Along with tuna, salmon is one of the most widely consumed types of fish used in sushi. It is characterized by its bright orange hue, oily texture and mild flavor, which makes it perfect for beginners and for those who simply prefer texture over strong flavors in sushi. Finding fresh salmon may be a challenge if you don’t live near a coastal region. I highly endorse Catalina Offshore Products for their overnight shipping and absolutely top-notch fish quality. The price is pretty competitive as well
Salmon nigiri is often included as a staple in a basic sushi set along with tuna, eel and egg. This is likely due the wide availability of salmon and its relatively low cost. Nearly 90% of salmon consumed in America is farm-raised salmon, which makes it easy to find in practically unlimited supplies. Though there are many species of salmon that can be used in sushi, the most commonly served is the king salmon which is found primarily in the Pacific Ocean and is the largest among the types of salmon. Most consume the belly side of the fish which is often leaner than the other parts. Young salmon is also another option, as the oil tends to taste sweeter than in adult salmon.
Salmon is a versatile fish that can be served in a variety of ways. Aside from the standard nigiri where it is placed on top of a small ball of rice, salmon can be experienced in sashimi form as well. The skin of salmon is also frequently enjoyed as an entirely separate dish. The flavor of salmon can be enhanced through a pinch of salt and a dash of citrus, and then dipped into soy sauce mixed with wasabi.
Salmon has only been consumed as sushi since the advent of refrigeration and freezing, as it was impossible to enjoy it without getting food disease and infections. In fact, salmon is one of the few fish that require a certain amount of time in freezers before being consumed raw, whereas other fish used in sushi is generally best served fresh. Salmon were often found dwelling in rivers containing parasites and it took decades to figure out a way to kill the parasites while maintaining the texture and flavor of the fish. The Ainu people of northern Japan were the first to realize that freezing the salmon beforehand would kill off the Anisakis parasites that was causing them to become sick. Through consequent processes of trial of error, freezing the salmon before consumption has now become standard procedure serving salmon as sushi today.
Raw salmon also offers a number of health benefits. Salmon meat is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps in combating cancer and preventing cardiovascular disease. Salmon also contains vitamin E, which has proven beneficial in avoiding skeletal myopathy, among other debilitating ailments.
Salmon is a popular sushi fish and for good reason: it is tasty, healthy and adds an aesthetic appeal to any sushi platter.