Coho salmon, also known as silver salmon, is one of five Pacific salmon species. It's known as the "in-between salmon" because it's not too big or too small, fatty but not too rich, has a firm enough texture, and is pricey but not nearly as expensive as the most expensive salmon available.
Coho salmon is a silver-colored ocean and river fish that turns red when it swims upstream to breed; once this happens, its appearance changes, and the fish becomes inedible. This fish, however, is a flavorful delicacy when caught in its silver state between June and September. It ranges in weight from 8 to 12 pounds and has orange/pink meat, like most salmon. Its diet is more varied than that of other salmon, containing squid and small fish as well as krill.
Coho salmon is lower in fat than sockeye or king salmon, but higher than pink or chum salmon. This means that coho dries out faster than fattier species, making it an ideal fish for poaching due to its low-fat content, which benefits from this gentle cooking method. A great and quick alternative is to pan-sear the salmon for two minutes on each side over medium heat and let the fish rest for five minutes before serving. Use fresh herbs like dill and fatty sauces with butter or cream to complement the fish's beautiful mild flavor. Coho is deliciously smoked, however, due to the lesser fat content of the fish, cold smoking is preferred. The fish also works well in gravlax, sashimi, and sushi preparations, as well as on the grill.
Coho salmon has a milder flavor than king salmon or other species, making it ideal for those who dislike a strong fishy flavor. This salmon has enough fat to be unctuous but not overbearing, and enough flavor to be full and flavorful but not overpowering.
Cooking coho salmon cutlets in seasoned flour and sautéing them in walnut or olive oil is a popular method. However, cooking thin slices with the skin on until crispy is another excellent method to offer this fish without wasting the omega-3-rich skin. In a papillote, bake thicker fillets with fresh herbs, lemon slices, and a touch of wine and olive oil.
Season the salmon with fish rub and grill it for five minutes flesh-side down, then turn and cook for another three minutes before serving. Broil the salmon for three minutes on each side in a wine and butter seasoned sauce, basting the meat with the sauce. Coho is also great in more typical salmon recipes.
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