probably isn't what you want in the soup.

Also, you don't want to boil the salmon; you want it to be cooking at a gentle simmer. If the pot is at a roiling boil, the salmon will probably come apart much faster and make for a cloudy, sludgey soup.

Pork and beef have a thick connective tissue which keeps them together, and takes a long time to gelatinize so that the meat will be tender. Fish does not have this kind of connective tissue, and for that reason cooks much faster.

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