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Can we talk about canned salmon?

  • n

I love the idea of canned salmon as a better alternative to tuna for salads. But every time I've bought it (multiple brands) it comes skin-on with large bones in (the spine I believe). By the time I finish cleaning it, it has lost volume and sort of grosses me out - not a good prelude to a meal.

Is there a brand of canned salmon out there that avoids these issues, or is it inevitably the shabby leftover from the better parts of the catch that are sold for filets?

And to further complicate matters, a few days ago I saw Rachel Ray open a can of it and dump the whole thing, skin and all, into a recipe. So is the problem merely that I am being too prissy?

How do you hounds feel about canned salmon? Would love your imput.

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  1. Ngal, Unlike many of the items served at the Olive Garden, everything in a can of Salmon is edible. (Bones are the cartilidge; (non-Salmon) cartilidge prepared several ways is served at some very high end Sushi houses.) Sushi restaurants also serve the skin as Salmon rolls. So look upon that $2.89 can of Salmon as an amazing Sushi bargain, sip some Saki and cook away!

    1. While canned salmon has its fans, I'm not one since "going fresh"...however, there's merit to leaving skin 'n' bones inside.

      Cooked in the can, the bones soften up and are an excellent calcium supplement...chewable, too. The skin, while slimy and metallic, offers a color contrast and your cat won't reject it.

      1. I like canned salmon, too, but hate the skin, so I slide the skin off, but leave the bones in. They're very soft, so you don't have to worry about choking on them, and they're good for you (calcium). If you're mixing the salmon up with other ingredients for a salad or patties, the bones are going to get mushed up in there anyway and you'll never be aware of them.

        1. Rubenstein's red sockeye canned salmon is the best. It does have skin, which I dipose of and bones, which are soft and mash up easily (and are full of calcium).
          So good for salads and sandwiches. After all the hype about how healthy salmon is I am sick of eating broiled salmon but the canned stuff is so good as an alternative to tuna - can;t get sick of it.

          1. This is bordering on being moderated to Home Cooking, but, when I make salmon loaf, I put the skin and bones in the blender with the other recipe liquids (milk, eggs). The skin doesn't do much for the color of the finished product, but, the nutrients are too good to pass up.

            1. No you are NOT being too prissy. Don't get the big cans of salmon that look like soup cans, but get the little cans that look like tuna - it is skinless and boneless and lovely.

              I hate the stuff with skin and bones, who cares if it is healthy if it tastes yucky.

              The absolute best canned salmon is Bumble Bee prime filet canned salmon. It tastes close to fresh. It is the last can in the link below. The can looks similar to the skinless and boneless pink salmon, but not the same.

              Other skinless, boneless pink salmon is close to tuna in texture. The little bagged salmon is fine, but it is too pricy for me.

              The red salmon always has bones in it.

              Link: http://www.bumblebee.com/products_fam...

              1 Reply
              1. re: rworange

                Concur about the Bumble Bee salmon, esp. the prime filet variety ... even goes great with sweet relish. :-)

              2. You need to look for skinless, boneless salmon. It can be in either in a can or pouch. It is a product that is produced by some canneries. This is not brand/label specific.

                1. Vital Choice canned salmon is way beyond anything
                  you can get in the supermarket. It is so good many
                  people eat it out of the can. And it is lab tested to
                  ensure it is safe to eat. I've provided a link to their website below.

                  Link: http://www.vitalchoice.com

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Faith Lubitz

                    Second this. I eat it out of the can at least a few times a week for lunch and it's wonderful!

                    1. re: Faith Lubitz

                      Faith is right on. Vital Choice has a wide variety of sustainably caught wild north Pacific salmon, and they even identify what type of salmon it is. They have a sample package which I ordered, and we decided that the skinless, boneless salmon was the way to go. Pure beautiful goodness. Pricey, yes, but absolutely the pure, real thing.

                      1. re: Faith Lubitz

                        Does anyone sell it retail throughout the country?

                      2. I've never used canned salmon for salad, but love salmon loaf and salmon cakes. I was delighted to discover Trader Joe's canned "Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon" @ 2.19 a can.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Pat Hammond

                          I'm not a fan of Trader Joe's pink but there red (wild caught sockeye) is very good. It has skin and bones but is pretty solid and at $2.59 for a 7.5 oz. can is a very good value. I'm not a fan of the bones but they're easy to pick out. Being a middle age male calcium is not something I need or want in my diet.
                          The best skinless/boneless variety I've had so far is Wild Planet sockeye. Their pink variety is also boneless/skinless and cost about $1 less per can.

                        2. My favorite canned wild salmon comes from a small cannery in Santa Cruz, CA. You can buy a number of varieties of Dave's Gourmet Salmon, Albacore or other Tuna via mail order or at some Whole Foods stores. Here's a link for more info. I highly recommend this product!!

                          Link: http://davesalbacore.com/index.html

                          Image: http://davesalbacore.com/catalog/imag...

                          1. Only you can decide what level of prissiness is appropriate for you. I have been fond of canned red salmon since I was a kid. My mom, who relied on shortcuts infrequently, when pressed for time would sometimes pan-fry some potatoes and onions and open a can of red salmon and a can of baked beans. I always loved that meal and still fix it for myself sometimes. I eat everything from the salmon can just as it comes from the can. Yum! Honey Boy Fancy Alaska Sockeye Red Salmon is what I have used since forever.


                            1. m
                              mark grossman

                              DEMING'S is a good quality brand of supermarket salmon.

                              1. If you're being too prissy, I'm right there with you. The softness of the bones really grosses me out. I try to pick them all out. I can tell immediately if I've missed one by the chalky, slight resistance to my teeth. Thanks for posting your question - I'm glad to find out that there is no-bone canned salmon out there.

