Cooking Guide

Sea for Yourself: How to Cook Wild Salmon Masterfully From Purchase to Plate

Fish is one of nature's most delicious and beneficial delicacies. Among the innumerable types of wild salmon, we have a few that grace our plates a little more often than others, though that doesn't make them any less special.

Wild Salmon is one of the more popularly consumed fish and, sometimes, with popularity, preparation is left to the culinary literati.  Don't limit kitchen prowess to what you're comfortable with, let's take to the seas and salivate while learning how to cook wild salmon.

What's the real difference?

Salmon have interesting lives when they aren't farm raised. Born in fresh water before going to live in the sea, wild salmon travel a long distance during their lifetimes. After living most of their adult lives, they'll sometimes return more than 2,000 miles to the place they were spawned to mate and live out the rest of their lives. This living activity makes them a much more delicious, lean meal than farmed salmon that sit around in an enclosed space, fed fattening pellet food. Types of salmon notwithstanding, wild salmon has about 13 grams of fat in a half filet while a farmed filet has about 27 grams. It's a difference you can see and taste.

Buying and cooking

Knowing what to look for whilst buying will keep you above water when you're navigating the fish market. There are five types of salmon you'll find in U.S. markets during salmon season: King, Sockeye, Coho, Keta, and Pink. If you're planning on a wild caught Alaskan salmon dinner, buy it the same day you cook for maximum freshness. Remember this mantra: your nose knows, if you smell anything beyond the sea, raise the alarm and look elsewhere or another time.

When looking at how to cook wild salmon, the process is relatively straightforward. The number one mistake most people make in preparing salmon is trying to do too much. A fresh salmon filet needs little more than a few ingredients to make it pop. Try dressing it in oil, lemon, and pepper before cooking it on the grill or in the pan. It's a fast cooking fish, so don't overdue it. A good measure to stick by is cooking eight to 10 minutes for every inch thick your filet is. It's safe and incredibly delicious to leave it on the rare to raw side of things, too. If you aren't into that, you're ready to serve and eat when the flesh flakes easily with a fork. There are thousands of wild salmon recipes out there, so don't be scared to do some experimenting.

The how in how to cook wild salmon isn't the most difficult part of the process. In fact, it's probably the easiest. Get down to your local fish market and talk to the people who do the catching and listen to what they have to share. They're your best source of fish-information and will be supremely helpful in keeping you on course while sailing culinary seas.