Salmon is an extremely versatile fish, making it popular around the world. Classic salmon dishes include salmon tart, salmon confit, and smoked salmon terrine.
Popular sauces for salmon include hollandaise and Beurre Blanc. The oily fish is considered to be fairly healthy; it boasts a high-quality protein and is rich in vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Pacific salmon, of which there are 5 different species are more sustainable in the wild such as the Alaskan salmon and wild Alaskan salmon. Wild salmon, especially from Irish or Scottish sources, are considered superior.
The fish can be found in both fresh and salt waters. They are born in freshwater and migrate to the oceans, only returning to reproduce. Some of the best wild salmon comes from Russia, Scotland, and Canada. Atlantic
Salmon can be caught in several different ways. Hook and line, where a single fisherman with a baited pole is more for personal, recreational fishing. On a larger scale, this is called trolling. A small fishing vessel is operated by one or two people who fish with lines and hooks, baited with lures or herring. Trollers are allowed to fish beyond the limits set for net fisherman and generally have more fishing days. However, as high-sea trollers need to search the open ocean for salmon, it may not be the most efficient way of catching the fish. Troll-caught salmon makes up less than 10% of wild Alaskan salmon caught. Net methods, use boats which sit and wait in areas on the known migratory route of the salmon. Gillnetting requires laying a net wall in the water in the path of the fish whose gills get entangled in the net, stopping them from escaping. Purse Seining casts a large net out which encircles the fish and closes around them. These two methods catch much more fish per trip.
Farmed salmon is available all year round, but wild salmon has a season which runs from March to September. Farmed salmon makes up around 80% of the salmon on the market, due to high demand for salmon, the quality of the farmed stock may differ largely in quality and flavour from the wild salmon caught in season.
Salmon is sold fresh and frozen, in fillets, steaks and whole. Salmon fillets usually require skinning, cooking with the skin on means they would need to be scaled. The whole salmon is usually gutted with its gills removed. Pin bones can be removed before or after cooking. When buying salmon, the flesh should be firm, avoid greyish or fatty looking fish. Organic salmon should be a pale pink colour, while farmed should be a brighter pink. However, if it is too dark, that indicates that colour has been added.
As Salmon is such a versatile fish, it can be grilled, baked, pan-fried, deep-fried, smoked, poached, or eaten raw. Classic salmon dishes, such as salmon tart, salmon confit, and smoked salmon terrine, have been reinvented many times and remain popular. Salmon en croûte (salmon parcels with garlic and herb cream cheese) is a timeless favourite. The Nordic dish Gravlax, of raw salmon cured in salt, sugar and dill, is usually served as an appetiser. Raw salmon is also a popular ingredient in sushi.
Sauces for salmon can make the fish even more varied in flavour. Hollandaise is a popular choice as it goes well with poached and grilled fish dishes. Beurre Blanc, a white wine, butter and cream based sauce is also a fine accompaniment; or even a soy sauce, garlic, chilli combination could give the salmon a different twist.
- Wild salmon confit, rhubarb, tomato and basil consommé
- Smoked salmon
- Salmon en croute
- Wild salmon fillet, wilted Southport samphire, garlic sautéed langoustines, Blackpool tomato caviar
- Pan seared salmon, parsnip purée, pistachio gremoulata
- Philadelphia salmon mousse with a melting centre, samphire and tomato salad, and Philadelphia Beignets
- Poached salmon and watercress tart with salsa verde