When shopping for salmon, usually you'll find fillets or steaks nicely portioned and packaged. You can ensure your fish is of good quality by looking for:
• Firm, resilient flesh
• Shiny skin, if it is still intact
• Pleasant sea smell―no ammonia
• No weeping fluids or dried-out flesh
Wild salmon tend to be slightly lower in calories, fat, and sodium than their farmed cousins, and depending on the variety, they can have a bit more protein. Because salmon stop feeding once they re-enter the river, they are particularly high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and protein to fuel their long journey through icy-cold waters.
Trivia: In Alaska, all salmon are wild. There are no farm-raised fish in Alaskan waters. In fact, it is illegal to farm-raise finfish.
The rising abundance of farmed and wild salmon mirrors our increased awareness of the fish's health benefits. Aside from being a source of vitamins, protein, and minerals such as selenium, salmon has high levels of omega-3, the fatty acid that lowers blood pressure, lessens the risk of heart disease, and helps prevent certain types of cancer.
There are three species of Pacific salmon generally found as fresh fish in the market: king, coho, and sockeye. You can use any type of salmon in most recipes, but keep in mind that each species cooks a little differently because of its fat content and average size. The idea is to avoid drying out or overcooking the fish. A general rule is to cook about eight to 10 minutes per inch thickness of fish, whatever cooking method you use.