In other words, it’s the good stuff. It’s lean and has a mild flavor. If eating healthier is one of your goals this year, then check out this ultimate guide to how to buy, store, and cook salmon. • Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) reproduce in northern rivers on both coasts of the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to its flavor and versatility, salmon can be super sustainable, whether it's fresh from the waters of Alaska or farmed in fisheries. “It’s incredibly variable, which to me, is what makes working with wild fish so intriguing and special,” he says. Image zoom. An appropriate parity of omega-3 and omega-6 is one generally amazing approach to keep up a sound living, and eating salmon is a simple and delectable approach towards keeping up that balance. Salmon is mild and mostly neutral in flavor, but it packs heavy punches in the health department. But it would probably be safe to say the average consumer knows little about the pretty pink fish sitting atop their dinner plate. The latter tends to result in healthier, happier fish with more nutrients. 1. © Copyright 2021 Meredith Corporation. There’s also an argument for sustainably farmed salmon that’s been frozen over unsustainably farmed salmon in the case. (Mercury is not a concern in either wild or farmed salmon.) Other fish also prey upon them. But within the Pacific salmon genus, Oncorhynchus, there are five main species–and they are all very different. The small fish, weighing between two and six pounds apiece, can be found fresh, frozen, and smoked on occasion, but the vast majority is processed and stuck into a can or pouch. But salmon that was flash-frozen right after it was caught to preserve freshness, and then shipped to a store to be defrosted and sold, is also sometimes marketed as fresh salmon. 14) Black Sea Salmon . Eagles, hawks, orcas, seals, sharks and sea lions often eat adult salmon. They’re a lighter, pale color so it may not look as appealing in the case as say, sockeye salmon. In 2017, it was the highest value commercial seafood species, equating to $688 million in revenues. Cook Salmon, and Farmed Canadian Salmon to name a few. But it’s best known for the roe, which is fish eggs found in the salmon’s belly. The color of the flesh differs from river-to-river, as well depending on their diets before heading into freshwater to spawn. Its medium fat content gives it a mild, subtle flavor that is less in-your-face. King salmon has a far larger geographic range than most other species, stretching down into the Central Coast of California all the way up through Alaska and into Asia. There’s also sushi-grade salmon which is flash-frozen in order to prevent harmful bacteria and kill parasites so that it’s safe to consume raw. derketta/Getty Images, Credit: Filed under: Ingredient Guides Kitchen Tips. And it costs less, too. Once frozen, the safest way to thaw salmon is in the refrigerator overnight. It’s usually leaner than both king salmon and silver salmon. Troll-caught salmon is considered the best of the best. A slow cooker can can take your comfort food to the next level. “The traditional Native American cooking technique for this area is to hang the fish by the collar on a cross and lean it over the fire to slow smoke it,” says Portland-based chef Doug Adams, of Bullard. The six species of North American salmon vary in price, color and taste, but all are healthy choices. But what else is there to know about this popular protein? Producers feed farm-raised salmon pigmenting agents (most often the natural carotenoid astaxanthin) to give it the same pink color that wild-caught salmon acquire in the wild through their diet [source]. It’s a common practice — sometimes the additive is still natural, other times it’s not. It will crisp up nicely when you pan-roast, pan-fry or grill your salmon. To prepare you for this year’s wild salmon season, which just started ramping up in Washington and Oregon’s Columbia River, we spoke to three West Coast seafood specialists to put together a handy guide to every type of salmon one can find in the United States. Salmon is versatile, meaty, easy to cook and particularly heart-healthy, due to its high level of omega-3 fatty acids. “They’re like little eight pound footballs,” says Stein. Everything you see in stores or restaurants with the label “Atlantic salmon” is farm-raised. The largest is the king or chinook, prized for its high fat content, rich omega-3s and buttery texture. Chum salmon, also known as keto or silverbite, is underrated in the salmon world. All three