Pacific Salmon Varieties

Choose the right type of salmon for your dish with this simple guide.

Grilled Salmon Caesar Salad
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
 

Pacific waters are home to five types of salmon. For comparison, a 6-ounce serving of farmed Atlantic salmon has 311 calories, 18.5 grams of fat (53%), and 33.9 grams of protein. (All nutrition information based on 6 ounces, raw.)

King (chinook)

  • 304 calories, 17.7 grams of fat (52%), 33.9 grams of protein
  • Available fresh year-round
  • Ivory to bright-red flesh with soft, succulent texture and rich flavor; pan-sear, bake, or broil

Coho (silver)

  • 248 calories, 10.1 grams of fat (37%), 36.8 grams of protein
  • Available fresh July to September
  • Flavor similar to king, but with orange-red flesh and firmer texture; grill, broil, or bake

Sockeye (red)

  • 286 calories, 14.6 grams of fat (46%), 36.2 grams of protein
  • Available fresh May to September
  • Deep red color, rich texture and flavor; prized for canning good broiled or grilled

Pink (humpy)

  • 197 calories, 5.9 grams of fat (27%), 33.9 grams of protein
  • Available fresh July to August
  • Mostly canned, but increasingly available in fillets; rosy pink, delicate-flavored flesh; grill

Chum (keta)

  • 204 calories, 6.4 grams of fat (28%), 34.3 grams of protein
  • Available fresh June to October
  • Pale pink flesh with delicate flavor; good for smoking

Read the Label
Current labeling laws that require identification of origin make it easier to spot wild salmon. But there can still be some confusion. Keep these factors in mind:

  • All commercially available Atlantic salmon are farm-raised. Atlantic salmon typically are marketed alongside Pacific salmon, but they are a different genus and species of fish.
  • Just because salmon is labeled "Pacific" doesn't mean it is wild. There are some farm-raised Pacific salmon imported from Canada and Chile.
  • Look for salmon labeled "wild."
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