With so many choices of salmon swimming the ocean waters, how do you know which one to select. All the different species of salmon have a different flavor, texture and cooking quality. We’re going to give some information on how to select the salmon that is right for you. We’re just going to highlight the Pacific salmon as we personally feel there is no salmon in the world that can match the quality of wild pacific salmon.
- Sockeye Salmon
- This is our feature salmon and is used in all our salmon lox. We find the sockeye to offer one of the best flavors of salmon hands down. The sockeye salmon can be easily spotted with its unique red color that is only found in the sockeye. Thats what gives the meat of the salmon that beautiful red color. Sockeye offers the most rich flavor of salmon making it perfect choice for salmon lox. This salmon is the second fattiest of the salmon species and so offers amazing flavor. Sockeye salmon is best used for lox but is also a favorite for grilling over a cedar plank
- Chinook (King) Salmon
- The chinook salmon is a very popular salmon of course thats where it got the name king. Many salmon lovers claim the chinook salmon to be the tastiest of all salmon and its tough to dispute that claim. The king salmon packs incredible flavor while also being a firmer fish giving it a more meaty texture than the others. The king salmon is fattiest of all salmon and anyone who likes a little extra fat on their meat is going to love this. The fat adds a creamy rich consistency to the meat. This would be considered sushi grade salmon when cut from the belly. Chinook salmon is also versatile, it can be grilled, pan fried, poached or used as sashimi.
- Coho Salmon
- Coho salmon is the perfect in between salmon. Its mid range size as well as being in in between in fat content so its not as rich as some of the other species of salmon. Coho however is still a very tasty and sought after cut of salmon. Because the flavor is not to overpowering and it has a firm yet soft consistency makes it perfect for smoking and turning into gravlox. This is also very good on the grill or turning into salmon cakes.
- Pink Salmon
- Pink Salmon does not have the same reputation as sockeye or king salmon. The fish is lighter in color and had a much lower fat content making it not as decadent as the other fish. The pink salmon is especially good for the bbq as it takes on the flavor you give it. Pink is a mild salmon that doesnt have a strong flavor but it has to be cooked right otherwise it can dry out very easily. Pink Salmon is quite popular as a canned salmon and now its gaining popularity as a candied salmon because of its first texture and ability to hold the sweet bring flavors.
- Chum Salmon
- This is a also known to many as Keta or dog salmon. Keta is a harder less flavorful fish, this is one of the most popular fishes for canning because the texture of the meat is not the most desirable. It also boasts a much lower fat content making the meat drier than any of the other salmon. This fish is also used very much in making fish and salmon jerky, its also quite a bit cheaper than the others. As far as cooking this fish, there arent to many options here your going to enjoy, I would stay away from smoking or grilling this fish, because I personally dont think your going to like it to much. The best uses of this fish is for canning, making fish cakes or jerky.
There is lots of discussion surrounding the different qualities of wild vs farmed salmon. Jet Set Sam for over 3 decades has been using only wild salmon to produce our products. The wild salmon is a more natural product, has a much richer and tastier meat. The biggest thing you see when comparing wild to farmed salmon is the color of the flesh, its much brighter as the salmon is consuming food from its own natural habitat.
This salmon presents itself as naturally bright red and orange, of course spawning naturally and feeding on mainly krill and shellfish. The wild salmon is naturally higher in Omega 3 fats as well as vitamin D and vitamin B12.
Wild salmon while also very similar in protein to farmed salmon is much lower in calories as the wild salmon is a muscular free swimming fish that feeds on its natural habitat. If you have ever picked up a wild fish you can feel the difference the muscle makes.
Everyone has heard of the many health benefits that come from adding fish and salmon to your diet, but that benefit comes almost entirely from eating wild salmon. The wild fish is packed with selenium, iodine and naturally inflammation fighting qualities.
Honestly in our opinion the only drawback wild salmon has over farmed is the price difference, its a much more expensive salmon but well worth its when considering the quality and health benefits being gained.
Farmed salmon is gaining huge popularity in many parts of North America, salmon farms have made it so fish is accessible to all part of the continent at a price point thats easier to swallow.
While I have eaten my fair share of farmed salmon and find the taste to be fine, not nearly as good as wild, but its an amazingly good substitute. I do however steer clear of farmed salmon for a number of reasons.
Firstly you can tell by comparing the color difference of a wild vs farmed salmon, the farmed choice is much duller in color and not nearly as rich. We also mentioned above how the farmed salmon is much higher in calories than wild. This is due to the unnatural diet being fed to fish in farming environments. Their diets consist of a processed fish feed made up primarily of grains and corn. The other issue is the natural swimming environment that these fish do not have, that doesnt allow them to develop muscle which in turn leads to fattier fish that are high in Omega 6 fats which have been linked to disease in humans such as diabetes and obesity. One other area that is not talked about to much is the fact that farmed fish is generally higher in contaminants than wild fish simply due to the feed as well as the living conditions.
Really the choice is yours as to what you want to eat, we eat wild and produce our products with only wild salmon. The health benefits, the flavor and the unprocessed diets all outweighs the additional cost of wild salmon. In our opinion…Go Wild