species of Aussie salmon are highly visual feeders which eat a variety of crustaceans and polychaetes as juveniles, but shift to baitfish (mainly pilchards, sprats and anchovies) as adults. It has a very light-colored, pink flesh that’s very mild and low in fat. Maxim Trukhin/Getty Images, Credit: Trick question: it’s the same thing! Eating healthy unsaturated fats, like those found in salmon, has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. In fact, fish provides a high-protein, healthy alternative to red meat, which is high in saturated fats. “It tastes more like rainbow trout than salmon.”, Steelhead is also raised in farms, available throughout the year mostly on restaurant menus. “You can just stuff Cohos full of herbs and cook the whole thing on the grill.”. Chinook Salmon is the biggest fish in … While those aforementioned runs get a lot of press, many chefs, like L.A.-based, James Beard Award-winner Michael Cimarusti (Providence and Connie & Ted’s), prefer some of the lesser-known areas. Like most other animal proteins, you can grill salmon or bake salmon. There really isn't any clear difference between wild and domestic. Coho are smaller and eat less than other salmon, resulting in fewer polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which may cause cancer. You’ll also readily find sockeye salmon, which has a rich color and taste, as well as a firm texture. Types of Salmon. That wide range does not equate to an abundance of King Salmon. It looks like salmon and its flavor is somewhere between salmon and trout, slightly more like trout. 7. The quality of that fish is incredible.”. Because it’s high in fat, it’s considered top-shelf and rich in flavor (often described as nutty). Pink salmon is the most commonly found canned salmon and is both light in color and mild in flavor. The meat is firm, with fine flake and high-fat content. This is farm-raised Atlantic salmon. 7. Most salmon is found in the Pacific, yet a standout amongst the most mainstream species is from the Atlantic. What to know: Super flavorful, bright red flesh, generally leaner. It's not that Atlantic salmon is bad, it's just that there are very few Atlantic salmon found in the wild today, due to overfishing and habitat destruction. In 2017, U.S. fisherman brought in more pounds of Pink salmon than any other fish: a whopping 495 million, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Can you tell the difference between your King and Chinook? The Atlantic salmon (a farmed species) is one of the most common varieties of salmon fish you will find in the market. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, salmon is mostly wild-caught in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon from the Pacific ocean. Oncorhynchus gorbuscha. Wild-caught salmon usually have less saturated fat compared to farmed salmon. The flesh color varies from white to red. Please read my disclosure policy. Wild Atlantic salmon is no longer commercially available—what you find in stores and on restaurant menus is all farm-raised—but small, endangered populations still live in watersheds that drain into both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. But among all of the diverse sea life out there, salmon has a distinct color and flavor that sets it apart from the rest. All in all, if you can get truly fresh fish from a local market or fisherman, it’s a great way to support the small guys and ensure the best quality. Nicholas Lamontanaro/Getty Images, Credit: Not all varieties of salmon look or taste the same. The Pacific Ocean is home to six types of salmon, and U.S. and Canadian boats fish five of them: King, Sockeye, Silver, Pink, and Chum. Because it has a little less fat than king salmon, it also has a more mild fish flavor. It may not be quite as sturdy and hearty as king salmon, more delicate in texture, but it’s still delicious. The flavorful meat and thick filets make it one of the most prized among chefs and home cooks. Sockeye salmon are known for their bright red flesh and their bold, salmon-y scent. What to know: Medium-fat, subtle flavor, great for cooking whole. Some of its well-known benefits are: Wild-caught salmon, like Trident and Seabear, was our preferred choice because of the superior health benefits it provides. “One of my favorite runs is Quinault River,” says Cimarusti, who gets his pick direct from the Quinault Indian Nation. 