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Making the best of a bad situation: Farmed Salmon

ipsedixit Apr 2, 2013 06:19 PM

So I was gifted two farmed salmon fillets (about 6-8 oz each).

I'm not even going to pretend these are going to be good vis-a-vis wild salmon, or that I will like them that much but having said that, any suggestions on how I can make the best of a bad situation?

Some parameters:

- No pets (so "feed it to Fido" is out of the question)
- Not freezing (why keep "bad" longer than I have to)
- Not giving it away (bad karma w/re-gifting, and no one to give to anyway)
- Trash (this is a last resort)

Thank you.

  1. cayjohan Apr 2, 2013 06:27 PM

    Oooh...pickle it. Overwhelms the bad, lets you keep the good. Here's a good link: http://www.ethicurean.com/2007/01/12/... . Recipe calls for two pounds of salmon, but scaling to fit is no problem.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cayjohan
      magiesmom Apr 2, 2013 06:32 PM

      I agree.

      1. re: cayjohan
        Melanie Wong Apr 2, 2013 10:42 PM

        Yep, I'd say pickle or gravlax. One of my friends insists that the soft texture and bland flavor of farmed salmon actually makes it preferable as a starting point over wild for these two uncooked type of preps.

        ETA: And yes, you should freeze them to kill the parasites.

      2. pikawicca Apr 2, 2013 06:39 PM

        Salmon loaf or croquettes.

        1. juliejulez Apr 2, 2013 06:40 PM

          Maybe salmon cakes? http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

          1. Uncle Bob Apr 2, 2013 06:41 PM

            Grill it. Do not over cook!!!

            PS/ Do not over cook!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Uncle Bob
              deet13 Apr 2, 2013 07:24 PM

              I agree with Uncle Bob here...

              Marinate the filets in a bit of soy, brown sugar, mirin, oil, ginger, a pinch of chili pepper, and garlic; and then grill them over some nice chunks of citrus wood, or you could cedar plank them.

              Either way you should allow the smoke and the marinade make up for the lack of flavor.

            2. sbp Apr 2, 2013 06:41 PM

              Strong seasoning. I like to slather with Tandoori paste and pan fry.

              1. r
                rasputina Apr 2, 2013 06:44 PM

                Use a very flavorful rub or marinade and then serve the cooked salmon over a salad.

                1. f
                  foodieX2 Apr 2, 2013 06:53 PM

                  Preheat oven to 400. Place salmon, skin side down, on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lightly oiled. Rub salmon with some sesame oil, sprinkle top with chopped chives, grated ginger and a sprinkle of tamari soy sauce. Put salmon in oven. While salmon is cooking sauté some garlic and fresh ginger in cast iron skillet. Add a huge bunch of baby spinach, a large pinch of red pepper flakes and let that wilt down. Remove salmon when to you likeness but don't over cook. Serve on a bed of the sautéed spinach.

                  1. Ruthie789 Apr 2, 2013 07:10 PM

                    Fishcakes perhaps?

                    1. K K Apr 2, 2013 07:24 PM

                      Salmon fried rice with superior stock

                      Miso and sake marinated salmon and grilled

                      Thinly slice them for shabu shabu or hotpot...spicy dip sauce, ponzu, or garlic vinegar

                      ground salmon burgers

                      1. ipsedixit Apr 2, 2013 07:30 PM

                        Thanks for all the suggestions thus far everyone.

                        Much appreciate the enthusiasm here.

                        So far I'm thinking maybe I should roast them, flake, and them make Salmon Salad (a la tuna salad)?

                        The fried rice suggested by K K isn't a bad idea either.

                        Croquettes and/or salmon cakes is another possibility, but borders on a bit too much prep time than I'm willing to invest in these things (same goes for the pickling option).

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          K K Apr 2, 2013 09:13 PM

                          You could also steam them over a bed of soft tofu, then drizzle some soy sauce, oil, scallions over.

                          Or dice them up with scallions, stir fry with egg (or steam it like a pork patty).

                          Also works with stir fry with black bean sauce.

                          Also try with curries (e.g. Thai red, yellow, or green).

                          Wonder what it might be like if you deep fry it with salt and pepper batter.

                          Or dice it up with chives and make dumplings...although you probably know already that firm white fleshed fish that are blander in taste are better suited for this.

