If You’re Not Eating Salmon, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Running with the salmon

Spawning Sockeye Salmon

Spawning Sockeye Salmon. Yum!

Being from the Pacific Northwest, today we’re going to talk about something that is very near and dear to me–Salmon.

There are six species of salmon, five Pacific varieties (Chinook aka King, Chum, Coho, Pink, and Sockeye), and one Atlantic.

Aside from being a coffee and beer snob, I’m also a salmon snob (hey, don’t judge me!). Why do I mention this? Simple–Wild Atlantic salmon is not commercially caught.

Big whoop, right? Right! You’ll notice that the most common salmon available at your grocery store is Atlantic.

“Wait, if it’s not commercially caught, why is it the most common at the store?” Great question, thanks for asking.

It’s farm raised. Atlantic salmon, number one is an endangered species, which is why it’s not commercially caught. Oddly enough, Pacific salmon die shortly after spawning, while Atlantic salmon are capable of surviving the spawn to do it again another day. Number two, it is the most adaptable of the six species to farming.

“Ok, so what?” You’re on fire! Another awesome question. Farm raised salmon is fed ingredients that it was not meant to eat. Salmon eat bugs, and aquatic life. Guess what–those things are not present in the crowded fish pens where they are kept.

There is a difference.

Wild salmon costs more. There’s just no way around it. But if you’re after quality, it’s money worth spending.

The color of wild Pacific salmon is a deep, dark pink. On the flip side, farm raised Atlantic salmon is a light pink.

The flavors run the same way. You just aren’t going to beat the taste of good Pacific salmon. If all you ever knew was Atlantic salmon, you might not know the difference. Once you try the wild stuff though, you too will become a salmon snob.

Nutrition Facts

It’s a little difficult to give you the nutritional breakdown of salmon as a whole. The farm raised Atlantic salmon typically contains more fat and calories than it’s while Pacific counterpart. Wild salmon tends to be higher in protein.

Another option is to use canned salmon. This works well in a pinch. It’s typically smoked, and good right out of the can–but that could just be me. The two most common variates that you will find in the can are pink and sockeye. The sockeye has a stronger taste, while the pink is higher Omega-3′s.

All salmon is an awesome source of Omega-3 fatty acids (good fats).

My favorite way to prepare salmon is cold smoking. The taste is outta this world. But, there’s a downside–a lot of the nutritional values are cooked off in the processes. That’s not so good.

The most important thing is to get the freshest fish that you can. Apparently the nutrients degrade over time.


I’m a grill guy, and a salmon snob. Put 1 and 1 together, and you have me on the patio grilling some salmon.

My preference is to keep it simple. With that said, I present my grilled salmon recipe. I have two ways that I do this. One is to use aluminum foil to encase the fish, and allow it to cook in the juices.

The second method is to use a wooden plank. This gives it a tasty wood flavor that lends itself well to the fish.

When I grill, I tend to just eyeball it. With that said, I present a cedar plank grilled salmon recipe from AllRecipe.com. Enjoy!


  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 (2 pound) salmon fillets, skin removed


  1. Soak the cedar planks for at least 1 hour in warm water. Soak longer if you have time.
  2. In a shallow dish, stir together the vegetable oil, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, green onions, ginger, and garlic. Place the salmon fillets in the marinade and turn to coat. Cover and marinate for at least 15 minutes, or up to one hour.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat. Place the planks on the grate. The boards are ready when they start to smoke and crackle just a little.
  4. Place the salmon fillets onto the planks and discard the marinade. Cover, and grill for about 20 minutes. Fish is done when you can flake it with a fork. It will continue to cook after you remove it from the grill.
Photo by Todd Radenbaugh CC-By-2.0

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16 Responses to “If You’re Not Eating Salmon, You’ll Hate Yourself Later”

  1. Anne says:

    I’m not a fish fan, but everyone in my family eats fish all the time. When I went on my last business trip to Seattle, I brought back a bunch of smoked salmon for everybody. I was the hero of the day.

  2. Tim says:

    I’m with you Todd. I grew up eating the stuff. It’s one of my weaknesses. I could pull a grizzly bear move, and eat a whole fish by myself. LOL

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Todd Boyer. Todd Boyer said: If You’re Not Eating Salmon, You’ll Hate Yourself Later http://bit.ly/fwom75 [...]

  4. Rick Kaselj says:

    Great info.

    Living in Vancouver, there is a lot of discussion about fresh and farmed salmon.

    Rick Kaselj of http://ExercisesForInjuries.com

    Rick Kaselj´s last [type] ..Breast Cancer and Shoulder Exercises

  5. Todd says:

    @Rick, you’re in Vancouver? I always loved going there, but my fave was Victoria. I digress.
    How does the discussion there look as far as wild vs. farmed salmon?

  6. Thanks for the post Todd!

    I have to say that even though I’m a Minnesotan (land of 10,000 lakes), I’m really not all the keen on eating fish, with the exception of Walleye.

    That being said, I must admit that I finally drummed up the courage to try salmon 3 months ago and I’ve LOVED it ever since. I think I’d sucker punch a grizzly bear for some! :)

    So far I’ve only eaten it at restaurants, but since you’ve so kindly provided us with a recipe, I think I’ll give it a try. I’ve read that a mere 6 oz contains about 30 grams of protein, so a lean muscle builder would be foolish no [Ed] to add it to their diet.

    Gettin hungry just thinking about it!


    Lean Muscle Matt´s last [type] ..10 Easy Ways to Increase Your Metabolism

  7. Todd says:

    Another convert. Matt, Welcome to the salmon lover’s club. :)

  8. HA that video was funny, and not at all what I expected. Funny too, that being in upstate NY I can honestly say that I have never seen a commercial for canned salmon. Odd.

    I am not a salmon fan – I can’t get by the taste. I am very sensitive when it comes to food and I just can’t get salmon past the tongue! But I keep trying….

    I get so annoyed when people feed animals food they are not supposed to eat. You are right, fish do not eat grain! Neither do cows or chickens or pigs. But commercial factory farms feed them that to get them to grow quickly and fatten up. Then we pay the price.

    My boyfriend loves salmon so I do buy it for him. Isn’t it funny how you can see the difference between wild and farm raised salmon just by looking at it next to each other in the case? I always by him the reddish wild salmon because I love him!

    Here’s a question for you – where does lake caught salmon stand? Scott goes salmon fishing in Lake Ontario (which sort of feels like an ocean). I know it is wild so it can’t be that bad.
    Susan@Home Workouts´s last [type] ..Plant Based Diet An Actual Cure For Cancer

  9. Sire says:

    It makes sense that wild salmon is better than farmed salmon. It’s like eating free laid eggs over the ones laid by those poor hens who live their lives out cooped up in small cages while being fed who knows what.
    Sire´s last [type] ..A Collaboration Of Bloggers- The Synergy Of Blogging And Business

  10. Todd says:

    @Sire, that’s an “egg-celent” point…. sorry about that. I couldn’t help myself. :D

  11. I like to cook my salmon on cedar planks over charcoal or on my gas grill.
    Project Swole´s last [type] ..Intermittent Fasting- A Primer

  12. Todd says:

    Steve, you didn’t get sent to the spam waste land this time! :) I’m the same. Unless I’m smoking it, I’ll use the gas grill. The plank gives it a really good woody flavor.
    Sometimes I’ll wrap it in foil with some lemon slices, and my special blend of herbs and spices (that means whatever I feel like pulling out of the spice rack). Seal the foil up, and cook it on low setting with all four burners going.
    Coupled with some brown rice & steamed veggies, and you have a pretty awesome meal.

  13. Todd says:

    @Susan, don’t feel bad Susan, my wife hates all fish (thank goodness for fish oil pills).

    That’s a great question about lake caught salmon. My guess is that the flavor would be different because the Great Lakes are all fresh water, versus the salt water of the ocean. To be honest though, I just don’t know.

  14. Rabbit says:

    Friends don’t let friends eat farmed fish. ;)

    BTW, I think you have a typo in your parenthetical list of Pacific salmon. Should cholo = coho, maybe?

  15. Todd says:

    @Rabbit, great catch. You’re right, it should (and now does) read “coho”.

  16. [...] funny part here is that I consider myself to be a salmon snob, a coffee snob, and even a beer snob. But when it comes to wine, I love a glass of Sweet [...]

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