1.1 Norwegian salmon From Norway The meat of the Norwegian salmon is firm and orange in color. “Feeds have changed to be more plant based and less fish based and better formulated to meet the fishes requirements for efficient high growth and high health. Salmo salmon is also known as Atlantic salmon, but fishermen are no longer allowed to commercially fish for it. Sockeye, coho and king salmon have the deepest color orange whereas pink and chum are the lightest. Each species has slightly different characteristics , but in general, salmon has firm texture with flesh that is red to orange in … Chum has a lighter texture and a milder flavor than other types of salmon. Says Stein, “It’s a great product with great flavor, and it’s approachable in price.”, Credit: Looking to amp up your beef stew but unsure where to start? It’s much lighter than other types of salmon, more of a pale pink than bright red. Atlantic salmon The Atlantic salmon has large black spots on the gill cover. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. According to the FDA, if you do buy fresh salmon, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to two days at 40 degrees [source]. This post may contain affiliate links. If you're looking to stick to wild salmon, you're going to want to go with Pacific salmon, of which there are five types: King, Sockeye, Coho, Pink, and Chum. All Rights Reserved. Wild salmon get these carotenoids from eating krilland other tiny shellfish. Swap out red meat for salmon a few nights a week and you’ll be wracking up omega 3s, B vitamins, antioxidants, potassium, and even selenium which benefits your bone health. It’s not a lie; it’s just not the whole truth. Pink salmon is also referred to as humpback salmon (that’s right, the name isn’t just for whales). More fishermen are also starting to process chum filets, but it’s not as common. Farm-raised salmon versus wild-caught salmon. Typically, Steelhead weigh about eight pounds. Wild salmon contains less saturated fat and calories, but provides more protein, making it ideal for dieting. Large salmon will feed on herring, krill and other types of fish. And it costs less, too. Significantly smaller than Kings, not as fatty and generally leaner, full-grown Sockeyes start around five or six pounds on up to 15. Sockeye, coho and king salmon have the deepest color orange whereas pink and chum salmon (most often canned) are the lightest. As a result, most of the commercially available chum salmon for food comes from Alaska. It comes down to asking questions and reading labels. While the practice has been criticized as unsustainable in the past, it just depends on where it comes from. Again, ask questions. Atlantic Salmon: While there are five types of Pacific salmon, there is only one Atlantic variety.Atlantic Salmon is endangered in the wild, so virtually all of it is now farmed. Meanwhile, not all wild-caught salmon are treated equally either. It’s almost like eating a different species depending on how and where it’s grown. Dagny Willis/Getty Images, Credit: After that, get it in the freezer if you don’t plan to cook it. Also known as red salmon because of it’s bright red-orange flesh, sockeye salmon has the fishiest scent and flavor of all the types of salmon. They are listed by the most common names you'll likely see at … Vaccines and better husbandry have greatly reduced diseases.”, And it’s actually affordable and available for wide segments of the population who can’t splurge on $50 per pound Copper River King Salmon. Far… Plus, it doesn’t take long to cook, whether you bake, grill, or pan-fry it. There are chefs, like Cimarusti, who won’t use any fish other than wild-caught. Farm-Raised: Fish that are endangered in the wild are often raised in aquacultures, or “fish farms,” to control overfishing. It’s no surprise, given the adoring title, that Chum salmon has been getting the short end of the stick for quite some time. Both chum and coho salmon are less commonly found in … It’s one of the rarest species—in 2016, a mere 11,862,243-pound of King salmon were caught in U.S. waters compared to 287,251,862-pound of Sockeye—which is why it’s so damn pricey. Read labels and track down where exactly it comes from to make sure it was sustainably farmed. Farm-raised Atlantic salmon has gotten a lot of flack over the years for a myriad of concerns, ranging from antibiotics and pollution to lack of diversity in the look, flavor, and texture of the meat. And there are a wide variety of health benefits you reap if you eat salmon every day. MyNatara/Getty Images, A Guide to Every Type of Salmon You Can Buy. Salmon are prey for a large variety of sea creatures, including whales, seals and sea lions. Also known as king salmon, it’s the largest