Friday, 11 March 2016


“The sea hath fish for every man.” – William Camden

Salmon is a popular food. Classified as an oily fish, salmon is considered to be healthful due to the fish’s high protein, high omega-3 fatty acids, and high vitamin D content. Salmon is also a source of cholesterol, with a range of 23–214 mg/100 g depending on the species. According to reports in the journal “Science”, farmed salmon may contain high levels of dioxins. PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) levels may be up to eight times higher in farmed salmon than in wild salmon, but still well below levels considered dangerous. Nonetheless, according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the benefits of eating even farmed salmon still outweigh any risks imposed by contaminants. Farmed salmon has a high omega 3 fatty acid content comparable to wild salmon. The type of omega-3 present may not be a factor for other important health functions.

Salmon flesh is generally orange to red, although white-fleshed wild salmon with white-black skin colour occurs. The natural colour of salmon results from carotenoid pigments, largely astaxanthin, but also canthaxanthin, in the flesh. Wild salmon get these carotenoids from eating krill and other tiny shellfish. The vast majority of Atlantic salmon available around the world are farmed (almost 99%), whereas the majority of Pacific salmon are wild-caught (greater than 80%). Canned salmon in the US is usually wild Pacific catch, though some farmed salmon is available in canned form.

Smoked salmon is another popular preparation method, and can either be hot or cold smoked. Lox can refer to either cold-smoked salmon or salmon cured in a brine solution (also called gravlax). Traditional canned salmon includes some skin (which is harmless) and bone (which adds calcium). Skinless and boneless canned salmon is also available. Here is a recipe for salmon fillets:

Marinated Baked Salmon
2 tablespoons French mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (@200 g) pieces centre-cut salmon fillet (1 inch thick)
Ginger dill sauce
4 tablespoons home-made mayonnaise (not sweet!)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped dill

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 190°C. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Whisk together oil, wine, lime and lemon juice, chives, dill, and pepper in a shallow bowl. Add salmon, turning to coat, and marinate, covered, in the fridge for about 40 minutes.
Remove salmon from marinade, letting excess drip off, and discard marinade. Bake salmon, skin sides down, on baking sheet until just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Lift salmon from skin with a metal spatula and transfer to a plate, discarding skin.
Whisk ingredients of the sauce gently until homogenised. Serve on top of the salmon fillets.

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1 comment:

  1. I cannot recognise wild-caught Pacific salmon, just by looking at them. But I always go for red salmon in the fish shop rather than pale pink. Yours look excellent!

    My mother always made fish for the big Friday night family dinner and I assumed it was so that we could have a fancy sweets dish afterwards. [Jewish families don't eat any milk product with or after a meat meal, so if she wanted cheesecake, pavlova or fruits-and-cream, meat had to be carefully avoided]. But no. My mother always cooked fish on Friday night because her mother always did :)