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June 13, 2009 in main course1 comment

asian salmon on quinoa

asian salmon on quinoa

After several years as an ovo-lacto vegetarian, I came back to fish. I love fish, particularly salmon. It’s pretty, delicious, and full of protein and omega-3s. There are a few things to watch out for when purchasing salmon, though, if you’re being conscious of where your food comes from and how it impacts our environment.

There’s “good” salmon and there’s “bad” salmon. This refers not to freshness but to whether it’s farmed or wild. Alaska has robust wild salmon fisheries and that is the kind of salmon to look for. Look for the terms “wild” or “Alaskan” when buying fresh or frozen salmon.

“Bad” salmon is farmed. They’re treated with pesticides and antibiotics, are low in omega-3s due to their diet, pollute their local environment due to so many being raised in a small area (sewage), and reduce the supply of other fish — salmon are carnivorous, and it takes 3 pounds of other fish to raise 1 pound of salmon. Farmed salmon will often say it is farmed, but usually more prominently displayed is “Atlantic.” If your’e buying Atlantic salmon, you’re buying farmed salmon.

Buy wild and/or Alaskan salmon. It’s no more expensive than farmed, and it’s much better for you and everyone else.

Right now is sockeye salmon season — it usually shows up fresh in markets in June. Sockeye eats only plankton, which gives it a richer taste than other salmons, and a deep reddish pink color. If you see sockeye at your market, snap it up.

This salmon recipe puts filets in an soy sauce-tinged, slightly sweet marinade for an hour, then on the grill or under the broiler. It’s my go-to recipe when I want really flavorful salmon. Served on a bed of broth-infused quinoa, it’s even pretty enough to serve to other people. Read more on asian salmon on quinoa…