Is buying salmon confusing? Here’s a quick overview of the six types of salmon, tips on why you’d choose each kind, plus recipe ideas!
The Six Types of Salmon
There are SIX– yes, SIX types of salmon.
And guess what– they aren’t all created equal!
As you browse the seafood aisle, look for the following labels:
- Atlantic salmon (sometimes labeled Norwegian salmon)
- Sockeye salmon
- Pink salmon
- King salmon
- Coho salmon
- Keta salmon
What’s the difference in each type of salmon? What should you know?
This is an affordable, easy to find salmon option.
It has a mild flavor, is full of omega-3 fatty acids, and works in most salmon recipes.
It’s also always farmed, and is chemically colored to be pink.
Learn more about wild salmon vs. farmed salmon.
Wild Pacific Salmon
Each of the other five types of salmon are found in the Pacific ocean.
These fish are all sustainable sourced, and have no chemical coloring.
Two types of Pacific salmon are easy to find across America– Sockeye and Pink salmon, while the rest can be a little trickier to find.
This easy to find, high-quality fish has a naturally brilliant-red flesh. It’s oily, easy to cook, and has a stronger flavor than most other salmon.
Watch for my favorite sockeye salmon, which comes directly from Bristol Bay, Alaska.
Check out a collection of my favorite Sockeye salmon recipes!
Pink salmon is inexpensive and mildly flavored. It’s easy to find frozen or canned!
It’s not as luxurious as Sockeye salmon, but is a delicious, lean protein.
Wild Pacific King Salmon (or Chinook Salmon)
King salmon can be a little tricky to find, and expensive when you do find it, but if you can– try it!
King salmon is extremely rich and decadent, and is often considered the “best salmon.”
Recently, some well-farmed king salmon has been showing up on the market. (Most notably from Regal Marlborough King Salmon in New Zealand.)
Check out my favorite King salmon recipe ideas!
Wild Pacific Coho Salmon (or Silver Salmon)
This mild type of salmon can be hard to find, but it’s excellent raw or smoked!
If you find some, try making learning how to make lox!
Wild Pacific Chum Salmon (or Keta Salmon / Dog Salmon)
This salmon might not have the prettiest name, but it can still be delicious! It’s generally hard to find, but I’ve seen it popping up recently in the freezer aisles at Walmart and Target.
It’s a mild, less oily fish, and is fairly inexpensive!