The salmon is one of the fish mostly requested on the market: full and rich flavor, iconic for the pink color of the meat, a key element in many culinary cultures, thanks to its versatility it is used for many preparations. Raw salmon, cooked salmon, marinated salmon, smoked salmon: no matter how it is cooked, the salmon is one of the most appreciated products for fish recipes. Looking for tips on how to cook salmon, what to pair it with or you want to know where it is caught? Here we tell you everything.
Types of salmon
The salmon is a marine and freshwater bony fish, belonging to the Salmonidae family and there are several types of salmons, divided between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean:
- Atlantic Salmon, (Salmo Salar)
- Pink Salmon, (Oncorhynchus gorbusha)
- Silver Salmon, (Oncorhynchus kisutch)
- Sockeye Salmon , (Oncorhynchus nerka)
- Keta Salmon, (Oncorhynchus keta)
- Masu Salmon, (Oncorhynchus masou)
- King Salmon, (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha)
The salmon has a fusiform and slender body and is equipped with several fins: the two pectorals, below the gills, which are very small, the caudal fin which is wide and compact, and the two dorsal fins which are mirrored by the anal fin and are smaller in size. The salmon livery is usually silver, bluish and gray colored, but it may differ in shades depending on the species, more faded or even tending to yellow.
How to recognize a good salmon?
There are some rules to follow to understand if the salmon is good:
- The color of the salmon should tend to a pink or orange color without being fluorescent;
- The veins of fat, white in color, should be minimum and thin, not dominant and shiny;
- The flesh should be firm, compact and turgid at the touch;
To understand if the salmon is good, do the finger test: press on a part of the salmon with your index and if the fingerprint should go back with elasticity and the conformation of the salmon returns to normal, you will have a great quality salmon. If the fingerprint remains impressed as a bas-relief, that piece of salmon is not good.
What is the difference between smoked salmon and fresh salmon?
Although similar in texture, the smoked salmon is a fresh salmon that through a smoking procedure is transformed into a cured product. There are two ways to smoke the salmon:
- cold-smoked salmon: the salmon filets are placed into wooden containers, covered with salt and sugar, where they macerate and rest for 12 hours at 20°C undergoing constant smoking;
- hot-smoked salmon: the salmon filets are covered with salt and smoked initially at 120°C for 20 minutes with birchwood, then the temperature is lowered to 80°C for another 3 hours.
Is smoked salmon raw?
According to current regulations in Europe, CE n. 853/2004 of The European Parliament, the smoked salmon must be considered raw food, as the smoking does not guarantee the elimination of bacteria dangerous to human health, such as Anisakis or Listeria. For this, as described in the law, smoked salmon must be blast-chilled at a constant temperature of -20° for at least 24 hours, or before the smoking or immediately after.
For what concerns the culinary point of view, the smoked salmon undergoes manipulation that transforms it into a “cooked” product, if compared to a fresh or raw salmon slice. During the hot smoking, the exposure to high temperatures, even if for a relatively short time, modifies the organoleptic characteristics of the salmon.
At Pescaria we prefer the consumption of raw salmon, regularly blast chilled and that comes from controlled farms, or we use a very good smoked salmon; as in our Christmas special sandwich, 'Bietolina' which was paired to beets of Polignano, fried leek, stracchino cheese, mustard and honey sauce.
Pairing with fresh and smoked salmon
The salmon meat has a full, oily flavor, for this accompanying ingredients must balance the richness of flavor. With salmon you need spicy, citrusy, sour pairings, basically you need freshness to cleanse the palate. There are a variety of pairings with salmon to explore for each category of ingredients:
- Fruits such as orange, lemon, lime , pineapple, and passion fruit.
- Vegetables such as zucchini, spinach, cucumbers, potatoes and tomatoes.
- Spices and extracts such as pickled horseradish, ginger, soy, black pepper and cardamom.
- Herbs such as thyme, chives, mint, watercress, and rosemary.
- Dairy products such as ricotta, robiola, giuncata, sour cream and spreadable cheese.
Quick smoked salmon recipes
It is known that in daily life it’s always difficult to find time to cook complex and structured recipes. Work, chores and some laziness. But luckily, smoked salmon is an amazing alley to create easy and quick recipes: it is a versatile ingredient that can be paired to many other gastronomic products and most importantly it is easily available and requires no manipulation.
Salad with smoked salmon, valerian, avocado, oil and lemon dressing
A quick, fresh and easy to make smoked salmon recipe that will enhance the round flavor of the smoked salmon. Prepare a large salad bowl and place valerian as a base. Clean the avocado and cut it into the shape you desire, add the smoked salmon for the quantity you want and season with salt, pepper and a delicious oil and lemon sauce, which you can simply make by incorporating some oil with two lemon juice in a bowl, using a simple whisk.
