All About Salmon

We examine the heart-healthy fish that is featured in some of the world's most beloved recipes, like Salmon en Croute.

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator border_width=”2″][vc_column_text]This week’s menu offers two salmon recipes, so we wanted to focus on learning more about this heart-healthy fish. One recipe is for salmon burgers, which if prepared properly can be an absolutely amazing use of this protein. The other is for Salmon Wellington, also known as Salmon En Croute, which is french for ‘salmon in a crust'. In this case, salmon wrapped in a buttery pastry crust. 

Generally, there are two types of salmon—Atlantic and Pacific. Atlantic salmon is farm-raised, while Pacific salmon is caught from the wild. Wild-caught salmon tends to be leaner and healthier than its farm-raised counterparts, but salmon raised in a controlled environment isn’t necessarily bad for you. Whether you buy farm-raised salmon or not boils down to where you’re buying it and how strict their sourcing standards are. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8358″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”Generally, there are two types of salmon—Atlantic and Pacific. Atlantic salmon is farm-raised, while Pacific salmon is caught from the wild.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1591367605684{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]There are different species of salmon sold commercially, but the most common ones that you see in the market are Chinook, Sockeye, Coho, and Pink. Salmon can be sold whole, in steaks, or in fillets. When buying salmon, or any fish for that matter, freshness is the most critical factor. Fresh salmon should never have a strong “fishy” odour. Its flesh should be bright, its skin firm (with no trace of slime) and the eyes should not be cloudy or sunken in.

It’s easy to see why so many people love salmon. Aside from having an amazing flavour profile, this fatty fish is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamins A, C and E. Perhaps the biggest benefit of all, is how versatile it is. It can be pan-fried, baked, grilled, broiled, smoked, steamed, poached, seared, and even baked with salt. Let’s look at two common preparations and one innovative method. Remember, unless you’re poaching salmon, leave the skin on. The tough, fatty skin is one of the best tools against overcooking it. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8359″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”Remember, unless you’re poaching salmon, leave the skin on. The tough, fatty skin is one of the best tools against overcooking it.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1591367690560{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Grilling is the healthiest way to cook salmon. Start the grill and make sure the temperature is very high. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes before grilling so that the grates are very hot. Gently cover the fish in canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Once the grill is hot, place the salmon flesh side down on it and cook for a couple of minutes. Using tongs, turn the fish 45 degrees to the left or right and lay back down. This will give the fish those coveted cross-hatch grill marks. After a couple more minutes, flip the fish over and finish cooking to your preferred doneness. Remove and serve with fresh lemon wedges and dill. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8360″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_column_text]Aside from grilling, searing salmon is the most common method of cooking it. When searing salmon, you’ll want to use a neutral oil, like vegetable or sunflower, and a sauté pan to ensure the fish gets a really good sear. Place a pan over high heat and add a liberal amount of oil to the pan. Season fish with salt and pepper. Right before the oil starts to smoke, lay the fish in the pan, flesh side down, away from yourself. Gently work the pan back and forth to keep the fish from sticking to the pan. Cook for at least 2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Pour out the oil, flip the fish over and place the pan in the oven at 175°C / 350°F for about 5 minutes. Salmon is best served medium, so depending on how thick your fillet is, cooking times will differ. [/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Salmon is best served medium, so depending on how thick your fillet is, cooking times will differ.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1591367821716{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]You may not be familiar with salt-baked salmon but it is an innovative method that is easy to accomplish. You’ll want to use the whole fish and keep it intact with the skin, tail and head on. Just make sure it has been gutted and rinsed clean. Using a large bowl, add 3-5 lb (depending on the size of the fish) of Kosher salt and ½ cup of water. Mix the water and salt until it reaches the consistency of wet sand. Place half of the salt mixture on a sheet pan and place the fish directly on top. Fill the cavity with lemon slices and fresh herbs like dill or lime kaffir. Then cover the fish completely with the remaining salt and pack down firmly. Place the pan in the oven at 200°C / 400°F and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the fish from the oven and allow it to rest in the salt for 10 minutes. Then, remove the salt from the fish, transfer it to a serving platter, peel back the skin, and serve portions of the cooked salmon.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]