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Flavor differences - canned vs fresh salmon filets?

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I love fresh wild salmon filets (prefer King, not much of a fan of the others), but in my cupboard clean out found a few cans of wild sockeye which I planned to donate to a local food drive, but I guess since it's Mother's Day the thought of my grandmother's salmon cakes popped into my head and pondered if I might actually use them for a great salmon meal. I only had them as a kid and so don't remember too much about them. There are many threads on canned salmon on CHOW but I couldn't find a good thread discussing any flavor difference between fresh and canned. What have your experiences been with fresh vs canned salmon? Is there a big flavor difference?

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  1. Is there a big flavor difference?
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    Without being glib, um, the answer is YES.

    Is your canned salmon packed in water or oil? If the former, there will be less of a difference but still a significant difference nonetheless. If it's the latter, you're essentially looking at a whole new type of ingredient in my opinion.

    Canned salmon, for me, is only good for things like salad, or sandwiches. I know people like to make croquettes or cakes or even "salmon ragoons" out of them, but for me, meh.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      It's packed in water with bones and skin. Yea, I remember the croquettes and cakes also not being something I ran towards as a kid which is why I hesitated to make them. Though I imagine this preparation with chopped fresh salmon might actually be tasty. For me canned tuna doesn't taste anything like tuna and is a "whole new type of ingredient" to be viewed separately, so I wondered if canned salmon was similar.

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        For me canned tuna doesn't taste anything like tuna and is a "whole new type of ingredient" to be viewed separately, so I wondered if canned salmon was similar.
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        Fresh tuna is to canned tuna as fresh salmon is to canned salmon. Taste and consistency is totally different. You can't view them as substitutes. You can make salmon cakes/croquettes from both, but they will have very different taste and texture.

    2. I've made salmon almond patties for years from Deming's canned red salmon. I rather like them. Now I am more likely to make these for lunch, using a 1/2 size can. And I can't find Demings here, so I bought WF salmon, which works OK.

      Canned salmon often is salty, but I find it quite acceptable. A good canned salmon can top a salad for dinner or lunch. You don't have to make patties or croquettes.

      Costco carries a nice canned white salmon. I like it very well. I noticed that Costco also carries a red, but I haven't tried that product yet.