Salmon is a very healthy food. However, it is not desired by certain people, since it possesses a fishy taste, which can overpower even the best recipes. There is nothing that takes away your appetite more, than going to an eatery, ordering your favorite salmon dish, only to realize that it has that bad smell. This means that you will not end up with a mouth-watering salmon dish, the way you had expected. However, there are certain methods of preparation that you can use, and you can be sure that you will not end up with a distasteful taste.
Why The Fishy Smell
If you have ever done fishing, then you might have realized that if you catch salmon in the morning and have it for dinner, it will not come with that fishy taste. The fishy taste normally develops after the salmon has been refrigerated, for several days. This is because of a certain chemical known as trimethylamine N-oxide. This is normally an anti-freeze chemical present in fish, meant to protect its cellular proteins, once they encounter deep sea pressures. This problem normally occurs after the death of the salmon.
Prevention Is Key
Now that you know the fishy smell in salmon is brought by a chemical substance, the most important thing is prevention. It is advisable to buy fresher fish. Even the freshest fish found at your local store, has been caught, processed, thawed and frozen, before it can be displayed at the grocery store. This means that it has already been exposed to the chemical process, and the taste has already started developing. It is therefore advised to purchase your salmon at busy fish markets. In such markets, fish don’t spend much time at the refrigerator, which translates to a lesser fishy taste.
Tips To Observe Before Cooking
An easy way of getting rid of the fishy taste is soaking the thawed fish in milk, for around 30 minutes. You should also pat it dry prior to seasoning and cooking, with no need of rinsing. If you freeze fresh caught fish in a milk solution, it will never come with that taste or smell.
You should also consider the fat, as a contributing factor to the fishy taste. Some people who love salmon but dislike the fishy taste, often prefer the pink parts, while discarding the grey parts. The main reason behind this is that the gray parts are normally found close to the skin, where there are large quantities of fat. It is widely believed that most of the fishiness comes from that oil. Therefore, you should cook the fish in a way that does not spread the oil. This means that sautéing or grilling is out.
Another means of ensuring that your salmon does not come with that fishy taste, is soaking it in sugar and salt, for around 30 minutes. The recommended amount of salt and sugar to be used is 2 table spoons in equal proportions. Once you have finished soaking the fish, rinse it, and then rub it with the same amount of sugar and salt. You can also include black pepper if you like. Allow the fish to sit in a bowl, to allow the oil to start coming from the fish. This should happen in not more than 60 minutes. Remove the oil, and allow the fish to sit inside the bowl, for some more time. Keep waiting and removing the oil, until that time when most of it has dissipated from the fish. The more oil you are able to remove from the fish, the higher the amount of fishiness you can pull out. Salmon requires around two hours. Once you have finished extracting the oil, rinse it, and proceed to prepare with your favorite recipe.
If you have tried everything and the fishy taste does not seem to go away. You can consider drizzling the salmon, with tasty herbs and spices. Marinate it with ingredients that possess a strong scent, like curry, cilantro and garlic. This will help to overpower any remaining fishy taste. An Asian-inspired combination, which includes equal quantities of soy sauce, rice vinegar and vegetable oil, together with several teaspoons of grated fresh ginger, also works perfectly.
Salmon should not be smelling or tasting fishy. Good fresh salmon comes with a good taste. Therefore, you just need to shop more carefully and observe the cooking tips highlighted above, and you will be able to avoid that stinky smell.
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