Wild salmon

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by Lolush, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. Lolush

    Lolush

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    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 !
     
  2. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    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. :)
     
  3. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Butter in the court bouillon....
     
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  4. PoorlyChef

    PoorlyChef

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    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.
     
  5. Lolush

    Lolush

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    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...
     
  6. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    Try wild caught salmon from a different source as a test case. The quality of the salmon could be what's messing you up. :)
     
  7. ChefBryan

    ChefBryan

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    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.
     
  8. Lolush

    Lolush

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    Yes it’s sockeye! It’s very dry!!
    Will try a different species, thanks!
     
  9. someday

    someday

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    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.
     
  10. foodpump

    foodpump

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    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....
     
  11. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    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.
     
  12. hookedcook

    hookedcook

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    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
     
  13. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Did you encounter any kokanee salmon when you were in Alaska?
     
  14. hookedcook

    hookedcook

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    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
     
  15. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    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