Croutons with smoked salmon, cream cheese and lemon zest
In this recipe cooking time simply does not exist; it is quick and delicious. This quick, no-bake recipe with smoked salmon is the perfect appetizer to accompany a good glass of wine, a spritz or a relaxing beer at the end of the day. You will simply need to slice some bread, grill it in the oven or toast in a pan if you want to give it extra crunch, spread some cream cheese on it, arrange slices of smoked salmon on top of each slice and grate some leon peel. Want to try something different? Then try using whole wheat, rye or multigrain bread for a flavor that goes perfectly with smoked salmon.
Pasta with smoked salmon, ricotta cream and chives
To prepare this pasta dish with smoked salmon, you will need very little time. Sautè half of a diced onion in a pan and cook for at least 10 minutes at low heat. Add the chopped smoked salmon, turn up the flame and according to your taste, decide to deglaze with an alcoholic liquid (white wine, brandy or anything you like) and once the alcohol has evaporated, switch off the flame. Prepare the ricotta cream by putting together in a bowl, ricotta with liquid cream to soften it, whip it with a whisk and you will get a thick product. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta in the amount preferred. Drain the pasta al dente and toss in the pan, adding the ricotta cream while the heat is off. If necessary, add a ladleful of cooking water, preferably fresh egg pasta such as tagliolini, tagliatelle or pappardelle.
Salty pie with salmon, robiola cheese and spinach
You want to make a savory smoked salmon pie? Here is the recipe for you: boil the spinach or cook them directly in a pan with oil, garlic and chili, trying to remove the liquid in excess. Use two packages of ready-made puff pastry, rectangular or round depending on the baking dish you will use, and spread a generous layer of robiola cheese on the first sheet. Top with the spinach and finally with the smoked salmon, forming three layers of ingredients. Spread the robiola cheese on the other puff pastry as well and lay it on top of the toppings. Seal the edges of the puff pastry, brush the surface with beaten egg diluted with milk and if you have chia or sesame seeds use them to decorate the puff pastry. Bake at 180° static for 30 minutes, or at least until the pastry is browned.
Recipes with fresh salmon
Our salmon tartare, ideal as a seafood appetizer, is a preparation that you can find in a variety of dishes on our menu: on its own, paired with green sauce and crispy vegetables, accompanying mixed salad, dried figs, green apples and ricotta mousse, or starring in the famous salmon tartare sandwich, in which it is combined with mozzarella fior di latte, fried zucchini, sun-dried tomato pesto, mixed salad and roasted bell pepper mayonnaise.
Salmon, ricotta cheese, zucchini and thyme fish balls.
Dice the salmon, grate the zucchini, and blend together for a smoother consistency. Combine one egg, 100 gr of ricotta cheese, two tablespoons of breadcrumbs, 50 gr of grated cheese, and thyme. From this mixture you can shape fish balls to fry, either deep-fried or pan-fried. A tasty fish appetizer that is quick and easy to make!
Striped Paccheri with fresh salmon and cherry tomatoes
Simplicity in a recipe, here an idea for making a first course with fresh salmon: sautè very thin slices of celery, carrot and onion and let them get soft, diluting with water if needed. Add some more oil and let sautè with cherry tomatoes. Dice the salmon and add it to the mixture, cook for a couple of minutes and turn off the flame. Cook the paccheri in plenty of salted water, drain when three-quarters of cooking, keep a few ladlefuls of water aside, and at last in the pan with cherry tomatoes and salmon, sautè with the leftover water. Serve and pour a drizzle of oil and sprinkle some parsley over the pasta.
Baked sliced salmon in pistachio crust with dill potatoes
A great recipe for appearance, speed and taste. Start with the potatoes: peel, boil for two minutes and drain your desired amount of potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, oil and two knobs of butter and bake in a static oven at 220° for 15 minutes, they should become really crispy! Season the salmon slices with salt, pepper and brush with oil. Top the meat with the pistachio grains. Lower the oven temperature: when baking salmon, it is important to have the temperature around 180°in static mode, this will keep the fish meat moist and tasty. Cooking times vary depending on the size of the salmon, but it will take approximately 10-12 minutes. Help yourself with the change of color: it will turn from bright orange to a more muted, almost paste color pink. At that time you should consider it perfectly cooked.
Fresh sliced salmon cooked in pan
An essential tip for cooking fresh salmon in a pan or on a grill is to take care to incise the skin with a knife. Thanks to this incision, the skin will result crisp and firm without curling. If overcooked, the meat of the salmon will tend to be gristly and un-chewy: to cook the salmon perfectly, prefer high flame and high heat. Always begin cooking the salmon from the side of the skin, then turn it over. If you have standard-weight salmon filets (200gr per portion), 3 minutes per side will be sufficient.
Salmon tartare with cucumber and sun-dried tomatoes
To prepare a fantastic salmon tartare it is sufficient to use a good filet cut into dices, which will be marinated in some salt, oil and pepper, and served on a plate using a round cookie cutter. Here some tips on how to flavor the salmon tartare, from our salmon tartare with cucumber and sun-dried tomatoes:
- First cut the salmon filet into slices of 1 centimeter thick, then cut in strips and at last into little dice. Flavor with salt, oil and pepper, and put in the fridge.