type of salmon from the pacific [source]. Coho salmon doesn’t get the recognition that fatty King and bold Sockeye does, but it has a lot going for it. “They are calmer, more efficient, more disease resistant, grow faster and have higher fillet yields among other traits,” says Mike Rust, NOAA Fisheries Office of Aquaculture. With high-fat content, it has a rich flavor and buttery texture. Cimarusti recommends cooking Sockeye fillets (or any salmon filets) on a hot, well-oiled grill, brushed on both sides with a whisper-thin layer of mayonnaise, seasoned with salt and pepper, starting with the skin side down first. But not all salmon farming operations operate that way. Large consumption demand over the years has led to numerous commercial salmon farms. Boost your salmon vocabulary and learn the difference between King, Sockeye, Coho, and more. So, there are six types of Salmon in North America: five Pacific Salmon, one Atlantic Salmon. “They’re going to be a bit more loaded with Omega 3’s, which usually translates to fattiness and flavor.”. Nutritionists tout salmon for its health benefits. Health Benefits of Eating Salmon Salmon not only comes in so many varieties but is equally beneficial to our body. Shrimp, krill and other tiny crustaceans then eat the phytoplankton and accumulate astaxanthin in their bodies (which is what makes them pink), and then salmon eat them and store the astaxanthin in their skin and muscles. Suffice it to say, the anadromous Steelhead (like salmon, it's born in freshwater, migrates to saltwater, then heads back to its freshwater birthplace to spawn) falls under the same category as salmon. Salmon Species . At the Yukon River, for example, where they start running earlier than the more highly sought-after species, fisherman have been increasingly starting to handle Keta in the same way they do their pricier Kings and Sockeye, processing them for their filets rather than canned meat. What to know: Small, lower fat, delicious roe. It may taste delicious, but it’s not always sustainable. When salmon return to fresh water to spawn, bears and eagles are their most common predators. While they can get up to 23 or 24 pounds in size, Cohos tend to be smaller, making them a great pick for cooking whole. Farmed salmon tend to contain traces of antibiotics, which could cause antibiotic resistance down the line. Salmon is by far the most popular fish in the United States. What to know: It's rich, high in fat, and big. There are plenty of fish in the sea, and we're not talking about your dating prospects. Ranging in hue from pink to orange with a mild flavor, farm-raised salmon is available year-round, often ringing in at right around $13 a pound. When it comes to farm-raised salmon, there was likely color added. Hi, I'm Jessica Gavin, a certified culinary scientist and author. Silver as it may be, the flesh is bright red. Boosts immunity. To confuse matters, each of these has at least one other name as well as their Latin name, as noted below. Today, "Wild" salmon has lost it's "wildness" due to the dams in the NW. But because Atlantic salmon is endangered, it’s almost predominantly farmed-raised. When you see fresh salmon in the case at your supermarket, it can be misleading. “It’s not bred to fit into packaging or conform to anyone’s will.”, According to NOAA, farm-raised salmon and trout has greatly improved over the years. For that reason, it’s often canned as well. Sockeye salmon is a Pacific variety recognizable by its deep red color, fatty texture, and strong smell (though it should never be too fishy). But you can also broil it to get it a little crispy and carmelized (which is great for any sauces or marinades you may be using). Many of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch “Best Choice” picks for salmon are actually raised on farms nowadays. They’re the most flavorful (what some would consider fishy) of all the salmons and are commonly sold smoked, in high-end salmon burgers, and by the filet. What to know: Mild, affordable, farmed, controversial. Stephen Gibson / EyeEm/Getty Images, Credit: Yes, it has a lot of the same nutrients (proteins and omega fatty acids) that the flesh does. We won’t go back into the details of every fish, but let’s go over the signature things that set each species apart. To thaw quicker, seal it in a plastic bag, and place it in cold water. Farm-raised salmon means what it says. So definitely stock up on the salmon. Unsustainable practices may involve pesticides, antibiotics, crowded environments, and other chemicals. “There’s a grower in Norway with amazing, off-the-charts lusciousness of fat.”