Atlantic, Chinook or Koho Salmon
Salmon has been a popular fish for many generations due to its distinct, meaty flavor and texture. Today's health-conscious consumer knows that salmon is high in protein and low in fat. People with heart disease are encouraged to eat salmon because it is high in Omega-3 oils.
Salmon comes from both the Pacific and the Atlantic. In general, Atlantic salmon is fattier, and Pacific salmon is leaner. The vast majority of salmon now comes from the Pacific, and several varieties are distinguished:
- Chinook or king salmon is a very large fish (100 lbs. or more), fat and soft in texture
- Coho or silver salmon is firmer in texture and pinker in color
- Sockeye or red salmon has firm, deep red flesh, rich in flavor
- Humpback salmon is particularly delicately flavored
- Chum or dog salmon, is the lightest colored and lowest in fat
Salmon can often be bought locally, but salmon gourmets will find they have a taste for a particular kind which may not always be available.
One of the most inconvenient aspects of salmon steaks is the center bone. This can actually be removed (along with any secondary bones) after cooking, by simply puling it downward and out.
Salmon filets are a boneless alternative to steaks, but they can be hard to find and more costly.
Salmon can be purchased frozen or fresh. Either form can be good or bad, but most experts recommend frozen as a better bet. The large majority of wild-caught salmon are actually flash-frozen at sea, because the trawlers are out for weeks at a time. Most fresh fish are farm-raised.
If you are concerned about whether salmon is farm raised, you can check the company's website for this information. Some Internet companies deal exclusively with organic.