This versatile, oil-rich fish is a popular restaurant choice but you can work wonders with it at home too. Try one of our salmon recipes - from classic dishes such as salmon-en-croûte and salmon tart to Oriental-inspired laksa and sashimi.
The salmon group of fish is extensive and can be found in both salt and fresh waters around the globe. The members of this group (which include trout species) are versatile, oil-rich fish with varying flavours and textures. Lesser-known members of the salmon group include char, which resembles trout but has distinguishing markings. This fish has a delicate flavour and was traditionally ‘potted’.
Salmon is a sea-going fish, but starts its life in freshwater. Atlantic salmon is the head of the salmon group. It has a deep-orange flaky oil-rich texture and is easily recognisable due to its heavily-scaled, silver skin and black, speckled back.
Atlantic salmon was once prolific in the rivers of Northern Europe, but its popularity led to its decline and because it is now a vulnerable species, conservationists recommend avoiding wild Atlantic salmon. The fish is now mostly farmed and due to concerns about the impact of fish farming, it is best to choose organic or RSPCA Freedom Foods if you can. It is sold whole, or as fillets or steaks, both fresh and frozen. It is also available hot - and cold - smoked. The Pacific salmon species are more abundant and sustainable in the wild.
Whole salmon are usually gutted: if you’re cooking a whole salmon, the gills should be removed. Salmon fillets usually require skinning; if cooking salmon fillets with the skin on, be sure they’ve been scaled. Pin bones can be removed before or after cooking.
Salmon is a popular choice due to its versatility. It can be grilled, baked, pan-fried, deep-fried or poached and pairs well with many flavours. It is excellent poached and served with hollandaise sauce, or deep-fried as tempura and cooked with Asian flavours such as soy, sesame, chilli and ginger. Cooked whole or as sandwiched whole fillets, salmon is a good fish to use when catering for large numbers.
Article by CJ Jackson
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