Cooking Guide

5 Types of Wild Salmon (And Why They Should Be on Your Dinner Table)

The argument for why you should buy grass fed beef and free-range pork has been raging for what seems like forever. But while all the land animals like grass fed beef and free-range chicken hold center stage, it seems that meat from the sea often gets left behind.

After all, how many times do you hear why you should buy wild-caught Alaskan salmon online?

The answer is not many. But fortunately, we're here to change that. In this blog, we'll be exploring five different types of wild salmon, and why wild caught should always be your first choice at the dinner table.

Why wild caught Alaskan salmon?

Did you know that farmed salmon has more than three times the amount of saturated fat as its wild-caught relatives? That's right! The higher fat content is a result of the diet these fish are fed, which ultimately produces bigger fish. Unfortunately, those big fish come at a cost to your health. According to data from the FDA and EPA, farmed salmon are at a higher risk of mercury contamination than wild-caught salmon.

While there's nothing wrong with eating farmed salmon occasionally, you should probably stick to wild-caught if you plan on cooking salmon multiple times in a given week.

Salmon varieties

Whether you knew it or not, there's a pretty wide variety of salmon out there. Here, we'll take a quick look at five types of wild-caught salmon you may want to put on your plate in the near future.

King Salmon: Also known as Chinook, this species of salmon is by far the largest, with the average fully-grown salmon weighing in at a hefty 20 pounds. In addition, it's the earliest to market and highly coveted because it's only in season from May to June.

• Sockeye Salmon: This salmon is commonly known as "red salmon" among fishermen because its skin turns bright red during spawning season. Sockeye is a much smaller species than King salmon, but it has a very firm texture. If you decide to buy wild-caught Alaskan salmon online, you'll typically find Sockeye salmon.

• Coho Salmon: Unlike the fiery "red salmon," this species is often referred to as "silver salmon" for its shimmering skin. In addition, it's the second-largest species of salmon, with adults weighing in around 12 pounds.

• Keta Salmon: Previously referred to as Chum salmon, this species has the lowest fat content of the five-species listed here. It's most often smoked, but it's also become popular among sushi lovers for its eggs.

• Pink Salmon: This species is the most abundant in the wild, but it's also the smallest, with an average weight of two to three pounds. It has the second-highest fat content of the five-species listed here, and is often smoked or canned.

There are all kinds of salmon out there, but one truth rings through them all: wild-caught salmon is fresher, healthier, and more diverse than farmed salmon. Whether you buy wild-caught Alaskan salmon online or in a fish market, you can rest easy knowing you're making an excellent dinner choice.