                                1. Since you ask, I love the bones. Always have. When I was a kid my mom would pick them out and give them to me. The skin is another matter. I usually try to buy skinless, but if I can't, I just take it out.

                                  1. I worked canning salmon in Alaska and I must say, I don't care for it. At least at the place I worked, there is no difference in the quality of the salmon frozen, shipped fresh or canned. It all came off the same boats. It's packed into the can fresh and then cooked in the can. I think the stuff we made was sold to the Army. I would chose Red salmon over pink if you have the chance. Pinks were cheaper fish and often lower quality than the reds we saw.

                                    If its any consolation, apparently tuna is much, much worse. It's all caught in places like Indonesia way way offshore and the fish are falling apart by the time they get them back to the dock and the cannery.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: cheapskate

                                      uh, thanks, I think, for the info....good to know.

                                    2. Not only do I love those bones (always have, always will) and don't really mind the skin, but I always get the cheapest canned salmon I can find, mostly at the 99¢ Only store. I do slide off whatever skin I can, just for appearance's sake, but the only other thing I discard is the water. I usually snitch a bite or two from the can while I'm making whatever is on the agenda, too - usually salmon salad for sandwiches or snacking, sometimes cold jelled loaf, sometimes fried cakes. Love that stuff, and so does Mrs. O.

                                      I'm surprised that Rachel Ray would do that; generates a bit of grudging respect...

                                      1. I think Bumble Bee or one of the popular tuna companies makes a salmon without bones. I know cause I was disappointed when I opened it and didn't find the bones. I think the bones are a good source of calcium.

                                        1. I buy the Pillar Rock 3.5 oz pouch of sockeye salmon. I use it instead of tuna and its very convenient to bring to work.

                                          1. Here in Toronto, Clover Leaf brand pink salmon (wild Pacific) at 2.99 CDN for a 418 gram tin, is just fine for casseroles, salads, and such.

                                            1. bumble bee prime fillet, in the gold can...the best, no bones or skin

                                              1. I'm going to commit heresy and confess that I like canned salmon about as much as fresh. I grew up in pre-frozen foods/pre-fast refrigerated shipping inland Texas when fresh fish--if you didn't catch it yourself--was hard to come by. So it was usually canned tuna & salmon or no fish at all.

                                                Some people tend to dislike things they ate a lot of as a child; not me. I still love 'em all. Mama had a fine touch for seasoning and for foods that complimented each other, and her very simple meals, even during WWII rationing, were always nutritious and appetizing.

                                                She made salmon croquettes with an egg/cracker crumbs/scallions most every week and smashed/mixed in the skin and bones so that they were unnoticeable. It's never entered my mind that anyone would remove them.

                                                I love a cold lunch of a small can of chilled salmon topped with Hellman's Mayo & sprinkled with chives or scallions, a big pile of Cabot's excellent cottage cheese, a sliced back porch tomato. And I swear I could eat a whole cold salmon loaf all by myself.

                                                (And I've come close to doing just that on several occasions. I'll never forgive myself for not getting the recipe for one I ate ( about 90% of) at a cocktail party years ago. Does anyone have an outstanding salmon loaf recipe?)


                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: PhoebeB

                                                  PhoebeB you bring back memories of my childhood in Texas when my mother would cook salmon (pronounced sal-mon) patties every week. However, she did not smash the bones and I always hated the crunchy vertebrae! I haven't had canned salmon since I was able to buy my own.

                                                  1. re: ddavis

                                                    my mom says sal-mon, too! (she grew up in fla. panhandle). makes salmon patties with canned pink salmon, crackers, egg, (crushes the bones). i'd eat them right off the paper towel -- hot out of the cast iron skillet!

                                                2. Try Costco brand I just bought some because people said there were very little bones and skin

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: paprkutr

                                                    I bought the Costco pink salmon cans, and I was actually a little disappointed to find no skin and no bones. I always found those a nice bonus! The quality of the salmon in these is very fine.

                                                  2. I am with you, Ngal. Canned salmon with bones and skin skeeve me. However, I love the salmon that comes in a pouch - no bones or skin (Chicken of the Sea). The recipe for Salmon Cakes with Lemon Herb Sauce on their site is also very good.

                                                    1. No one in my family would even think about removing the bones and skin from canned salmon. The high heat sterilization process softens them to the point where they can be easily mashed and blended into salmon salads, casseroles, and other delicious meals. There is no waste in canned salmon -- the liquid, skin, and bones are all edible and supply important nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus. The oily skin is high in Omega 3 fatty acids. As a kid, my mother would remove the bones and drop them in the tin and I would grab them and eat them. Now she has osteoporosis, and found out that you should eat the salmon bones from tinned salmon for increased calcium intake. She doesn't take them out any more.
                                                      It's never to late to learn new things about our food. But life long habits and dislikes are hard to break for some people. Everything in a tin of canned salmon can be eaten, including the juice.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Catoni52

                                                        There's so much calcium in canned fish with bones, I wish I liked them, but I can't. Like sweet iced tea, i'ts been spit out before I realize I've done it. With the Beach Cliff fish steaks with hot chiles, I do pick out the spinal cords, but eat the other bones, because they're actually soft, not even discernible from the lovely meat. I guess that's my criterion- how soft are the bones?

                                                      2. Ngal you'd be surprised how many cultures leave virtually no part of an animal or plant left to waste when it comes to dinnertime. Brasil and China come to mind. Compared to them, they sure do make us Yankees look like prisses. Nonetheless, there are canned salmon varieties made just for you. Me, I like the skin and bones - it does a body good. I also eat shrimp unpeeled with the tails on, it gives them greater texture and again, the calcium can't be beat.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: yemoss

                                                          Prissiness is a luxury not afforded to the majority of the world's inhabitants. Ironic, as picky eating tends to make for a less nutritious meal.

