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May 25, 2007 10:45 AM

Farm Raised Salmon

OK well I haven't had the stuff in a few years and have avoided it like the plague. I was going to serve salmon for dinner and they didn't have any wild stuff so I reluctantly grabbed a large filet. I marinated it in Soy Vey for a few hours and then roasted it a 450 oven using the convenction roast setting that I just started using. The salmon was roasted in aluminum foil. It didn't take long and it was absolutely delicious. I was shocked. Is it because the fish is so fatty from not heading upstream? Do you think wild salmon would also come out moist using that technique? I know it wouldn't be as moist as the farm raised but boy was it tasty.

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  1. Where I live (Pacific Coast), most salmon is actually caught in the ocean before heading upstream. And I'm quite sure you would be pleased with it cooked that way. A method I use is baked in foil with salt, pepper, lemon, white wine, butter and dill.

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      1. Wild salmon are generally caught at the mouth of the river before the salmon have had much chance to move into fresh water. Within a few days of moving into freshwater, the flesh starts to deteriorate rapidly. By the time the fish has reached the spawning grounds, they are so badly degraded that you can literally put your finger through the body of the fish-- obviously it is totally inedible. So a fish in your grocery store still has almost all of the fat that it was able to accumulate while it was swimming around the ocean-- the variability in fat content is largely due to the species of salmon (king, red, silver, etc.), the location of the spawning grounds (longer river=fattier fish), and the handling of the fish. A king salmon spawning in a distant river (ie Copper River) will be fattier than any farm raised fish because it is preparing itself for the long journey upriver.

        Farm raised salmon eat a diet of commercial pellets and dye (to make them pink) and don't migrate at all. The "softness" of a farmed fish (which is often attributed to fat content) is caused by the lack of activity and muscle development in a farmed fish.

        If your fish was marinated in a strong marinade and sealed in foil, your cooking method was more steaming than roasting, which is a fantastic way to cook fish. And you probably cooked the fish just right. If you cooked a wild salmon the same way, it would probably be identical to the farmed stuff. The big difference in wild and farmed salmon is quite noticeable when the fish are prepared very simply (no sauces, marinades).

        1. When I used to cook with farm salmon, I would brine it for a couple hours in a salt and lemon juice solution and that seemed to mediate the off-taste in the fat and firm up the flesh. My guests would always be surprised that it was farmed. I imagine that your marinade served the same purpose.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Any fish that needs firming up can be steamed starting with a lot of salt on both sides (along with chilis, slices of ginger, and spring onions). The steaming will get rid of a lot of salt and water from the flesh--providing a dish not too salty and nicely firm.

          2. The original comment has been removed