WHAT IS CHUM SALMON?
Chum salmon, sometimes called a dog, details a variety of salmon with the largest natural range of any Pacific salmon. They are found all over the world from Alaska to Japan to Russia, which is part of what makes this one of the most widely available salmon varieties on the market. In general, chum salmon has a bit of a bad reputation as it is the least commercially valuable salmon on the market. However, this reputation is completely undeserved and can benefit you as a consumer since it means more affordable pricing.
Wild Alaskan chum salmon actually has a lower oil content than other varieties like sockeye or Chinook, which gives it a milder flavor that many people enjoy. This makes it a popular substitution option in almost any recipe that requires salmon since it can cook up just as well as other, more expensive varieties. As long as you are buying from a reputable source, the chum salmon meat should be just as firm and delicious as sockeye or other fillets.
If the name “chum salmon” sounds familiar but you’re not sure why it may be because chum salmon are also a popular source for caviar all over the world. Particularly in Japan, chum caviar is commonly known as is highly prized for its popping mouthfeel and clean ocean taste.
CHUM SALMON SUSTAINABILITY
While there have been issues with overfishing in the past, wild chum salmon populations have reached a point of secure sustainability almost everywhere. Although their spawning habits make them susceptible to overfishing when using nets, their ability to produce large eggs helps protect their numbers. The risk of bycatch is also minimal as most of the bycatch recorded consists of other types of salmon.
British Columbia and Alaskan chum salmon are the most sustainable sources available. These areas are MSC certified, meaning their habitats in these areas are plentiful and safe to commercially fish. Most of the chum salmon supply coming from Russia or Japan is not MSC certified, making them a little more questionable to most consumers. Luckily, since chum salmon is widely available frozen as well as fresh, you should always be able to get Alaskan or British Columbia chum salmon near you wherever you are.
Note: Buyers should be aware that less reputable dealers will try to sell chum salmon fillets as more expensive varieties such as coho since the fish are similar in size. Make sure you are doing your research to ensure that you know what you are buying and that you are only buying from trusted sources. Knowing how to identify different varieties can also be useful if you plan on shopping at a local fishmonger.
CHUM SALMON NUTRITION
In addition to being delicious, eating chum salmon regularly is a great way to add vitamins and protein to your diet. One thing that makes chum salmon unique from other varieties is their lower oil content, as this means they are lower in sodium. In comparison to other salmon varieties, they also have a better protein to calorie ratio with one 3.5oz. serving averaging at 26g of protein and only 155 calories. This makes fresh chum salmon the perfect addition to any diet plan or even just a health-conscious snack option between meals.
Like other salmon varieties, a chum salmon fillet is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, and vitamin B12 which all have numerous health benefits that everybody can benefit from. By incorporating more chum salmon into your weekly dinner rotation, you will be adding more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, which can help shrink that waistline. It’s not just a healthy choice for dieters though. Including more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the chances of heart attack and stroke, and reduce the chance of abnormal heart rhythm.
Don’t let this convince you that chum salmon is only for dieters. Its mild flavor makes it the perfect option for any meal or snack, and its low oil content makes it easy to use in any chum salmon recipe. Make it as decadent or as healthy as you like, depending on what your favorite recipe calls for.
COOKING CHUM SALMON
Preparing chum salmon is just as easy as any other type of salmon. It handles easily, cooks quickly, and the mild flavor makes it a perfect choice for experimenting with all kinds of flavors. Savory or sweet, chum salmon is a great choice. A nice chum salmon fillet can be served as-is or transformed into something completely new, like these quick and easy chum salmon bundles. We have quite a few recipes for salmon dishes easy to prepare and delicious to serve, so go ahead and browse the site. We suggest starting here though, with these salmon bundles. They’re easy enough for a casual meal but can be dressed up for fancier events, too.
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