Wild salmon

7
1
Joined Nov 18, 2018
Hi all, I’ve been poaching salmon with farm raised, and because of the high fat contact it comes out beautifully, buttery melt in your mouth.
Now when I prepare wild salmon the same way, even cooking it to only 125 degrees the fish still comes out dry and bland, doesn’t pick up the flavor from the court bouillon.
Any tips or suggestions how I can make wild salmon taste better and come out not dry? Like I said I have a very limited kitchen and only other option would be pan fry if not poaching.

Thanks !
 
1,086
645
Joined Mar 1, 2017
The dryness is likely due to the lower fat content of the wild salmon.

If you are using salt in your court bouillon, try reducing it or eliminating it altogether as the salt can draw out the moisture in the fish.

Is the salmon fresh or frozen?

Another possibility is the quality of the salmon.

Lastly, you can try cooking the salmon sous vide and see if that improves the moisture quality of the final product.

I hope this helps.

Good luck. :)
 
56
25
Joined May 30, 2019
The salmon is being over cooked. It should be pulled at medium rare farmed or wild. By the time it rests, hits a hot plate and then sits under the heat lamp waiting to be brought to the table it will have come up to a nice medium. Yes, I know what you're thinking, however, cooking it to 145* over cooks it.

Not tooting my own horn, I've been chefing in the greater Seattle area for a better part of three decades and this is how we do it in salmon country.
 
7
1
Joined Nov 18, 2018
But I’ve done everything here.
I add butter to the cooking liquid and I remove at 125-130 degrees....still horrible.

I buy them refrigerated but they are indeed previously frozen, does this have anything to do with it? So frustrating...
 
1,086
645
Joined Mar 1, 2017
Try wild caught salmon from a different source as a test case. The quality of the salmon could be what's messing you up. :)
 
83
74
Joined Nov 10, 2017
Hi all, I’ve been poaching salmon with farm raised, and because of the high fat contact it comes out beautifully, buttery melt in your mouth.
Now when I prepare wild salmon the same way, even cooking it to only 125 degrees the fish still comes out dry and bland, doesn’t pick up the flavor from the court bouillon.
Any tips or suggestions how I can make wild salmon taste better and come out not dry? Like I said I have a very limited kitchen and only other option would be pan fry if not poaching.

Thanks !
You say wild caught salmon, but you don't specify the species. Different species of salmon have different amounts of fats. In general, obviously the more fat, the more moist it will be. In my experience, however, there is an exception to this rule that I don't understand. I use wild caught salmon, and have tested several species from my distributor. I found that sockeye, even though it has a higher fat content, would end up dry, or more dry than other species, no matter how I cooked it. I currently use large coho fillets, and I am very happy with the results. Another bit of advice, if you are marinating, adding salt to the marinate, or brining, will help lock in the albumen so it doesn't migrate to the surface during poaching or steaming. Nothing less appealing to me than a beautiful piece of salmon with a mottled white appearance. Just my 2 cents based on my experience.
 
7
1
Joined Nov 18, 2018
You say wild caught salmon, but you don't specify the species. Different species of salmon have different amounts of fats. In general, obviously the more fat, the more moist it will be. In my experience, however, there is an exception to this rule that I don't understand. I use wild caught salmon, and have tested several species from my distributor. I found that sockeye, even though it has a higher fat content, would end up dry, or more dry than other species, no matter how I cooked it. I currently use large coho fillets, and I am very happy with the results. Another bit of advice, if you are marinating, adding salt to the marinate, or brining, will help lock in the albumen so it doesn't migrate to the surface during poaching or steaming. Nothing less appealing to me than a beautiful piece of salmon with a mottled white appearance. Just my 2 cents based on my experience.
Yes it’s sockeye! It’s very dry!!
Will try a different species, thanks!
 
1,787
512
Joined Aug 15, 2003
If it is previously frozen as well it might affect it. When you freeze a protein the water inside the meat expands and breaks the cell walls (think about how a full water bottle would burst in the freezer). When you thaw the meat, all that "juice" that was in the cells leaks out, leading to dry meat. That is why it is best to not freeze protein (hard to avoid I know) if you don't have to, and to not freeze, thaw, then freeze again (not only bad from a food safety perspective, but makes the quality even worse).

Try another type of salmon or get a better/different source for your fish is probably your best bet.
 
5,377
847
Joined Oct 10, 2005
What someday said. Plus the fact 99% of frozen salmon is “glazed” meaning the frozen whole fish ( and sometimes sides or even filets) are dipped in water several times to build a coat of ice on it, theoretically preventing freezer burn. Theoretically water attracts water, so theoretically frozen salmon is theoretically dry as a movie theatre popcorn fart....
 