                          1. re: K K
                            ipsedixit Apr 2, 2013 09:18 PM

                            No way I am going to steam these things - it would only heighten the mushy, baby-food texture of the fish.

                            The "salmon-loaf" is a good idea and salmon fish sticks wouldn't be bad but again would involve way too much work and prep time (just like croquettes).

                          2. re: ipsedixit
                            westsidegal Apr 2, 2013 11:39 PM

                            the way my mom used to make croquettes was pretty easy:

                            cook and flake the salmon
                            mix with mayo and an egg
                            add bread crumbs or small cubes of bread
                            salt and any other seasoning you want
                            form into patties

                            not gourmet, but for this salmon, probably good enough.

                          3. r
                            rawrpie Apr 2, 2013 09:40 PM

                            If its fresh, sashimi, with evoo, balsamic and ur choice of finely chopped green herbs.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: rawrpie
                              ipsedixit Apr 2, 2013 09:41 PM

                              I hope you're joking and I'm just too dense to pick up on it.

                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                rawrpie Apr 2, 2013 09:48 PM

                                Haha! I perhaps incorrectly just thought u meant you just didn't like salmon. But seems like farmed salmon = bad? Forgive my ignorance :)

                                Otherwise I've had salmon made like that by my uncle and it was quite tasty...

                                1. re: rawrpie
                                  ipsedixit Apr 2, 2013 09:53 PM

                                  No worries.

                                  But yeah I think the last thing a person wants to do with farmed salmon is eat it raw, or even as ceviche.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                    rawrpie Apr 2, 2013 10:02 PM

                                    Ahh right, I guess its not issue that gains much attention or is prevalent over here, probably due to the lack of salmon farms or awareness.

                                    1. re: rawrpie
                                      westsidegal Apr 2, 2013 11:41 PM

                                      here's something to be aware of in both farmed and wild salmon:

                                      nice pictures in the article, too

                              2. re: rawrpie
                                westsidegal Apr 2, 2013 11:36 PM

                                you must be kidding, rawrpie

                              3. r
                                ricepad Apr 2, 2013 10:13 PM

                                Consider this an opportunity to experiment with a recipe you'd be afraid to test on a really good piece of fish. Or make salmon jerky.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: ricepad
                                  KarenDW Apr 2, 2013 10:26 PM


                                  1. re: ricepad
                                    chowser Apr 3, 2013 06:45 AM

                                    I was thinking salmon candy jerky. Some variation of these:


                                    It might be a little like pork jerky?

                                    1. re: ricepad
                                      ipsedixit Apr 3, 2013 07:55 AM

                                      That's the thing. I have *no* issue with experimenting with a good piece of fish. In fact, why would a person use anything but a piece of fish that was actually good.

                                      Put another way. Let's say I experimented with a new technique with farmed salmon, and it comes out bad. Was it the technique? Or was it the fish?

                                      Conversely, if this new technique renders a good dish, was it the technique, or (gasp!) the farmed salmon?

                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                        chowser Apr 3, 2013 08:33 AM

                                        Have you ever made fish floss? BTW, salmon jerky candy is good. I've just never made it.

                                    2. Veggo Apr 3, 2013 08:01 AM

                                      My friend from Uruguay sometimes makes a salmon pie, with flaked salmon, sofrito, red pepper flakes, in pre-made pastry shells. I know he uses farmed salmon. It's tasty. I had some again last week.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Veggo
                                        ipsedixit Apr 3, 2013 08:15 AM

                                        That's an interesting thought. I've done something similar with haddock.

                                        1. re: Veggo
                                          Ruthie789 Apr 6, 2013 09:16 AM

                                          That sounds delicious.

                                        2. RealMenJulienne Apr 3, 2013 08:05 AM

                                          Honestly, some of these replies.

                                          It's farmed fish, not radioactive waste. Make a miso/honey/soy sauce/minced ginger glaze and then broil it. I bet you'll have no leftovers.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                            ipsedixit Apr 3, 2013 08:16 AM

                                            There would be no leftovers because all of it would be in the garbage.

                                            1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                              latindancer Apr 3, 2013 09:54 AM

                                              <I'll bet you'll have no leftovers>

                                              That depends on who you're serving it to.
                                              For those who've never experienced Alaska Wild White King Salmon fresh off the boat, prepared in such a way it reflects pure nirvana, the farm would be considered acceptable.
                                              Otherwise? Mediocrity, at best.

                                              1. re: latindancer
                                                Ruthie789 Apr 6, 2013 09:15 AM

                                                Nothing compares to fresh caught fish. However, as much as I like the fresh, the wild, I do have budget constraints and do eat farmed salmon. It's the same with meats, hamburger is fine, good steak and roasts are quite expensive so they are bought for special occasions. An unlimited food budget would allow me to buy organic, local and the best but I do my best with what I find reasonable and affordable.

                                              2. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                hotoynoodle Apr 3, 2013 06:15 PM

                                                the lack of flavor in farmed salmon is one thing, but the mushy texture is what's so off-putting to me. that's why croquettes or mousse would seem more palatable.

                                              3. hotoynoodle Apr 3, 2013 08:14 AM

                                                salmon mousse.

                                                1. l
                                                  latindancer Apr 3, 2013 09:57 AM

                                                  The longer you keep it around the more likely it will be inedible.
                                                  Then you'll have no choice but to use the 'last resort'.

                                                  1. f
                                                    FriedClamFanatic Apr 3, 2013 06:33 PM

                                                    a little sauce especially on Salmon.......covers up a host of ills

                                                    1. Bada Bing Apr 3, 2013 06:52 PM

                                                      What'd you do?

                                                      This thread was yesterday. I'd have suggested chowder if in time.

                                                      My market here has a Scotland farmed salmon which is actually quite good. Different methods there, I think. Still, I buy wild when I can.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Bada Bing
                                                        ipsedixit Apr 3, 2013 07:25 PM

                                                        Salmon salad ( with yogurt, dijon, capers, dill, horseradish powder, toasted sesame seeds, lime zest, minced garlic, salt, pepper and a bit of Sriracha)

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                          linguafood Apr 3, 2013 07:35 PM

                                                          How horrible was it? Glad to see you've lived to tell the tale.

                                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                                            cayjohan Apr 3, 2013 07:55 PM

                                                            Good pickle-y flavors! Well done!

                                                        2. s
                                                          skywaters Apr 12, 2013 09:09 PM

                                                          Oh, for Pete's sake... being given something you don't want to eat a 'bad situation' I understand your intent, but the ridiculous hyperbole sounds like something off of GOOP.

                                                          What about salmon quenelles? I've never actually tried them, because they just don't appeal, but I wonder if the soft texture of farmed might not work better?
                                                          Or... I'd make easy salmon patties, salad (mayo and whatever you like in tuna salad), or, like others have said, something different that you wouldn't want to waste good fish on.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: skywaters
                                                            ipsedixit Apr 13, 2013 12:04 AM

                                                            I'm sorry, but what part of it was hyperbole?

                                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                                              hotoynoodle Apr 13, 2013 07:33 AM

                                                              i wonder that too. if my options are farmed salmon or... something else? i will pick "something else" every time. the farmed krap invalidates every "good" thing about salmon -- flavor, texture, nutrition, etc.

                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                magiesmom Apr 13, 2013 07:43 AM

                                                                me too.

                                                          2. q
                                                            Querencia May 7, 2013 05:04 PM

                                                            If it is for human consumption, try smearing it with bottled barbecue sauce and baking it. Serve it with cornbread, baked beans, and coleslaw.

                                                            1. letsindulge May 7, 2013 05:49 PM

                                                              Frankly I'm taken aback by the haughtiness of the OP. Just wondering why you accepted the lowly gift at all. Not to say that I don't enjoy a piece of wild salmon when it's available, and appropriately priced, but the fact of the matter is is that farmed salmon is more obtainable than wild. IMO it's not to be compared, but enjoyed for what it is. My 2¢ worth.....No haters please.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: letsindulge
                                                                ipsedixit May 7, 2013 07:03 PM

                                                                My apologies to you.

                                                                1. re: letsindulge
                                                                  latindancer May 7, 2013 10:53 PM

                                                                  <the fact of the matter is that farmed salmon is more obtainable than wild>

                                                                  Not to me, it isn't. I would rather go without salmon than eat farm raised. In fact, the thought of it makes me sort of cringe.

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