What is Smoked Salmon?
Salmon is a type of ray-finned fish belonging to the Salmonidae family. It is considered to be an oily fish and has a rich and oily flavor. Most salmon have reddish orange color and may be cooked in a variety of ways. Smoked salmon is salmon that is hot or cold smoked, usually presented in the form of a fillet.
- It can be used in a variety of dishes and is considered to be a slightly expensive delicacy.
- Most seafood producing countries have some variety of smoked salmon.
The top 10 most popular smoked salmon brands are:
- Bumble Bee
- Alaska Smokehouse
- Blue Circle Foods
- New York’s Delicacy
- Fairhaven Bay Seafoods
- Epic Provisions
- Acme Smoked Fish
Origin of smoked salmon
This dish has a long history, since different cultures throughout the ages have smoked meat and fish in order to preserve them for long periods, especially during harsh winters. Native Americans, Ancient Greeks, and Ancient Romans all appreciated this smoked delicacy. In Scandinavian countries, the method was discovered in the Middle Ages and soon widely adopted. Also, it was a popular dish among the Jews in Russia, from where it eventually spread to Eastern Europe and then Western Europe.
Nutritional profile for smoked salmon (1 cubic inch, boneless):
Salmon is rich in phosphorus, potassium, sodium, choline, vitamin A, and vitamin D. Also, it contains calcium, magnesium, and selenium in decent quantities. Salmon contains the highest amount of healthy fats among fishes. Regular consumption of salmon helps in regulating blood pressure, reducing unhealthy fats and obesity, and increasing healthy fats. Studies suggest that this food may also help manage symptoms associated with mental health issues like anxiety.
Norway is the largest producer of salmon in the world, accounting for approximately 55 percent of the world’s production. Chile, the UK, Canada, Faroe Islands, and Australia are other major producers.
The first step in preparing smoked salmon is to debone the fish and cover it with salt. Then, it is left to sit for a day in order to remove all the moisture. After that, it is rinsed with water to remove the salt and then dried out in a kiln or oven. This is an important step because it allows a coating of protein to form, which helps the smoking process.
Salmon may be hot or cold smoked. Hot smoked salmon has a shorter shelf life and must be consumed within a couple of days. Cold smoked salmon has a longer shelf life. Most salmon in the market is cold smoked. Different woods provide subtly different flavors to the end product. Post smoking, the black meat and skin is removed and the fish is finally sliced and packed.
Smoked salmon recipes
Smoked salmon does not need to be cooked and may be used in a variety of ways. It is often used in making sushi, sandwiches, salads, or simply with some seasoning. Here are a few recipes:
- Salmon Pasta
- Buttered Smoked Salmon
- Smoked Salmon Spread
- Scrambled Eggs
- Hot Smoked Salmon, Soba and Greens Salad
- Candied Salmon
- Salmon Gravlax
- Potato Pancakes
- Salmon Biryani
Fish is regulated by the FDA, which defines fish as any fresh or saltwater finfish, crustaceans, and other forms of aquatic animal life intended for human consumption. Salmon products are to adhere to the standards set by the USDA.
Charlotte Rogers, The History of Smoking Fish, Ritchies of Rothesay https://www.ritchiesofrothesay.com/blogs/articles/the-history-of-smoking-fish
How Is Smoked Salmon Made?, Solex Catsmo, https://www.solexcatsmo.com/blog/post/how-is-smoked-salmon-made.html
Lara, Jose J et al. “Benefits of salmon eating on traditional and novel vascular risk factors in young, non-obese healthy subjects.” Atherosclerosis vol. 193,1 (2007): 213-21. doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2006.06.018, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17069820/