Salmon

Salmon

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

Fresh wild salmon is considered one of the great fish delicacies of the world; it is beautifully coloured, the pink flesh is both firm and succulent, the flavour unique, and it is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, so good for our hearts.

Worldwide, salmon farming has expanded enormously over the past decade, with major producers in Norway, Scotland, Chile and Australia. Many consider wild salmon (not farmed) from the rivers of Scotland and Ireland the very best. Introduced into NSW in 1963, and transferred for aquaculture in Tasmania in the mid-1980s, fresh Atlantic salmon and ocean trout have become readily available at Australian fish markets. However, because salmon farming has been subject to broad and persistent attack by environmentalists, it is still best seen as a luxury, to keep farming less intensive and more environmental.

Atlantic salmon and ocean trout are reared in freshwater hatcheries for 9–12 months. They are pre-adapted to life in seawater and are transferred to net cages in the sea. The farm sites are generally in sheltered bays or estuaries around Tasmania.

Types of salmon:

Organic salmon: As the call for organic food grows it is encouraging to find organic salmon is becoming available. Yarra Valley in Victoria, Australia, is one such supplier.

Fresh salmon and ocean trout: There is no substitute for fresh salmon cooked to perfection. It can be purchased whole, at a usual weight of 3–4 kg, or ready cut into fillets or steaks (cutlets). A whole baked or poached salmon is a fitting dish to take the place of turkey or ham at the Christmas or celebration table. Salmon fillets, or steaks, too, are the epitome of luxury – delicious, yet easy to cook.

Tinned salmon: Probably the most familiar type, and enormous amounts are processed every year. One of the most sought after varieties is sockeye salmon, considered outstanding for canning because of its rich red, very firm flesh. Tinned sockeye salmon is always marked as such on the label, whereas other varieties may only be described as either red or pink salmon. Smoked salmon: A superb delicacy. Wafer-thin slices of smoked salmon may be served with lemon wedges and brown bread and butter, with cream cheese and bagels, or on rye bread with sour cream. Smoked salmon lends a touch of luxury to homely scrambled eggs, transforming them into a dish for princes – try it for a special brunch with fine Champagne. Choose smoked salmon that has pale pink-gold flesh and is as fresh as possible. A dark red or deep orange colour usually means a dye or over-cured fish.

It may be bought freshly sliced from a whole side of salmon, or ready-sliced, and vacuum-packed. Smoked salmon is also available tinned or in pieces in jars.

Salmon trout: Closely related to trout but feed in the sea and spawn in fresh water. They are found in northern Europe and combine the beautiful flavour and pink-coloured flesh of salmon with the texture of trout. They may be prepared and served in the same way as salmon.

Salmon roe eggs: The eggs are larger than lumpfish eggs; they are salted and are a bright orange colour.

Store in refrigerator once opened. Use in same ways as caviar – as an hors d’oeuvre. See Caviar.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

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