                                                          My advice, prepare the salmon in ways which allow you to mash the salmon up whole, it's what canned salmon is best for anyway in my opinion.

                                                        2. many brands are now in foil pouches with no bones or skin.i just happened to have had that for lunch today.they stay in the pantry just as the cans.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: davmar77

                                                            Salmon in retort pouches is nothing more than doing someting with nothing. You take the cheapest and poorest quality "Pinks" from Alaska and you ship them to Philipines or Thailand where manual labor is cheap and you make a a $0.07 piece of fish sell for $3.00+ in the US....but then again if the market is willing to pay...why not?

                                                          2. Funny, but canned salmon is the only type of canned fish I can't stand. Tuna? Excellent for salads or sandwiches. Crab? Sure - stuff avocados with it. Oysters? Give me crackers, and let me have at 'em! Sardines - so many choices - mustard, tomato, spicy - I like them all.

                                                            But canned salmon? Just doesn't do it for me (and I love salmon sashimi, grilled salmon, salmon teriyaki, etc.). I just don't like it in a can.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: KevinB

                                                              IMHO it's a complete waste of salmon to put it in a can. Best salmon is either hot or cold smoked, jerky, indian candy or raw if the quality permits.

                                                            2. My wife makes very good salmon pies out of it.

                                                              1. For those voting for Bumble Bee Prime Filet steaks, my question is: Where does this salmon come from? In fact, only their canned Red and Medium Red salmon indicate Alaskan salmon. From a conservation standpoint if the other products are farmed Atlantic salmon that is as horrible environment-wise as eating canned tuna.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Pollo

                                                                    The post about shipping inferior salmon to be packaged in Asia? What I'm wondering is, some of the B.B. packages say Alaskan Salmon, the others don't. So where are they getting it?

                                                                    1. re: gourmanda

                                                                      Bumble Bee Prime Filet steaks are packed in Asia using Alaskan Pinks....

                                                                      1. re: Pollo

                                                                        Aha! Sorry if I was being thick-headed. Thanks for the clarification. Seems to be an awfully silly way of doing things though.

                                                                        1. re: gourmanda

                                                                          It's all labor costs....pouches are packed by hand....not much prime about "Prime Filet"....

                                                                1. canned salmon, and the weekly salmon loaf that it produced for dinner every week during childhood, has ruined me on all salmon. I think canned salmon is pretty disgusting.

                                                                  1. Prissy is not the word I would use, but to each his own. I'd daresay you have never cleaned a fish....
                                                                    I grew up fighting over the salmon bones with my brothers before the rest of it went into salmon croquetes.
                                                                    I love fresh. but canned is OK. for use in some dishes. I wouldn't use it in a salad.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Scargod

                                                                      Canned salmon makes wicked good fish cakes along w/ baked beans and fried eggs, the quintessential old time New England breakfast.

                                                                    2. I just discovered that Double "Q" now has a 7.5 oz can of skinnless & Boneless wild alsakan salmon - I love it! You can pretty much eat right out of the can - Must try!

                                                                      1. I would be grossed out my skin and bones too.

                                                                        1. canned salmon is extremely healthy. Everything in the can is edible. Mixed with mayo, romano or parm cheese and dash of lemon pepper seasoning......after it's mixed or heavily stirred you don't notice the skin or bones. YUM!
                                                                          Former USCGR 89-97

                                                                          1. My favorite source for canned salmon (and tuna too) is the Tuna Guys. This outfit creates a wonderful product using sashimi grade cuts. All the fish are line caught in the Pacific Northwest, hand packed, and cooked in the can so you don't lose any of the juices. The salmon is boneless and skinless. http://www.tunaguys.net/index.html

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Phoo_d

                                                                              I like high grade canned salmon and eat it about twice per week but cannot find a brand that tastes like fresh salmon either sashimi or grilled that has that like the buttery melt in your mouth component. Does any brand of canned salmon taste like fresh buttery salmon or is it just lost in the canning?

                                                                              1. re: forzagto

                                                                                I think it is lost in the canning. You would have to stop the "cooking" process at just the right point to achieve it and I'm not sure that it would be shelf-stable. But man if someone figured out how to do that I'd be a huge fan!

                                                                            2. I am somewhat grossed out by cheap canned salmon, such as pink sockyee in the usual supermarket brands, but the best canned salmon I have ever had is from the Pike Place market. They sell several kinds of smoked salmon in a can, from King to Coho, and they are wonderful. The skin does not bother me on these, and they can be mixed with cream cheese to form fabulous dips. Price is over $7 per can, but worth it. You need to call them -- these are not on the web site.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: RGC1982

                                                                                Like RGC1982, I love the Alaskan canned smoked salmon, all you need is cream cheese. Or I can just eat it alone. Or with all the condiments; chopped hard boiled egg, red onion, capers, etc. I had some shipped home during my one and only trip to AK in 05, and there are several cans at my ex's house, which I am fortunately welcome to.

                                                                              2. The skin's full of wonderful omega polyunsaturated oil that reduces the risk of heart attack.

                                                                                And I LOVE the crunchy cartiladge, at least the ones found in the Clover Leaf brand. It's so satisfying to bite on them and it melts away in the mouth with an interesting texture.

                                                                                Clover Leaf does offer the skinless+boneless version but it's much more expensive, by over $1 (considering the regular is about $2.5, that's nearly a 40% hike.

                                                                                1. I was allergic to cow's milk as a boomer child, so the bones in tinned salmon were an important source of calcium.

                                                                                  Often I give the skin to my cat, but I'll eat it in salmon pies. By the way, sometimes I crush the large soft bones with my (carefully cleaned) fingers.

