Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Silverbrite Salmon

I don't eat enough salmon. Do you? It's supposed to be so heart healthy and loaded with fats that lower our cholesterol. So I was in the grocery store looking at salmon and had a choice between $7 a pound Sockeye and $3 a pound Silverbrite. $3 a pound for salmon? How could that be?

The fish guy at the store said Sockeye was a superior salmon and that accounted for the price difference. Frankly, the Sockeye looked a little dry to me. Fortunately, a very nice woman standing next to me said she tried the Silverbrite the week before and it was delicious. So I bought the Silverbrite and came home to do a little research.

King and Sockeye are considered the top salmon choices because they have higher oil content, which means they should be more flavorful and moist. Soho and Pink salmon follow with less oil. The inexpensive Silverbrite goes by several names, including Chum, Keta, and Dog salmon. It has the least amount of oil content and can be of variable quality. But there's nothing wrong with it. Pacific salmon is a generic term. If the label says it's Pacific salmon, ask the fish guy what kind of salmon it is. Atlantic salmon is often farm raised apparently.

In my case (that's the Silverbrite in the photo), the Silverbrite was delicious. It looked great in the store, which is probably key. Interestingly, the lower the oil content, the less flavorful -- which means less fishy! For some people, that's actually a big plus. If you don't care for the taste of salmon, look for Silverbrite. It was neither dry nor tough, in fact, I think it was better than a lot of Sockeye salmon I've eaten.


Jordan said...

Silverbrite is also marketed as "Keta." I tried frozen pre-cut Keta filets from Trader Joe's--Blech. At Shoprite, our local supermarket chain with the best fish department, they sell Silverbrite of various qualities, depending on what's available. Right now, they are selling beautiful, firm, red frozen Silverbrite that comes in cryovac from a Washington State processor. It's stamped "Chum." Other times, I see them selling Silverbrite that is mushy and pale. I stay away from that.

Pay Lay Ale said...

These are completely different species. It's not just the fat content either. King salmon is about 35% fat. Red (sockeye) averages 30%. Keta (dog, chum, silverbright) is 3-5%.

Much of the flavor of "salmon" is fat-soluble. Therefore, if you have a salmon with little fat, you'll have little flavor.

The texture is much different too. Reds are the firmest, closely followed by kings.

Pinks and chums are mush. Here in Alaska, they're only fed to the dogs.

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