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What Does Salmon Taste Like? [Definitive Guide]

What Is Salmon?

Salmon is a food classified as oily fish that has a rich content of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Generally, salmon flesh is from orange to red, but sometimes you can also find white-fleshed wild salmon.

When it comes to raw wild salmon, you should know that it’s 69% water, 6% fat AND 20% protein In 100g reference amount, raw salmon has 142 calories.

What Does Salmon Taste Like?

Salmon is an explosion of flavors in the mouth. If you are not a fan of the fishy taste, don’t worry, as you will probably like the taste of salmon.

Often, people describe that salmon tastes different from the usual fishy taste.

As a matter of fact, the taste of salmon is the same as mildly flavored meat which came right out of the sea.

Salmon has a refreshing and subtle taste. However, you should bear in mind that its taste will depend on the way the fish is cooked.

Different Ways to Cook Salmon

Grilled Salmon

Grilling is a simple way to cook salmon, and this recipe is good for every season, not just for the summer.

Also, grilling makes for fast clean-up work. Therefore, unless the grill is covered in snow, consider it to be a dish for spring, fall and winter.

Begin with hot coals, and put a lightly oiled fish skin-side down on the grate.

To turn it, use a spatula and put it beneath the fish. In case the flesh is sticking to the grate, try again after 1 or 2 minutes.

Cook the flipped salmon for 5 minutes more and see if it’s done.

Oven-Roasted Salmon

A fast, no-nonsense way to do salmon is oven roasting. And in case you are cooking for more people, it’s much easier to fit a few fillets in a baking dish.

The basic roasting method – season salmon with a little pepper and salt, and put skin-side down in a lightly greased baking sheet pan or dish, then bake in the oven at 400 degrees F from 12 to 15 minutes.

There is no need to flip the fish.

Pan-Fried Salmon

This is a good method for salmon fillets. It’s easy and quick and makes a crunchy, crispy skin as well.

Pan-fried salmon is seasoned fish with salt and pepper, a little olive oil and butter and fried in a hot skillet over high-medium heat.

Begin skin-side up in the hot skillet. But do not touch it. Let the fillet stay from 5 to 6 minutes.

Then, slip a spatula under the fish, turn it and cook skin-side down for 3 minutes. Finally, squeeze some lemon juice on top of it before serving.

Canned Salmon vs Fresh Salmon Taste

One thing is certain, fresh fish may be delicious, but canned is far more convenient. As a matter of fact, there are many reasons why canned salmon may be a smarter choice over fresh.

First, canned salmon is cheaper. It’s pre-cooked and easier to deal with. Canned salmon stays fresh for longer.

It is more likely to be wild-caught than to be farm-raised. To make sure you can look on the label.

Canned salmon might have less mercury. That’s because they are smaller so they have probably absorbed less of the metal. Canned salmon comes with extra omega-3’s when it’s packed in olive oil.

Fresh and canned salmon has almost the same nutritional values. Remember that you are not giving up nutrients by choosing the can.

Different Types of Salmon and Their Tastes

The truth is, the taste of this fish can vary. It’s important to note that pre-packaged salmon tastes different than fresh ones.

Moreover, the taste can differ depending on how the salmon is prepared and what is added while preparing it.

With fresh salmon, the taste might differ based on the type of salmon you use. The taste goes from subtle to mild, and it can also depend on the cooking style and preparation.

King (Chinook) Salmon Taste

This is the biggest salmon in the world, and according to many people, it’s the one with the best taste. It’s known by the name Chinook salmon and king salmon.

Ocean-caught fish are the best flavored, that is, from a flavour perspective.

Coho (Silver) Salmon Taste

This salmon is known by the name silver salmon of “silvers” due to its particularly silver skin. It has bright red flesh and a similar flavor to the king (Chinook).

Sockeye (Red) Salmon Taste

This type of salmon is also called “red salmon” or “reds” due to the dark red-orange color of the flesh.

It is highly flavorful and richly textured. It is a great option for anyone who enjoys the taste of salmon because this type tastes like a true salmon.

Pink (Humpback) Salmon Taste

This is the most common Pacific salmon. It comes with low-fat content and flavoured, light-colored flesh. They are also called humpies of humpback salmon due to the distinctive hum they have on their back when they spawn.

Chum (Dog) Salmon Taste

This type of salmon is also known by the name dog, silverbrite, keta and more. It is the least known of the 5 Pacific salmon species.

It has lower fat content in comparison to the Chinook and sockeye, and comes with a more delicate, milder flavor.

The dog salmon is best for those who don’t like the intense flavor of salmon, and it’s best for recipes which retain moisture like chowders and curries.

Best Tasting Salmon

Have you ever tasted all five species of salmon? If yes, do you have a favorite? Ever tried them all side-by-side?

When it comes to salmon, every individual has their own personal preferences. One thing’s for sure, all the 5 species of salmon are delicious if they are not overcooked.

What Does Smoked Salmon Taste Like?