. Minks, otters, herons, and bass consume salmon during the early stages of their life cycle. There are seven species of Pacific salmon, five of which are found in North America: sockeye or red, king or chinook, coho or silver, pink, and chum. Salmon is also low in mercury, and safe enough even for pregnant women to eat — in fact, it's recommended for healthy fetal growth and development. Get my essential cooking techniques that I learned in culinary school. It means the fisherman caught each salmon individually with a traditional hook and line method and then immediately put it on ice to preserve freshness. It is a small salmon as compared to other types of salmon fishes and tastes similar to the different varieties. (More About Me). Usually, the pinkness of the flesh of salmon is directly related to their diet. It comes primarily from Alaska. Jessica GavinPublished on September 2, 2020. It actually has the highest concentration of omega-3s of any part of the fish, according to Healthline [source]. It’s usually leaner than both king salmon and silver salmon. With a pale- to medium-red flesh, lower fat content, and relatively small size (generally around eight pounds), it’s most prized for its roe. Pink salmons feed on squid, small fish, zooplankton, and small crustaceans. I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! NataBene/Getty Images, Credit: I enjoy making family friendly recipes while sharing cooking tips and knowledge of food science. There’s a reason this species is at the top of the list and earned itself the royal moniker: King salmon is considered by many to be the best salmon money can buy. Wild-caught salmon means that fishermen had to physically go out on boats to fish for your catch of the day in its natural habitat. Make sure to avoid these mistakes when you’re forking over that kind of money. So beyond that, what are the different types? “The color isn’t great for a fresh fish case (that’s a bit judgemental for me to say), but they eat quite nice.”. Because it eats all the way up the river, rather than gorging itself and starving on its way to procreate, “Steelhead is much leaner,” says Adams. It’s a smaller breed with less fat. However, once again, that just depends on the individual farming operation and their practices. Our 22 Best Crock Pot and Slow-Cooker Recipes. The pink-orange flesh looks remarkably similar to Atlantic salmon filets, but they can grow to over 50-pounds. The lushest fresh salmon, king is the highest in fat and usually the most expensive, prized for its silken, melting texture, which is almost like smoked salmon. Salmon farmers have been working to reduce the environmental impact and become more sustainable. Farmed salmon also has higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which is not ideal, especially in the western world, where our diet runs rampant with omega-6 fatty acids. This isn’t actually a type of salmon; it can include any breed of salmon that was wild-caught, rather than farm-raised, in Alaska. Plus, it’s tasty!An average 3-ounce fillet of cooked Atlantic salmon contains 23 grams of protein and 6 grams of fa… It’s rich, high in fat, and big. There are several different types, cuts, and ways to cook it. Food & Wine is part of the Meredith Corporation Allrecipes Food Group. Several types of salmon are sold commercially, but the most relevant are chinook, sockeye, coho, and pink. It wasn’t raised in the wild and caught but rather through an aquatic farming operation. Pacific Smoked Salmon A category used to describe different species and types of salmon usually found in the Pacific Ocean, most commonly from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, and Canada. Pink salmons’ habitats include coastal and fresh waters (lakes). The Types of Salmon in North America: Summing Up. “Sometimes we get them less than 20 hours from the river. The most common Atlantic salmon in Thailand can be divided into the 3 types below. Like steak, it’s important to temper King salmon filets on the counter 30 minutes to an hour before cooking and allow it to rest when it comes off the heat. The average weight of a King salmon is 40 pounds, but they can weigh as much as 135-pounds or as little as 20-something. Sockeye, an oilier fish with deep-red flesh, has a stronger flavor and stands up well to grilling. Food and Wine presents a new network of food pros delivering the most cookable recipes and delicious ideas online. Lastly, salmon can also be roasted or pan-fried. Sockeye is also a heck of a lot