- Rinse the cucumber and cut into thin rounds. Marinate with lemon juice, oil and pink pepper, let it rest for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
- Cut the sun-dried tomatoes and blend. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh if you prefer an even texture.
- Arrange the rounds of cucumber on a flat plate, creating a circle with a single slice in the center and the others branching out around the circumference.
- Place the tartare on the bed of marinated cucumbers, then add the sun-dried tomato sauce helping yourself with a spoon and decorate this last one with some mint leaves.
Salmon carpaccio with citrus fruits
Firstly, salmon carpaccio is made by thinly slicing the whole salmon crosswise,resulting in slices instead of cubes. Secondly, the carpaccio is served with an accompanying sauce that enhances the flavor. At Pescaria, we serve salmon carpaccio with tuna sauce, caper berries and candied cherry tomatoes. Marinating raw salmon is another idea for making a great carpaccio: here is our recipe for salmon carpaccio with citrus fruits.
- Cut the salmon filet lengthwise, obtaining compact and thin slices.
- Squeeze orange, lime and lemon juice together with thyme and rosemary and add all in an oven pan and then place the raw salmon. Let it rest for at least 2 hours.
- Clean the arugula, soak the leaves in water with ice to curl them and for a crunchy effect.
- Blend the stracciatella with its liquid and if you prefer a smoother texture, strain the cream through a fine-mesh strainer.
- Arrange the arugula on a flat plate, preferably a long one, and place the marinated carpaccio which will have been removed from its plate and let rest ahead of time.
- Decorate with some stracciatella and a sprinkle of pepper.
Risotto with salmon, confit cherry tomatoes, mint and sour butter
For confit tomatoes, use cherry tomatoes cut in half, sprinkle with herbs such as thyme, sage and marjoram and bake at 90 degrees for 3 hours. For the salmon: if you have a whole salmon on hand, use the head and bone to make a fish fumet. Otherwise, clean the slice from the skin, dice, and brown about half of the salmon quickly over high heat in a pan and then set aside. Prepare a light vegetable broth by cooking carrots, potatoes, celery, onion in plenty of unsalted water for at least 1 hour. For the sour butter make a sour stock with 250ml of white wine, 100 ml of vinegar, pepper grains, one onion cut in brunoise. Have the mixture reduced by two-thirds, strain and whisk with diced butter. Whisk until the butter becomes a fluffy mixture, to be refrigerated until the risotto is ready to be stirred. For the risotto: dry toast the rice in a large pot, each grain spread over the base. Do not fade with wine or anything else; when almost cooked, add the raw salmon. Season with salt and finish cooking by creaming with plenty of sour butter. Plate and garnish with the pan-seared salmon, confit cherry tomatoes and mint leaves.
Nutritional values and calories: everything you need to know if you eat salmon
Salmon is an excellent nutritional food, rich in protein with high biological value and significantly full of nutrients. The amino acid profile of salmon protein is complete for macronutrient assimilation.
In addition to the protein component, the presence of omega-3, a polyunsaturated fat that regulates the cardiovascular function and mitigates cholesterol, is considerable. As minerals, considerable is the presence of Phosphorus (280mg out of 100g) and Potassium (310mg out of 100g) while for vitamins, the amount of Niacin and Vitamin A is interesting.
How many calories does salmon have?
100 grams of salmon provides 185 kcal, broken down as follows in the nutritional reference table:
|Available carbohydrates (g)||1|
|Soluble sugar (g)||1|
|Total Fiber (g)||0|
Is salmon a fat fish?
When compared with other fish such as cod, sea bass, or amberjack, salmon is definitely higher in fat than they are. This does not mean it is a food to be demonized or avoided: most of the fats in salmon are semi-essential and unsaturated, and at most it is a food to be consumed in small portions for those who suffer from being overweight. Perfect for athletes who want to increase muscle mass, as reported in the study "Fueling for Performance" published jointly in PubMed and on the U.S. Government's National Library of Medicine website.
How to incorporate salmon into your diet
In a low-calorie or pure maintenance diet regimen, a 150g portion of salmon eaten twice a week is an excellent compromise in terms of caloric intake and palate satisfaction. While dedication is crucial in dieting, equally important is satisfying the taste buds, and salmon gives off a wealth of flavors unique in the fish world.
Salmon sandwich from Pescaria: choose from the menu or order a delivery!
After all this salmon talking, you definitely are a little hungry. Perfect: give a look to Pescaria’s menu, the first fish fast food restaurant in Italy. We started in Puglia and today we are present in Milan in two locations, Via Bonnet and Via Solari, Rome, Bologna, Torino, Verona, Padua, Trani, Polignano a Mare. Come visit us in one of our locations, order a take away or you can order your delivery with Glovo!