                                                                                  1. Wasn't eating canned fish like salmon and sardines part of Alton Brown's recent weight loss? My favorite dish containing it is buttered noodles with peas and canned salmon. Easy, tasty.

                                                                                    I don't mind/notice the bones and skin. I actually love salmon skin. Kyle, the only non-Asian sushi chef at Toyoda Sushi in Seattle makes his Kyle Roll with roasted salmon skin. Yum.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                      I've read on a variety of health blogs that one serving of wild-caught canned salmon has more Omega 3's than sardines or kippers (though sardines and kippers are good sources too)...plus the added benefits from the bones and skin for calcium and other nutrients. Great stuff! I'm not surprised he did so well choosing that for his lean protein source.


                                                                                      1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                        Salmon skin rolls are one of my favorite taste treats.

                                                                                        1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                          For me crispy skin is the reason I eat salmon.

                                                                                          1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                            I'm with you. Crispy skin is one of the bonuses.

                                                                                        2. Makes wicked good salmon chowdah too, Chummy.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                            Passadumkeg, could you please post your chowder recipe here? I'd love to try it.
                                                                                            I love canned salmon too. The answer to the question of skin and bones is that bones contain calcium and they are completely cooked when the cans are retorted, so they can easily be mashed and blended into the salmon flesh. The skin contains a very high level of omega3 fats, so should be mashed into the flesh also, so you're not losing the good fats that we eat salmon for and that gives it the great flavor. A food processor helps blend everything smoothly (with mayonnaise, and a hard boled egg is great too) so that you won't notice either flavor or texture from bones or skin.
                                                                                            Wrapped in lettuce leaves, it's low carb too!

                                                                                            1. re: Hazeleyes3923

                                                                                              A simple Maine common folk recipe. I don't measure, but cook by eye, so here goes:

                                                                                              This is the modern "healthy" version so I'll put the more traditional ingredients in brackets.

                                                                                              Fry a hunk (1/4 lb.?) of finely dice bacon (salt pork) until brown, add 1-2 diced onions and cook til wilted, dice 2-4 potatoes and add to onions and saute for 20 min. Add 3 or more cans of condensed milk (cream) and bring to a simmer. Add a can or 2 of deskinned and boned salmon, gently broken into chunks to the milk and warm up, salt and pepper to taste.. Serve w/ corn bread or oyster crackeras. I have blended the skin and bones into the chowder, but the appearance isn't as pleasing. Sometimes I fry the skin and we eat it and Ms. Keg and I will goof around and chaw on the bones for the calcium, but usually Chocolate Labkeg gets it in her bowl.

                                                                                          2. You are being too prissy...

                                                                                            I live in Maine where salmon is still a household word whether you are talking wild Atlantic, farm-raised/smoked, rare landlocked fishin', or wild Pacific - shipped in.

                                                                                            The best grocery brand canned salmon I have tried recently is Rubensteins's and I doubt the small can versus the larger makes any difference.

                                                                                            There is nothing wrong with ingesting the skin OR the bones, in fact, both are good for you nutritionally. Aesthetically, one may wish to dispense with either one, but most of the dishes I adore are cold salmon salad sandwiches, hot burgers, or salmon loaf where inventive and tasty ingredients get all mushed together. No problem. It's great and I LOVE IT!

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: salmonlover

                                                                                              I'm glad that YOU LOVE IT. I don't. Ngal doesn't. Guess what? That's OK. Yes, it would be great -- as in, I WOULD LOVE IT -- if everyone in the world used little and wasted nothing, but some of our likes/dislikes can't be overcome. (Do you eat the eyeballs and brains and guts of every animal that comes across your plate? Do you want someone telling you that "You are being too prissy" because you don't?)

                                                                                              How about a side dish of chill-out/be-tolerant with your salmon?

                                                                                              By the way, Ngal, I like Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Atlantic Salmon -- of the grocery-store brands, I think it's the tastiest. And, if the can doesn't specify "skinless/boneless," then it contains skin and bones.

                                                                                              1. re: jill00

                                                                                                Fish eyes are delicious, just ask Andrew Zimmern. They are rich and remind me of caviar.

                                                                                                Brains also are delicious and you haven't dined well until you have sucked the brain out of a squab head, cracked a fried squirrel head so you can dig out the brain or breakfasted on scrambled eggs and brains.

                                                                                                As for the rest of the guts I have eaten them all in one form or another. Haggis contains both sheep's stomach and lungs and pig intestines are a delight to the palate.

                                                                                                Now if I may be excused I will be off to the breakfast table to slurp down a bowl of menudo with plenty of tripe in it. Salmon for supper tonight.

                                                                                            2. One of my favorite Friday night suppers as a kid was canned salmon, German fried potatoes, and a lettuce salad. Mom would dump out the contents of a large can of red salmon into a bowl, and would season it with a sprinkle of cider vinegar. It was always red salmon, never pink. I remember loving the crunchy bones, but left what skin there was on my plate.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: dekethedog

                                                                                                My kids are 6,7,&8 and they love the bones also!! They beg me for " honey boy" that's the brand, and they brag to each other if they get more bones:)

                                                                                              2. I like Demings Sockeye salmon. It's very expensive (about $6.00 per can) but it's far superior than any other canned salmon. I remove the skin but never the bones. They're soft and contian a high amount of calcium. And when I make salmon patties or croquettes as some call them, I also save the liquid and add half of it to a sauce pan along with a roux to make a great sauce. I add 1/2 liquid and 1/2 cream or half and half, then a Tablespoon of capers and lemon juice. Awesome!! The salmon liquid gives the sauce an great intense flavor.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: The Drama Queen