There are 2 types of smoked salmon – cold and hot.

The main difference is the temperature used during the smoking process. Cold-smoked salmon is smoked below approximately 90°F, whereas hot-smoked salmon is smoked above roughly  120°F.

Cold-smoked salmon tends to have a fresher and less-smoky flavor, with a smooth and silky texture. Hot-smoked salmon tastes far smokier and the texture is more flaky, similar to salmon that has been baked.

How to Tell If Canned Salmon Is Bad?

When it comes to unopened canned salmon, a lot of people wonder: “how long does it last?”

The answer depends on the storage condition. It is best if the canned salmon is kept in a dry, cool area.

Is unopened canned salmon safe to use after the expiration date on the can?

Well, if it’s properly sorted and the can or vacuum-sealed pouch is not damaged, then it probably is. Packed salmon usually has “Best When Used By,” “Best By,” “Best Before,” or “Best If Used By” date.

That is the estimate of the manufacturer of how long the canned fish will stay at its best quality.

How long does an unopened can of salmon last at room temperature?

If it’s properly stored, it can stay at the best quality from 3 to 5 years, even though it’s most likely safe to use it even after this period.

Remember that you need to discard all the canned salmon from pouches or cans which are severely dented, leaking, bulging, or rusting.

How to tell if canned salmon is spoiled or bad? You should look at it and smell it. If it has an off odor, appearance, or flavor, or if mould appears, you should definitely throw it in the trash.

How to Make Salmon Taste Less Fishy?

Some people don’t like the taste of any fish. Although fresh salmon has a less fishy taste than other fish, there are some tips and tricks to help reduce this fishy taste.

Some professional cooks recommend soaking the fish in milk for twenty minutes before cooking it.

What happens with the fish is that the protein found in the milk binds with the fishy odors and eliminates them, leaving behind cleaner-flavored, sweeter and brighter fish.

In case you have already cooked the fish, you can squeeze some fresh lemon over the fish to add freshness to the flavor and help ease the fishy taste.

You can make different sauces to serve with the fish and that can eliminate the fishy taste of the salmon.

There are many sauces that are easy to prepare. For example, you can mix fresh dill and nonfat Greek yogurt with some garlic powder and lemon juice. Then you can pour it over the cooked salmon.

Another recipe is a lemon-butter sauce with fresh lemon juice, butter, white wine, and chopped shallots sautéed over medium heat until the shallots are fully cooked.

Also, you can add sweet honey or brown sugar to the salmon before cooking to improve the flavor for those who have a harder time with the fishy taste.

What Fish Taste Similar to Salmon?

Looking to substitute salmon in your recipe with another similar fish?

Try Bluefish, Arctic Char, Milkfish, Ocean Trout, Striped Bass, Amber Jack, Wahoo, or Mackerel.

Health Benefits of Salmon

Salmon Is Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

When it comes to salmon, it is important to know that it is one of the best sources of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.

A 100-gram portion of farmed salmon has 2.3 g of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, while the same portion of wild salmon has 2.6 g.

Salmon Is a Great Source of Protein

Fish is abundant in high-quality protein. Same as omega-3 fats, protein is a vital nutrient that we must get from our diet.

Protein has different important roles in the body, such as keeping muscle mass during the aging process and weight loss, protecting bone health, and speeding up the process of an injury healing.

Salmon Is High in B Vitamins

Salmon is abundant in B vitamins. Below is the B vitamin content in 100 g or 3.5 oz of wild salmon:

  • Vitamin B12 – 51%of the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin) – 18% of RDI
  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid) – 7% of RDI
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 29% of RDI
  • Vitamin B6 – 47% of RDI
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) – 50% of RDI
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – 19% of RDI

Salmon is a Good Source of Potassium

Salmon is rich in potassium. Wild salmon provides 18% of the RDI per 100g or 3.5 oz, versus 11% for farmed.

As a matter of fact, salmon has more potassium in comparison to an equivalent amount of banana that gives 10% of the RDI.

Potassium is great for many things. For example, it helps lower the risk of stroke and control blood pressure.

Salmon May Help Benefit Weight Control

If you want to eat healthily and control your weight, salmon is something you must have on your grocery list.

Consuming salmon regularly can help you control your weight, as well as help you reduce a few pounds and keep them off.

Same as other high-protein foods, salmon helps regulate the hormones which control appetite, and it helps you stay full for a longer period of time.

Also, the metabolic rate speeds up significantly after consuming foods rich in protein, such as salmon, in comparison to other foods.

The Bottom Line

Salmon is a healthy food to include in your diet. It contains lots of omega-3, protein and quality vitamins and minerals.

However, some people don’t like the taste of salmon, or fish more generally. There are some ways to reduce it’s fishiness, including squeezing some fresh lemon or adding using a sauce like fresh dill and Greek yogurt.

There are various types of salmon and it can’t be bought canned, fresh or smoked. There are many options and different tastes possible.

Try getting at least 2 servings of fatty fish a week for optimal health.