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How do you like your salmon?

I had salmon at the Harrison the other night, it was crusted with a horseradish breading which was not bad, but the salmon was almost raw. I've always cooked my salmon and other fish so that the meat is cooked, just to the point where it flakes offf. I like raw fish, sashimi is my favorite ,,but that is high quality fish. The fish served in restaurants other than is not sushi grade, and even when they say it is , they dont keep it right and I think almost raw is not the way to go. These days restaurants tend to make Tuna and Salmon almost raw,,, I have a hard time dealing with it ,,although some places i have liked tuna tartare ,,even if I was wary about the fish getting me sick.
So I ask , How do you like your salmon and for that matter tuna or other fish cooked.? Am I the only one who likes the meat to flake off ,, never over cooked ,,just so it flakes ,and with tuna leaving it pink but not raw,,,,, with salmon cooked til it flakes,, bass the same,,, let me here the consensus

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  1. Why don't you just tell the restaurant to cook it till it's done when you place your order? I like my salmon and tuna cooked with crispy crust yet moist, almost raw inside, like rare to medium rare of a steak. Any good restaurant will accommodate your request as long as you tell them when placing your order.

    Salmon is my least favorite sashimi. That said, I hate well done salmon even more!

    I don't see why we need a consensus on fish-doneness. It's a personal preference like steak. Everyone is entitled to his/her own preference. Why do we all need to agree on the same level?

    3 Replies
    1. re: kobetobiko

      I think consensus wasn't quite what the OP really intended. Opinion would have been a better word. FWIW I prefer (at home) raw and thinly sliced with a dip made of some combination of oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, hot sauce, fish sauce, tom yum or whatever strikes me at that moment. I don't use the word sashimi as it has the wrong connotation for what my concoction. In particular I tend to brine it with salt, sugar and a few spices and do not use sashimi grade fish.

      1. re: Paulustrious

        Opinion, consensus, tomahto, tomayto... kbt's point is that you should not assume anything when ordering salmon - you should specify how you want it cooked, especially if you have particular tastes. It may be the restaurant's fault to simply assume that you want it cooked medium rare, or more to the point, for not asking. But as a knowledgeable consumer, why bother taking chances? If you ask for it to be well done and they then serve it rare or raw in the middle, you have a legitimate complaint. If they served it rare without asking, you can always ask them to take it back and cook it some more.

        1. re: applehome

          I would agree except for one thing...

          Have you ever asked in an 'ordinary' restaurant to serve salmon raw? I only tried it once and they refused. Normally I specify my meat preference, and that includes things like pork and game birds.

          And reading some of the posts post this post, it seems I'm not the only oddball that likes their salmon raw. That surprises me to some extent, as in my non-chow life I have met few that would side with me unless it was sashimi or cerviche.

    2. I like my salmon cooked through, not necessarily "well done", and I am only in the mood for nearly raw tuna when it is sushi grade and sliced thin, so I generally ask for it to be cooked so that it is not red in the center. There is no need to be defensive or apologetic about it, as the previous poster seems to indicate. It is your preference. You are right -- this is a trend that has been out there for a few years, and restaurants can be counted on the present their food this way nearly all the time as of late unless you tell the server up front about your preferences. It may seem "untrendy" or even counter to the chef's preference, but you are the restaurant patron and asking for your food to be cooked more thoroughly, especially in the case of fish that USED to be commonly served this way, is not any kind of travesty, insult to the chef or out-of-touch preference. Just speak up. I love sushi and sashimi too, and tuna and salmon are among my favorites, but like you, I am somewhat suspicious about run-of-the-mill restaurant grade fish . Frankly, I don't buy that it is sushi grade just because it is represented that way. Heck, there are reports of restaurants subbing other fish and calling it grouper, so why would I trust the average restaurant to handle my tuna or salmon correctly? Most restaurants, with the exception of Asian restaurants, really don't know how to prepare sushi.

      3 Replies
      1. re: RGC1982

        RGC thank you. 15 years ago better restaurants and better chefs would have prepared my fish "perfectly" to my taste, These days I will have to specify how I like it.
        Kobe I didnt want a consensus, just several opinions on fish that is cooked, not sashimi. Also, salmon isnt my favorite sashimi, My favorite changes with my craving. Shima Aji is one of my favorites, Bluefin kama, or tail another, Tasmanian trout looks and tastes alot like salmon not sure if it actually is in the salmon family. In any case,
        I thank you all for your comments,

        1. re: foodwhisperer

          As a Taswegian of many years standing I can assure you that Tasmanian trout is most definitely a member of the salmon family. Both the brown trout, salmo trutta, and the Atlantic salmon, salmo salar, are now farmed extensively in the cold, food rich pristine waters of Tasmania. Brown and rainbow trout were both introduce to Tasmanian lakes and rivers in the 1800s by early settlers and now provide some of the best angling in the world.
          No advertising intended!

        2. re: RGC1982

          "why would I trust the average restaurant to handle my tuna correctly?"

          I think chances are very good that your average restaurant buys frozen, pre-portioned individual blocks of sashimi grade tuna. Very few are buying tuna loins and butchering it themselves. The frozen blocks are so much cheaper and more convenient.

          Do you question the 'sashimi-grade' designation in general as being reliable - and if so why - or do you thing restaurants are not being honest about their fish?

