Who among us doesn’t like red fish? One caviar is worth something! But, unfortunately, most people know little about the salmon themselves, their way of life and which species are actually salmon. From this post you will learn what kind of salmon fish is, what types of salmon are and how they differ.

Quite often people are interested in what kind of fish it is – salmon. Let’s immediately determine that salmon is any fish from two genera of the salmon family (Salmonidae) – the genus of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus) and the genus of noble salmon (Salmo). Sometimes the word “salmon” is directly included in the trivial names of some of these fish species, for example, steelhead salmon – mykiss (Oncorhynchus mykiss) or Atlantic salmon (aka noble salmon) – better known as salmon (Salmo salar). Perhaps, it is salmon that is most often called simply salmon, meaning a specific species.


The word “salmon” itself comes from the Indo-European word lax and means “spotted”, “speckled”. Until the 16th century, the word “salmon” in Russian was feminine, now it is masculine. The name of the salmon family – Salmonidae – comes from the Latin root salio – to jump and is associated with spawning behavior (details below in the Reproduction and migration of salmon section).

Salmon species


In addition to the two genera of salmon, the salmon family also includes taimen, lenok, grayling, char, whitefish and palii. But, again, here we are talking only about salmon – Pacific (Oncorhynchus) and noble (Salmo). Below is a brief description and the main differences between these genera. Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus).

This group includes the pink salmon, chum salmon, coho salmon, sima, sockeye salmon, chinook salmon and several American salmon living in our waters. Representatives of this genus spawn once in a lifetime and die immediately after spawning.

Noble, or real salmon (Salmo), unlike their Pacific counterparts, after spawning, as a rule, do not die and can reproduce several times during their life. This group of salmon includes the well-known salmon and many species of trout.

The benefits of salmon

Fresh raw salmon fillet with seasonings

Many studies have shown that increasing consumption of fish and seafood, such as salmon, significantly reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.


According to the National Nutrient Database, USA, 85 g of cooked salmon contains:

  • 133 calories;
  • 5 g fat;
  • 0 g carbohydrates;
  • 22 grams of protein.
  • The same amount of cooked salmon also provides:

Fish and seafood are especially important for providing the body with omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in very few foods.


William Harris, director of the Nutrition and Metabolic Disease Research Institute of the University of South Dakota, USA, states that the level of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood greater influence on the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, total fat or fiber. The higher the omega-3 level, the lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and death from them, and vice versa. And 85 grams of salmon can provide more than 1,500 mg of omega-3.


Selenium is an essential component for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. A meta-analysis showed that in people with thyroid diseases and selenium deficiency, when selenium reserves are replenished, the course of the disease improves and the severity of most symptoms decreases.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, USA, omega-3 fatty acids also reduce aggression, impulsivity and depression in adults. The level of these acids in children is also associated with the severity of mood and behavior disorders, for example, in some types of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

A long-term study from the UK found that babies born to women who ate at least 340 grams of fish per week during pregnancy showed higher IQ levels, better social skills and better fine motor skills.


At the same time, the consumption of at least one fish dish by people aged 65–94 reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 60% compared to those who eat fish rarely or not at all.

How to choose and store

Deep dents on carcasses are a reliable indicator of good quality. They are formed when fresh and sometimes live fish on board the trawler enters the freezer form: the carcasses are pressed into each other and freeze. If you see such dents, it means that the fish had never defrosted before meeting you: after defrosting, all dents will straighten out, and the seller will not be able to recreate them.

How to cook


All salmonids have very tasty and tender meat, practically devoid of intermuscular bones. The fat content of the meat of some salmon reaches 27% percent, and then it tastes just like magical buttery.


It is impossible to list all the dishes that are prepared around the world from salmon fish. Salmon meat is eaten fresh (sometimes raw), salted, smoked, dried, boiled, fried and canned.

However, only when salted and cold smoked does this fish retain the greatest amount of vitamins. The most famous variant of salmon salting is the Scandinavian “gravlax”, when fish is salted in a mixture of salt, sugar, spices and finely chopped dill. The addition of a strong local alcohol – aquavita – allows this fish to last longer.

Excellent cold smoked fish is obtained from chum salmon, pink salmon, chinook salmon and sockeye salmon. But hot smoked foods are mainly made from pink salmon, since during a short time the fish are caught by such a huge amount of this fish that it is impossible to save the entire catch if part of it is not immediately smoked. Cold smoked red fish is always a welcome guest at any table.


However, do not forget that fresh salmon meat produces wonderful grilled “steaks”, delicious fish stews, delicious and juicy whole-baked salmon.

Many soups are made from any type of salmon: chowder, fish soup, hodgepodge, mashed soups.

Salmon with lemon, capers and rosemary baked in foil

  • Ingredients for the recipe:
  • 440 g (4 servings 110 g each) skinless salmon fillet, approximately 2.5 cm thick.
  • 1/4 Art. extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. l. chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 4 lemon slices
  • 4 tbsp. l. lemon juice (from about 1 large lemon)
  • 8 Art. l. fortified table red wine Marsala
  • 4 tsp capers washed

Cooking a recipe:

  1. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat, or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Place each piece of salmon on a piece of foil large enough to wrap the fish completely.
  2. Brush the fish with olive oil on both sides, season with 1/2 teaspoon each. salt and pepper, sprinkle with rosemary. For each piece of fish, put 1 slice of lemon, pour 1 tbsp. l. lemon juice and 2 tbsp. l. wine, sprinkle with 1 tsp. capers.
  3. Wrap tightly with foil. Place the foil envelopes on the preheated grill rack and cook for 8-10 minutes until half cooked.
  4. Place the fish in foil on a plate or shallow bowl and serve. Let everyone open the envelope themselves.

Enjoy your meal!

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