                                                                                                  I make salmon cakes all the time (with leftover mashed potatoes) but it NEVER would have occured to me to make a sauce out of the liquid. Not in a million years! I love chowhounds' creative ideas :)

                                                                                                2. Just saw this kid-friendly recipe for canned salmon. they use bumble bee wild pink salmon.


                                                                                                  Wild Salmon Salad Sandwiches
                                                                                                  From The Six O’Clock Scramble cookbook and e-newsletter by Aviva Goldfarb. For more family-friendly recipe’s order Aviva’s cookbook online.
                                                                                                  About 6 servings
                                                                                                  A quick and healthy no-cook meal, these sandwiches are also fun to eat on a busy night. We topped them with sliced tomatoes and tortilla chips for extra crunch! Serve them with celery sticks dipped in peanut butter.
                                                                                                  1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
                                                                                                  1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
                                                                                                  1 teaspoon honey2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about ½ a lemon
                                                                                                  )1 can (15 oz.) wild Alaskan pink salmon, drained (can used “boneless & skinless” or “regular”)
                                                                                                  1 cup finely chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
                                                                                                  6 hamburger/sandwich buns, whole wheat or white
                                                                                                  In the measuring cup used to measure the mayonnaise, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, honey and lemon juice. In a medium bowl, mix the salmon, celery and dressing ingredients. Put a scoop of the salmon salad in each bun and eat them cold.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: MommyLovesToEat

                                                                                                    i've tried that salmon and i think it is very bland. maybe that's why kids like it? i'd prefer tuna to that salmon....

                                                                                                  2. Just saw this kid-friendly recipe for canned salmon. they use bumble bee wild pink salmon.


                                                                                                    1. Hi Ngal, You don't need to remove any of those things. Just chop everything together and use it the same as you always would. The canning process makes the tasty and bones edible and they are full of the best nutrients. It's really good, just give it a shot.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: oana

                                                                                                        COSTCO canned salmon isn't bad either. Bones and all!!!!

                                                                                                        1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                          I used to see a skinless/boneless product on the shelves here in BC maybe it's still around but given how the price of canned Sockeye has dropped I would never notice it.

                                                                                                      2. We have a salmon processing plant in SE Alaska which has a small canning division. We do remove the skin and the pin bones. We primarily specialize in smoked coho, King, and sockeye. We're still fairly low tech out here, and we aren't large enough to need to advertise much. Word of mouth is how we get the majority of our business. But recently (as in yesterday) I started a facebook page for our company; I hope that it's acceptable to post the link here.


                                                                                                        We'll be posting recipes, general information, and providing some insight about what it's like to live and work in the Alaska seafood industry. Please feel free to friend us.

                                                                                                        1. Mash it all up w/ a potato masher. I drain it and save the liquid to moisten if necessary but don't remove the skin or bones.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: JerryMe

                                                                                                            I use my Ninja food processor to grind it all up with the salmon meat before making salmon salad or patties. It's great!

                                                                                                          2. Everyone says it's either harmless or even beneficial, but there's no way I would eat that. Gross.

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: occula

                                                                                                              HEY!!!! Don't YUCK my YUM!!!! lol, there is something for everyone, but mashed Salmon bones are very high in Calcium too.

                                                                                                              1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                and the skin is high in Vitamin D which we don't obtain from too many natural sources!

                                                                                                                1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                                  Hey, just answering the OP's question, and I'm not the only one in this thread! I have trouble getting the full benefit of the calcium while I"m literally gagging, but I hope it serves others well and is delicious to them. Fair?

                                                                                                              2. Yup - too prissy. Lol! But all food preferences are personal taste, so you're certainly entitled to your opinions.

                                                                                                                But keep in mind that those skin & bones are completely soft & edible. And a lot of people WANT them in there. If that wasn't true, believe me - they wouldn't be in the can because sales would plummet. In fact, personally, I don't know of anyone who attempts to remove them. In addition, the skin & bones are where a large majority of the Omega 3's & calcium hide.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Breezychow

                                                                                                                  Grew up on my grandmother's salmon croquettes - always made with canned salmon. A few weeks ago I tried using the pouch salmon - it had a different texture and the croquettes fell apart. I'm going back to the can for some very good comfort food.

                                                                                                                2. There's a vast difference in taste/expense between the salmon types put into cans.
                                                                                                                  Wild Spring salmon #1, then coho then sockeye(pink), then chum. Some people like the skin/bones some don't. I do.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                    I avoided salmon bones for the first 50 or so years of my life and have now started to eat them--mainly for the calcium. Don't notice a problem I have to admit that I started to eat them after I saw a work mate eating all the bones of a BBQ'd chicken. Best brand in the Toronto area is Clover Leaf but there are several as good.

                                                                                                                  2. As to the bones and the skin:

                                                                                                                    Near top of the list of life's pleasures
                                                                                                                    is the crumble-to-teeth of canned salmon bones,
                                                                                                                    as solution to our personal osteo-porization.
                                                                                                                    Bones softened by steam and by canning pressure.

                                                                                                                    When, in old age, I take inevitable tumble,
                                                                                                                    and my pelvis survives all that jumble
                                                                                                                    I'll "chalk" it up to those times of glad eatin' of salmon bones
                                                                                                                    straight from the can labeled Bumblebee.

                                                                                                                    But if, when I fall,
                                                                                                                    it fractures my shins,
                                                                                                                    I'll have to say: "Dang it!...
                                                                                                                    Shoulda' ate some more skins!!!"

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                      bravo, FoodFuser...LOL, I love it! ♥ very good!

                                                                                                                      1. As most people probably know, because of the differences in what the fish eat wild salmon is more nutritious than farmed salmon.