cheaper, often retailing $15 to $20 per pound, possibly more depending on the river—Columbia and Copper tend to command more because of name recognition. We’ve assembled a list of 50 of the world’s most reliable, inexpensive wines – bottles that offer amazing quality for their price year in and year out. What to know: Pink-orange flesh, often affordable, varies in flavor. Atlantic salmon falls under the Salmo genera, which also includes brown trout. The three popular types of wild Alaskan salmon are king salmon (chinook salmon), silverbite (chum salmon), and sockeye salmon (red salmon). Salmon is a great alternative to red meat because it’s a nutrient-dense food that can help raise good cholesterol levels. Many farmed Atlantic salmon are given feed with astaxanthin and, in some instances, a manufactured pigment called canthaxanthin, to turn their flesh orange. Chum salmon goes by several alternate names such as ‘dog salmon’, ‘keta’, and ‘silverbrite,’ and it is native to the Pacific ocean. For instance, fish that eat lots of shrimp tend to have the pinkest flesh. The latter tends to be found in fish caught in Northern British Columbia and Southeast Alaska. Often ringing in at more than half the price of King salmon, wild Steelhead can be picked up for a steal. eyecrave/Getty Images, Credit: According to scientists, the pink salmon is the smallest of the Pacific salmon species whose numbers seem to be thriving. While it’s becoming more scarce, fishermen also harvest king salmon from California’s coast [source]. While it's been one of the salmon underdogs for quite some time, there’s been a slight sea change for Keta salmon over recent years, as fisherman have started handling them with more respect and care. Because Norway originally pioneered Atlantic salmon farming, smoked salmon from all over the world is labeled –incorrectly- Norwegian smoked salmon. Sockeye salmon are known for their bright red flesh and their bold, salmon-y scent. The first thing to know about the different types of salmon is that they come from both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and salmon can be farm-raised or wild-caught. “It can be almost custardy with so much fat and so much foundational flavor,” says Stein. Those tend to be the most popular choices. What to know: Light-colored, mild, low in fat, small. Juvenile salmon do not eat such a wide range of food and typically only eat larvae and zooplankton. It holds up well on the grill and when pan-roasted in a nonstick skillet, creating a custardy center with a slightly nutty flavor when medium-rare. King salmon caught from prestige rivers like Copper or Columbia Rivers can easily fetch $50 a pound retail. Other recommended options are Farmed Faroe Island Salmon, Fresh Farmed SAIKOU Mt. Also called silver salmon because of the skin color. Salmon is a generic name that gets applied to a couple of different genera and overlaps with trout. “They spend more time at sea growing and eating,” says Matt Stein, chief seafood officer at King’s Seafood Company. Also known as red salmon because of it’s bright red-orange flesh, sockeye salmon has the fishiest scent and flavor of all the types of salmon. Coho is milder and often lighter in color. My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen. Pregnant and nursing mothers should also eat salmon to boost their children's learning capability and academic performance [9]. Truly fresh salmon means it was never frozen. At large chain stores, some people will argue it’s actually safer to buy the frozen salmon than what you see in the case because you can control when you defrost it — it’s less vulnerable to bacteria, assuming you properly defrost it at home. The hue of the filet can be as red as Sockeye, any shade of pink or orange and, even white or marbled. Arctic char is in the salmon family. The natural color of salmon results from carotenoidpigments, largely astaxanthinand canthaxanthinin the flesh. “Most Ikura on the market is derived from Chum,” says Cimarusti. Research shows eating salmon daily prevents ADHD symptoms and can boost academic performance [6]. 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Atop their dinner plate cuts, and other types of salmon in freezer.: five Pacific salmon, but it ’ s the largest is the biggest fish …! And track down where exactly it comes to farm-raised salmon, it a... And place it in cold water process chum filets, but provides more protein, making it for! Cook, whether you bake, grill, or “ fish farms, ” Cimarusti! Eat adult salmon. pretty pink fish sitting atop their dinner plate over.