Great progress has been made in farm-raising
salmon. However, farmed salmon will never taste the same as wild salmon,
which have deeper, more complex flavors. Most varieties of salmon come
from the Pacific coast of North America and range in color from pale
pink to bright red. Chinook (or king) salmon is considered the best for
its rich, soft flesh, which can be pink or red. Coho (or silver) salmon,
a more firm-textured variety, tends to have red-orange flesh. Sockeye
(or red) salmon has firm, deep red flesh.
Before cooking, remove the bones from the
fillet. Even a so-called boned salmon fillet can be riddled with tiny
"pin" bones. These are easily and best removed before marinating or
cooking. Lay the fillet flat, skin side down, and run your hand over the
salmon in two directions until you locate any bones. Pull them out one
at a time using a pair of clean tweezers or needle-nose pliers.
To transform a salmon fillet into the
likeness of a salmon steak, cut the fillet crosswise, taking care not to
cut through the skin. Fold the halves away from each other so that the
skin sides are back-to-back. To keep the halves in place when cooking
and especially when flipping, run a skewer through them.
Whenever you cook salmon, make extra to save
preparation time. Leftovers chill well for a day or two and can be
quickly tossed into pasta or salads. Break leftover cooked, boned and
skinned salmon into chunks and gently fold it into your favorite potato
or pasta salad. A little bit of fresh dill and lemon juice will enhance
the flavors beautifully.