2,387
691
Joined Feb 8, 2009
Fred Meyer had a sale on Fresh wild Sockeye Salmon $10.99. In almost all cases I start it on the stove top seasoned with Cajun Blackened seasoning. I then finish in the oven flesh side up/skin down. It came out great. I noticed it didn't have the white fat seeping out. The fillet was moist and very tasty. The wild Salmon s/b be better for you because all the fat is Omega 3 fatty acid. The farm raised will have a bit more Omega 3's but it will also have saturated fat.
 
175
48
Joined Feb 8, 2015
I worked 4 summers in Alaska. Cooking at fishing lodges and guiding fly fishing the last year. Sockeye are like tuna, firm needs to be seared med rare. Cohos.s have more fat, I like them, kings are kings, I'll take a sockeye all day every day over a king
 
4,673
900
Joined Aug 21, 2004
I worked 4 summers in Alaska. Cooking at fishing lodges and guiding fly fishing the last year. Sockeye are like tuna, firm needs to be seared med rare. Cohos.s have more fat, I like them, kings are kings, I'll take a sockeye all day every day over a king
Did you encounter any kokanee salmon when you were in Alaska?
 
175
48
Joined Feb 8, 2015
Did you encounter any kokanee salmon when you were in Alaska?
No, we have the 5 species, on a very special day I'll guide someone on a slam. I caught some kokanee in Oregon but released them. I was just doing a freelance job on a yacht in the Bahamas, the previous chef bought farm raised salmon, I cringed but did it asain style, in 12 years I have served salmon 2 times on a yacht
 
1,237
259
Joined Sep 21, 2001
Years ago, I was cooking at a cafe in Central Idaho on the Salmon River. I had a group of state fisheries and fish&game officials come in for dinner one night during a conference that they were attending. The entree that night? Poached Salmon! :p
 
34
14
Joined Feb 26, 2017
I’m not a professional chef but I have caught prepped and cooked more salmon than most seafood chefs will ever see. On a good year 1 million of more of them swim by my house and I moved her for specifically to catch them.

Two fish that are more often than not over cooked and over dosed in seasoning are Salmon and Halibut in my opinion. I rarely eat salmon anywhere but my own any more but I will order halibut and am often disappointed unless its deep fried which is not necc in my opinion. Today i cook salmon two ways both involve foil.

On a BBQ I will add a couple of ice cubes per pound of fish oil salt and pepper no garlic as it can burn at these temps wrap them in foil cook them 4 to 6 minutes and then place the fillet on freshly oiled portion of the grates until I get a sear on once side with or without skin if I’m feeding one or two people no skin but a larger piece I will have the skin side up in the foil and roll it onto the skin on the grates but never enough to over cook them. Some people like salmon skin not me personally. This works well for stakes as well but the fish needs to be big or they over cook easily. I like 1.5” thick stakes from 25 to 30 pound fish.

The next is my number one choice lightly coated in olive oil or avocado oil garlic, salt, pepper and a little lemon juice on top wrapped in foil baked at 325 to 350 for 8 to 12 minutes. This one never disappoints any one. Always moist and always full of flavor but to overly fishy. What’s great about this is I can cook a small fillet or an entire side of a 40 pound king almost the same way toss the foil in the trash as I plate it and the clean up is done. Over salting salmon is easily done its best to have to add salt at the table.

I have had a number of really great salmon out but I’ve had more over cooked or over seasoned salmon than not. Possibly because there are many variables to salmon that’s commercially sold instead of the fish I packed and froze or ate within a day or two of catching it. I know salmon comes in many different quality levels and a lot of the fish you guys see has been died to make it look like its bright red. I give away better fish than most of you can buy.
 
4,673
900
Joined Aug 21, 2004
I’m not a professional chef but I have caught prepped and cooked more salmon than most seafood chefs will ever see.
Wow, you must go through a lot of salmon. I am not a seafood chef, just a normal chef and over the last 30 years, I have averaged filleting and portion 1-2 whole salmon a week.
 
34
14
Joined Feb 26, 2017
There was a time when I probably packaged 300 salmon a year I lived to fish and had my boys and quite a few friends that fished with me. Some nights I hated salmon when. Spent hours dealing with them after a long day fishing. I’m pretty proficient in prepping and cooking them. I became quazi vegan about ten years ago for health reasons but I still eat a little fish and seafood, these days I only catch and keep four or five kings a year and only the best ones. The salmon counts are dropping like flies, these days a good year a million fish come up the Columbia in the 90s 3 million was common and there smaller now seems like 10 to 20 pounds is an average king when they used to be 20 to 30 pounds And often 40 to 50 pounds.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom