Every few months, I purchase wild-caught seafood straight from the fishermen to pack the freezer, and to fill my family’s bellies. We lean heavily on salmon and black cod as our favorite fish, and I try to serve fish a few times a week. What I didn’t realize, until recently, is that not only are the many, many varieties of salmon (our fish of choice), but they each taste different, and are best suited to different approaches in the kitchen.
We favor wild-caught salmon from clean waters, and sustainable fisheries.
The largest of the wild salmon, King salmon, also called Chinook salmon, is a particularly rich fish, with a brilliant coral-colored flesh, a clean flavor reminiscent of shellfish and a meaty texture that stands up well to rich sauces. Owing to its meaty texture, it’s also excellent grilled. As a richer fish, King salmon is slightly more nutrient- and calorie-dense than Coho salmon, and is particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids offering roughly a ten-to-one ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids.
Coho salmon is milder in flavor than King salmon, less calorie-dense, but also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins like niacin, folate, B6 and B12. Owing to its milder flavor, Coho salmon does beautifully poached in wine, broth or herbs, or slathered with miso and tamari, and broiled.
Keta salmon, also called chum salmon, are big fish, like King salmon, with a relatively neutral, mild taste that lends itself well to smoking or curing.
Purchasing Wild-Caught Salmon (Straight from the Fishermen)
I purchase my salmon online, in bulk. They’re sustainably caught and processed by small boat, hook and line fisherman just one fish at a time. This is a traditional way of fishing that results in an extremely high-quality fish, and it also minimizes issues with bycatch. They’re flash frozen at sea within minutes of harvest, so you’re fish is fresher than fresh when it arrives at your door.