A Guide to Buying and Cooking Salmon

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A Guide to Cooking Salmon


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Salmon is versatile, meaty, easy to cook and particularly heart-healthy, due to its high level of omega-3 fatty acids. Buy salmon whole, as steaks or fillets and try it roasted, grilled, sautéed or poached. It may be cooked with or without its edible skin.

There are two general types of salmon, Atlantic and Pacific, with the main difference being that Atlantic salmon is farm-raised and Pacific salmon is wild. You'll find fresh Atlantic salmon (sometimes sold as Norwegian because it is farmed there) available across the country year-round. The quality is likely to be good because farm-raised salmon can be harvested and shipped within 24 hours, all in a controlled environment.

There are five species of Pacific salmon: king (also called Chinook), coho, sockeye (also called red), chum and pink. These wild varieties are most available in the summer months. Be sure to check for freshness since wild fish have been out of the water longer in variable environments.

Similar fish include Arctic char and steelhead trout, but other meaty fish such as striped bass, swordfish and tuna may often be substituted.

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