                                                                                                                        My understanding is that only cans labeled as "Wild" or "Alaska" (which prohibits salmon farming) contain wild salmon. (My understanding also is that most commercially available Atlantic salmon (canned included) is farmed.)

                                                                                                                        I hear you on the gross out factor with canned salmon, but I went full circle on it. I found cleaning out the bones and skin so disgusting that I avoided canned salmon for years, until the pouches came out, which brought me back to packaged salmon. Then one day the cans were on sale (and so about 30% of the price of the pouches), so I decided to try them again. This time I went all Rachel Ray on them (independent of Rachel...) and just dumped an entire can into my mixing bowl, water and all. (I think it was more to minimize my time viewing the disgusting mass of skin, meat, bones, and oily water than any culinary insight.) I proceeded with my usual salmon salad recipe and...

                                                                                                                        ...was stunned that it tasted so much better than the recipe using pouched salmon. I haven't bought another pouch since.

                                                                                                                        Of course, one's preferred taste and mouth feel is very subjective, and if you don't like the taste (and oiliness) of the skin or the texture of the bones (which, like people above have said, can usually be eliminated by mashing), you'll never like canned salmon. But if your objection is to the sight of the gross looking cylindrical lump that falls out of the can, try a favorite (and quick) recipe with the complete can (I sometimes drain the water if it would add too much moisture) and if you like the taste, your mouth will succeed in putting your eyes in their place...

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: JackTheLurker

                                                                                                                          This is an extremely helpful reply. I'll follow your examples (with and without the water) -- thanks! And, if you feel inclined to post your salmon salad recipe, that'd be great. Thanks again.

                                                                                                                          1. re: JackTheLurker

                                                                                                                            I believe there is also wild-caught tinned salmon from British Columbia (though alas they do allow salmon farming, which infuriates many fishermen).

                                                                                                                          2. I love using chopsticks to remove the bones. If you have decent chopstick skills, that's the way to go. I drain out the liquid first, then empty the contents in a bowl or plate. I then grab my chopsticks and pull open the seams (that's where the bones are normally located), then, with chopsticks in hand, I lift out the bones. For me, this is much easier than using a fork because you can just pluck them out without having to chase them all over a plate or bowl. I do not like the skin in canned salmon either, so if you are like me, you can use the chopsticks to remove this as well. Just use the side of one chopstick, and scrape it along the skin. It will easily detach, and then you can just use both of your chopsticks to pick up the skin and discard it.

                                                                                                                            1. i am spoiled where I go and catch my own salmon and will only have it fresh I think canned salmon is gross but I have eaten salm all my life

                                                                                                                              1. Seriously, the skin is the BEST part! And I bet I'm not the only one who thinks so! And I agree that Rubenstein's canned salmon is the best for a supermarket brand.

                                                                                                                                1. I am always surprised when someone is so far removed from their sources that they are grossed out by something like fish bones and skin. If you toss the skin that comes in your can of salmon you do away with a lot of the heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids that we eat salmon for. Toss the bones and you are throwing away an excellent source of calcium. The canning process has softened the bones and made them very digestible. When my Japanese wife was pregnant with our two children her doctor suggested that she eat a lot of small fish specifically for the bones.

                                                                                                                                  I eat most of my canned salmon in the form of patties. I drain the liquid then dump the fish into a bowl and thoroughly mash it with a fork until I have a smooth mixture upon which to base my patties. I just had some leftover patties for my breakfast and they were delicious.

                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: charliesommers

                                                                                                                                    mixed with mashed potato or crumbs? and an egg?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                        Too late? Hope not. Just had salmon croquettes last night, and always wish I'd made two cans instead of one (small Rubenstein usually).
                                                                                                                                        Ever since I discovered Mark Bittman's tip to use mashed potatoes, I've never looked back. Makes the croquettes lighter and even taste crunchier when cooked! Of course an egg and bread crumbs (actually I use panko). Formed croquettes go into the fridge to firm up for 15 - 30 mins. Roll in panko before or after, then fry.
                                                                                                                                        I wish I had some right now!
                                                                                                                                        My mother always served them cold, with thin spaghetti with plain tomato sauce as a side. I remember it as a great combo, but somehow never do that myself. What do people like as sides for salmon croquettes?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                                                                                                          My wife is Japanese and we frequently prepare croquettes as part of a Japanese meal with rice, miso soup, and pickled veggies. Kimchi is probably out most often used veggie.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                                                                                                            I've been adding mash as well, after all one uses it in salmon pies - and panko to bread it.

                                                                                                                                            charliesommers, I have some Japanese seaweeds on hand - could make a salad with carrots, seaweed, some other things.

                                                                                                                                      2. I got a really good deal on Wild Pacific Sockeye Salmon with no salt added - Blue Menu (the "healthy" line) at Loblaws. Sustainable source, MSC, 213g, Alaskan. Kosher. Best before date June 2018.

                                                                                                                                        $1 a tin at my local Loblaws; suspect it is just a matter of the labelling that poorly indicates the comment, with a "serving suggestion".

                                                                                                                                        I bought 2 of those first time and really liked them (salmon has enough natural salt not to be meh without added salt), so now I have, what, about 25 of them? As long as it lasts...

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                          Which Loblaws? Jean Talon? I buy a crapton of canned salmon for me and for my dogs, I'd like to try this.

                                                                                                                                        2. Sigh...
                                                                                                                                          The best part of the salmon is the skin and bones in canned salmon.
                                                                                                                                          That's why RR used the whole tin.
                                                                                                                                          If the idea of eating the best part of the tinned salmon 'grosses you out' buy something more to your sensibilities.

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                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jackie007


                                                                                                                                                Not a big fan of her, myself.

