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Selecting Among Wild Salmon

We answer a common question about the culinary distinctions among wild Pacific salmon 
by Craig Weatherby

Which kind of wild salmon should you choose? The answer depends on your nutritional preferences and personal taste.

Here's how we addressed one customer's query about the diverse eating qualities of our wild salmon:

One customer's salmon query

What is the best salmon to order if I enjoy thick, tender and juicy fish?

Portia B.

Our answer

Dear Portia,

You've asked a sensory/culinary question, not a nutritional one... but it is answered in part by the table below, which shows how wild salmon rank per 3.5 oz (100 g) serving. These are averages, because the nutrient content of wild fish varies by harvest location and season:

Salmon SpeciesTotal Fat (g)Omega-3s (g)
King (chinook)10.42.3
Sockeye (red)8.61.2
Silver (coho)
Pink (humpie)3.51.1

Click here to see additional comparative nutrition data... you will find full Nutrition Facts under the Nutrition Info tab located on each product page in our web store.

Getting back to the core of your query, here's how our four salmon offerings compare in terms of their eating qualities:

King (chinook) salmon
As the table above indicates, King is the fattiest, “juiciest” salmon species by far. It also has more omega-3 fatty acids than Sockeye, Pink, or Silver do

Although it is fattier, hence richer-tasting than Sockeye, King usually has less of the distinctive “salmon” flavor that distinguishes all of the wild Pacific species we sell.

Sockeye (red) salmon
Even though Sockeye is substantially leaner than King, it's favored by many Alaskans, thanks to its deeper flavor and firmer texture.

Being leaner than King, Sockeye cooks through faster… after only six to eight minutes at medium-high heat, and 3 minutes of “rest” off the heat.

Silver (coho) salmon
Silver salmon often seems moister than Sockeye, even though it has less much less total fat.

Silver salmon taste quite a bit less “rich” than King, their far fattier and more caloric cousin.

But, like King salmon, Silver has a milder, less pronounced salmon flavor than Sockeye provides.

Pink (humpie) salmon
Pink salmon is highly perishable unless it is treated with rare speed and care, so almost all of it ends up in cans.

This is why the only frozen Pink salmon we provide comes from members of the local Lummi Island “reefnet” fishing co-op, who provide uniquely speedy, gentle handling and processing.

Our rare reefnet Pink salmon resembles Silver in texture and it just about matches Silver for moistness, even though it's leaner.

Let us know if you have other questions!