What is salmon?

With its delicate, sweet flesh and wide availability, salmon is one of the most popular fish. The widespread farming of salmon means there is a range of quality and flavour. Wild salmon, particularly from Scottish or Irish rivers, is considered superior.

Find out about the health benefits of salmon.

When is salmon in season?

Though farmed salmon is available all year round, wild salmon is only available from March until September.

Read more about responsible fishing at Seafish and Marine Stewardship Council.

Choose the best salmon

Check that the flesh is firm. Organic salmon should be pale pink in colour. Farmed salmon should be quite a bright pink, but not too dark, as this indicates it has had colour added. Discard any fish that is greyish or fatty. Organic salmon, by its nature, is always farmed. Look for Alaskan salmon that's been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, or for the slightly harder-to-find Swedish freshwater salmon.

Read about fish welfare and the environment in Charles Clover's book, The End of the Line.

How to prepare salmon

Salmon can be cooked whole, but it might be wise to get your fishmonger to gut and scale the fish first. Check over for fin bones and pluck these out with tweezers.

How to store salmon

Refrigerate in an airtight container and use within 24 hrs. Salmon can be frozen for up three months, but must be defrosted thoroughly before use.

How to cook salmon

Salmon can be eaten raw as sashimi or sushi (buy the freshest you can find), marinated with sugar and dill to make gravadlax, or poached, pan-fried, grilled, baked or braised.

Poached salmon is very popular, and with good reason – it's delicious served hot or cold and makes a great centrepiece for any festive occasion.

For more information, see our guide on how to cook salmon.

Also, check out our salmon recipes for more ideas.

Alternatives to salmon

Try gravadlax or trout.