                                                                                                                                                I was thinking Ronald Reagan? or
                                                                                                                                                Romney/Ryan? or
                                                                                                                                                Road Runner? or

                                                                                                                                                Those Harvard economists who miscalculated the economy, dreadfully, etc - Yikes!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: salmonlover

                                                                                                                                                  Not a fan of any of those RR's personally. Well, roadrunners are pretty innocuous. Although, my one friend has one terrorizing his chickens lately. We didn't even know they messed with chickens until roid rage road runner showed up in his yard a couple weeks ago.

                                                                                                                                          1. When canned Salmon is processed the cans are un-labeled. Different brands buy the cans by the shipping container load and then the brad puts it’s own label on them. So what I’m saying is that, one plant in Alaska could produce canned salmon for many different brands.
                                                                                                                                            Here is one such plant…http://icicleseafoods.com/locations/l...
                                                                                                                                            Canned Red Salmon is my favorite, firm red fish, Pink Salmon is good too, just a bit softer in texture and not as good flavor. Eat the bones and the skin it’s all good stuff.
                                                                                                                                            Here are some recipes using canned Salmon

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                                                                                                                                            1. re: MichJeep

                                                                                                                                              Exactly! I worked in the retail meat business for years and finally convinced a few people that often a cheaper brand is the same as an expensive brand, only the label is different. Many other items in a store are the same. For instance; look at the bottle your store brand ketchup is in. If it is identical to the bottle a major brand is in chances are pretty good they are the same thing.

                                                                                                                                              Most packaged meat products list the establishment number of the plant where they were processed. It is a simple task to trace that on the internet.

                                                                                                                                            2. Trader Joe's canned salmon is boneless and skinless -- pure meat.

                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Deborah R.

                                                                                                                                                Boneless and skinless means a lesser amount of omega 3 fatty acids and calcium. The skin is rich in these fats and the bones are an excellent source of calcium. Grizzly bears are aware of this and when salmon are abundant they often eat only the skin and roe tossing the bodies aside for gulls and such to eat.

                                                                                                                                                I like to put the drained salmon pieces in a mixing bowl and give them a thorough mashing with a fork before adding the other ingredients. The fat in the skin adds a lot of flavor too!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: charliesommers

                                                                                                                                                  I don't dispute what you are saying, Charlie. But I was responding to someone who is "grossed out" by the bones and skins (a revulsion I have to say I share). I think even without the bones and skin, salmon is a very healthy food option, and that's a preference that's entitled to respect (and a response.)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: charliesommers

                                                                                                                                                    I agree, by using canned salmon with the bones and skin, you are getting a healthier combination of ingredients. Yes, canned salmon without the skin an bones is still healthy, but not as healthy as the canned salmon with bones and skin. The canning process softens the bones, making them easy to eat and easy for the body to absorb the calcium. I'm 61 years old, and have been eating the canned salmon with the bones and skin since I was a child. A bone density exam I had a little more than a year ago returned very good results.
                                                                                                                                                    People should do their best to get over their "gross out" ,
                                                                                                                                                    "revulsion" feelings when it comes to canned salmon with the bones and skin. It's all in the mind....not in reality.
                                                                                                                                                    But then...I get feeling sick to my stomach if I eat hot dog wieners or salami. So I avoid them. That's probably a good thing... since they are actually unhealthy foods, compared to canned salmon with the bones and skin...which is far healthier. :)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Catoni52

                                                                                                                                                      I carefully crush the bones with my (clean) fingertips, they are not really detectable in dishes. I had a cow's milk allergy in my boomer childhood; there were not the calcium and magnesium alternatives there are nowadays and I have soft teeth, so I really try to get good calcium sources from non-dairy sources now. I used to give the fatty skin to my cat, but now I try to eat at least most of it (cat still gets some; it is good for him too).

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Catoni52

                                                                                                                                                        You sound like my Italian grandma; are you one ?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                          Non sono esattamente nonna; non ho bambini o nipotini... rather, a bit of a gattara...

                                                                                                                                                          Does your nonna also have a micio?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                            No ;) a lei non piaciono i mascotti

                                                                                                                                                  2. Any good low carb recipes for salmon patties/croquettes?

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                      I am a diabetic and must watch my carb intake, I frequently make patties without using any bread crumbs, panko, or mashed potatoes. Mash the salmon, stir in some caramelized and cooled minced onions and celery and an egg or two, then form into patties and fry. Negligible carbs, easy, and flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: charliesommers

                                                                                                                                                        Great, so similar to tuna salad, sounds delicious. I have a few cans I've been meaning to use but most recipes include at least a good amount of carbs for my general intake.

                                                                                                                                                    2. I was brought up eating everything in the can by my mother who grew up right in salmon country in western Canada. She told me the bones have important nutrients, calcium, etc. Canned salmon bones are soft, anyway, not like other fish bones.

                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: frugalcindy

                                                                                                                                                        I heard that too but hate canned salmon just got back from the coast and having some fresh

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: burge

                                                                                                                                                          Fresh is great but canned is convenient to keep around and use during inclement weather or other occasions when going to the store isn't practical.

                                                                                                                                                          Mince some fresh salmon and mix with an egg white, add some chopped cilantro, make into patties and saute. Delicious when you use the egg yolk for some Hollandaise sauce.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: burge

                                                                                                                                                            Fresh is better of course, but many people in salmon country (thinking of people I know in British Columbia - like frugalcindy's mum - and New Brunswick) can salmon too, in glass Mason jars. Sure, there is freezing now, but canning is more dependable still, and handy.

                                                                                                                                                        2. I was really grossed out by the one can of salmon I ever bought. Tossed the whole thing out!

                                                                                                                                                          But...just saw this: https://www.seabear.com/product-detai...
                                                                                                                                                          I'm definitely going to order some of that!