        3. For salmon, in order: a) smoked, b) sashimi, and c) cooked until just flaky. I guess I prefer it not to be seared on the outside and raw at the center.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            +1. I agree completely. It isn't best cooked, but when it is, it should be cooked through. (but not too much)

              1. Hot or cold smoked. once every few years salmon salad is fine ditto salmon cakes. Fillets or steaks or anything like that everyone else is welcome to my portion. i won't eat it.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Candy

                  Ditto. Either smoked, or raw as in sashimi. I've rarely had a piece of cooked salmon that I liked.

                      1. re: Caralien

                        Especially when you caught it! Quadruple yum. (Don't tell the fish worm crowd.)

                      2. re: Passadumkeg

                        Gravlax is fine and lox is fine. I can't stand the texture and flavor of grilled, poached or roasted salmon. Of course once you have put it on the grill and watched the worms start to crawl out of it, that is a real appetite killer.

                        1. re: Candy

                          Just the worms to catch more salmon!

                        2. re: Passadumkeg

                          Lox isn't cooked. At least not heat-cooked, which is what I meant.

                    1. My preference is to have it charred and raw. If the server (and kitchen) don't understand that, I'll leave.

                      1. Lately, only raw will do.
                        I noticed someone brought up an old post of mine about loving crispy salmon skin- that's the skin though! I'll take that cooked!! Otherwise gimmie a nice, thin slice of it, raw, draped over a chunk of rice, or hugging a chunk of avocado (Sorry Sammy) or snuggled alongside some other, fabulous raw fish....

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Boccone Dolce

                          I love my salmon either really crispy or a thick slice of raw salmon. I like it mixed in with rice.

                        2. At home if we caught a salmon and it is the right species (like not a pink salmon - which goes into the fryer) we like to do a bit of sashimi first, carve of a hunk for some gravlax and then either (my husbands fave) Sear it in the pan and the release it with balsamic and serve it on bitter greens with olives and pine nuts. I like it either with a mustard and breadcrumb crust or with a coating of oil and roasted quickly in the oven. Simple, I know... but I love it. We cook it to just as it hovers before flakiness.

                          Tuna - I love it with tons of cracked pepper and seared cold inside and wasabi and soy dipping.

                          Halibut - I love this recipe where the fish is served with two kinds of sauce - a creamy wasabi and a sriracha sauce. I think it is in the giant Gourmet compilation book. It is pretty and delicious.

                          I have never told the chef how I wanted my fish cooked unless the menu or waiter declares I must choose.

                          1. For me it's got to be grilled, lightly spiced, S&P, maybe Spanish smokey pap, and a little evoo to finish it.

                            1. I always order Salmon rare to medium rare. A good chef knows that fish will continue cooking on the plate for a few minutes and should never be overcooked. I think Salmon and tuna are really the only fish that can be eaten pretty rare, but Salmon should be cooked a bit more. It is all preference though similar to how people enjoy their steaks. If you like it more well done, just tell them since more often than not, it will come out medium if you do not say anything.

                              1. While I love raw sushi salmon, any sight of raw in my salmon that is supposed to be cooked turns my stomach.

                                I like my salmon just cooked enough (but not overcooked) so that it's tender when it flakes, not rubbery.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: foodlover23

                                  Agree with everything you said foodlover23. I prefer Salmon Sushi... I could eat a good Spicy Salmon Roll every single day of my life!!! If it's cooked, it must be perfect...criminal if under or worse to me over cooked!! No matter what...I will always love that silly fish!

                                2. New England style: salmon fish cakes & beans for breakfast, salmon chowdah for lunch and the ubiquitous old school 4th of July salmon w/ cream sauce, new sweet peas and boiled new potatoes for suppah. My deceased Boston Brahmin MIL's old favorite.
                                  Camp style: planked or fire roasted.
                                  Don't neglect the salmon hash either, deary.

                                  1. I love all salmon, raw, seared, poached, grilled, smoked, gravlax, salmon cakes. I could eat it every day. Sadly, everyone I know seems to hate it.

                                    1. I like salmon almost any way - smoked, grilled, steamed (with ginger-soy marinade), pan-fried, sushi, burgers (though the last time I made my salmon burger recipe, just as I was forming the patties, one of my favorite bowls hydroplaned off the counter, breaking the bowl and trashing the fish, so I haven't had the heart to make it lately), basically, any preparation you can imagine. My level of desired cookedness varies with the preparation, but never more than flakey. I agree with a few others: if I don't know the restaurant well or haven't seen and smelled the fish raw, it needs to be pretty well cooked. I rarely have complaints in restaurants, and send something back even more rarely, but I'm also not shy about doing so, nicely.

                                      My limitation is more about where the fish comes from. Not to be preachy, but anymore I just don't enjoy fish that I know is being harvested unsustainably. This limits my choices, but not as much as you might think. The biggest is that I rarely ever eat tuna any more. The yummy taste of tuna sushi just doesn't compensate for the the knowledge of how badly the fishery is doing. I have a friend who would be proud to eat the last one, but that's not me. Fortunately, I have a local fish market that supplies me with lots of wild Alaskan salmon and halibut, North American farmed tilapia, rainbow trout., oysters, and other sustainable choices.