                                                                                                                                                          1. We used to have canned salmon in salads on my Italian side. This seemed totally normal and good to me until I tried to make it myself. Eww. Couldn't get past the look and smell and not knowing what to do with it exactly. I don't remember if anyone cleaned it but I don't think so. Maybe someone could post a salmon salad recipe? Or next time I visit family I will ask

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                                              using poached salmon - similar to salad Nicoise made with grilled tuna


                                                                                                                                                            2. I grew up having canned salmon patties for Friday dinner. Mom probably 'sauteed' them in margarine, so dry...No, I will not talk about canned salmon.
                                                                                                                                                              But I've had 'today's' canned razor clams, tuna,... What a treat

                                                                                                                                                              1. Here is a link to a wonderful company in Seattle,WA. http://www.vitalchoice.com/shop/pc/vi...

                                                                                                                                                                I worked with Vital Choice when the zoo I worked for had sick whales, and Vital Choice agreed to provide the salmon oil needed for their medical diet...which was the same salmon oil sold at their website. I do not work for their company but I believe you will be pleasantly surprised if you investigate their website. Anna

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                                                                                                                                                                1. re: CinCook

                                                                                                                                                                  I thinks it's important to specify what type of salmon is in the tin. There's a vast difference between pink salmon and sockeye and spring etc. Not sure where you'd get spring salmon anymore unless it's smoked then canned. Value added as such.
                                                                                                                                                                  Yes a lot of tinned salmon is proceed by the same canneries and then labeled by the bulk buyers.
                                                                                                                                                                  I've seen 'Pacific (what's in the tin is anyones guess) Salmon' that's been canned in VN.
                                                                                                                                                                  IMO the best tinned salmon is canned in Alaska and N.W. Canada.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: CinCook

                                                                                                                                                                    I second Vital Choice - imo it's the best canned salmon I've come across (and I did an extensive search and tried many different brands). I buy their not-smoked sockeye, which always has a generous amount of bright orange oil in the can - other premium brands lacked his. It isn't cheap but purely in terms of the product itself it was clearly the top contender - for me, anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. I eat tons of canned tuna and sardines and only recently ventured towards salmon. It's a nice alternative to fresh salmon and I view it as a substitute for other canned fish not fresh fish. Either way, it's great on its own merits. I really enjoyed it in lettuce wraps bones mashed in. I have been using the Whole Foods wild caught sockeye variety which is pretty good though would love to try others. I do stray away from the pink salmon as I presume it to be less flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                      Pink Salmon has it's uses not my all time fave but not to be avoided either.

                                                                                                                                                                      As to industrial canning it's true that in many cases only the label is different however here in British Columbia there are a number of 'boutique canneries' that specialise in packaging top quality product for individual boats who then sell small scale on the docks/specialty stores or even Farmer's Markets.

                                                                                                                                                                      Not just Salmon but Albacore Tuna is packaged/marketed in this manner-not a cheap alternative but the proof is in the eating-it's outstanding stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Salmon

                                                                                                                                                                        Hey - do you have any brand recs for these boutique canneries? I'm a BC native but we basically ate what we caught so I'm not familiar with much else. (in Montreal now and sadly lacking in sockeye)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: montrealeater

                                                                                                                                                                          Off the top of my head I can think of The Fishery from Saltspring Island.


                                                                                                                                                                          Less than a case available here


                                                                                                                                                                    2. I'd love to be able to open a can of red salmon and have it be a beautiful sight--it should be--at those prices. I havn;t shopped iin a grocery store in years(elderly handicapped) and was shocked to see the current prices when I made an inquiry thiis past summer. I would like to suggest that salmon be packaged differently than so obvious a "can shape". (At Thanksgiving time, one of my daughters likes to "bug" me by putting cranberry sauce on the table as it comes out of the can; whereas I prefer to pretend it is homemade and reshape it {if I havn't gotten around to making homemade.} I don' fool anyone but I don't like can shaped sauce.) A sauce and copious herbs could then be placed over the salmon. KB.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. My reaction to canned salmon goes something like this: 1) I see it in the store. 2) I remember that it comes with skin and bones. 3) Next I remember that those items are very nourishing and should be mashed into the salmon meat. 4) That sounds disgusting. 5) So I don't buy the canned salmon.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. I love canned salmon but don't like the skin and bones...so I buy boneless skinless salmon. I generally don't like fish skin, even when crisped up and attached to a beautifully cooked fish filet. I also can't eat poultry skin unless it is ridiculously crispy, so I think I just have textural issues eating skin.

                                                                                                                                                                          I keep b/s canned salmon on hand as a pantry staple. If the husband or I need a quick lunch, we have that as a backup to make salmon salad (much like others make tuna salad). I use it the same way people would use canned tuna- sometimes with mayo, other times mashed with good EVOO, a little lemon juice, chopped fresh parsley, sometimes with a little garlic...good stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. I've just found and fallen in love with Clover Leaf, Boneless, Skinless Atlantic Salmon.
                                                                                                                                                                            Easy open can, and great flaky salmon that tastes very good. Like you cooked it yourself, put it away, and then pulled it out of the fridge a few hours later.

                                                                                                                                                                            Relatively low fat, and sodium. I stock up when it's on sale.

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AnthonyJoseph

                                                                                                                                                                              The relatively low fat means less omega 3 fatty acids and in my opinion also means less taste. I want fatty salmon or mackerel and really, the skin is the tastiest and most healthful, part. I even like the bones for their crunch and very digestible calcium. The low sodium is good though.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AnthonyJoseph

                                                                                                                                                                                That canned farmed fish IOW horror-in-a-can.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Deming's boneless skinless salmon, just wonderful and the price is right.