The benefits of salmon and the techniques for cooking and preserving it


With a smooth taste and texture, versatile in the kitchen and with nutritional properties that make it appear in a privileged place on the list of fatty foods that you should never eliminate from your diet. Besides being a source of protein high-quality vitamins (vitamin D, B vitamins), minerals (potassium and phosphorus) and antioxidants (selenium and vitamin E, Norwegian salmon provides Omega 3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient that can help reduce risk factors of suffering from cardiovascular disease. In fact, as Mario Sánchez, a food technologist and food safety expert at Sefifood, a serving of 150 grams of salmon covers the weekly needs of Omega 3 and the recommended daily amount of vitamin D. Something that is more important than ever in times of less sun exposure because this vitamin contributes to the calcium absorption, so it is of vital importance in the maintenance of bones.

Their healthy fats They also help protect the brain and joints. In fact, some studies suggest that its regular consumption, in the framework of a balanced diet, can help reduce depressive symptoms, anxiety and age-related memory loss.

Your contribution in vitamins Fat-soluble such as vitamin A and vitamin D favor the body’s resistance to infections, regulates calcium levels and helps the development of the nervous system. This vitamin intake also reduces the risk of suffering from eye diseases such as macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome.

The minerals more present in salmon are potassium and phosphorus, although it also contains selenium (antioxidant), iron, calcium and iodine, which is needed for the normal functioning of the thyroid.

Grilled salmon with vegetables.
Grilled salmon with vegetables.

Versatility in the kitchen

Salmon is one of the most consumed blue fish in Spain and, according to the director of the Norwegian Seafood Council, Bjorn Erik Stabell, this is due not only to its taste, but also to its healthy character, because it is easy to prepare and is often liked by the whole family. The recommendation for fish consumption by the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN) is 3-4 times a week, although it advises to alternate between blue fish and white fish.

Raw or cooked Norwegian salmon accepts a multitude of culinary preparations, although it may be helpful to know that, as Chef Hung Fai suggests, each part of the salmon may be more suitable for one or another preparation. Thus, the tenderloin is perfect for sushi and sashimi, the fillets for the plate or the oven and the tail to make hamburgers, use cooking or tartare. Regarding whether or not the nutritional quality varies depending on the culinary preparations, the Sefifood expert clarifies that during debi cooking some volatile compounds may be lost due to excess temperature, but that the nutrients provided by the salmon remain intact.

Salmon sushi.
Salmon sushi.

Tips for conserving salmon

When choosing a salmon in the supermarket it is important to know its origin and its traceability from the origin. In the case of Norwegian salmon, Bjorn Erik Stabell explains that the information on each stage is collected in a document so that it is possible to know where the salmon comes from, where and when it was processed, in which specific batch, who is the exporter or which ones were the production dates and the storage temperature.

Once the salmon arrives at home, it is also important to follow food safety guidelines for handling, preparing and preserving the salmon.

Is it better to cut the salmon on a wooden or plastic board?. If we have to cut or handle the salmon at home, we will use, as advised by the food technologist Mario Sánchez, the specific table for the fish that we use regularly. Ideally, it should be made of plastic or stainless steel, as it allows better cleaning than wood, which is porous and with a greater risk of harboring undesirable microorganisms. A practical and simple idea to always use the correct table is to opt for the plastic ones and assign a color to each type of food (red for meat, green for vegetables, yellow for fruits and blue for fish, for example) .

How long does salmon last in the freezer?. If we freeze raw salmon we will have to take into account the rule of “freeze fast and thaw slowly”. As explained by the Sefifood expert, fresh salmon last between 2 and 3 months frozen, while if it has been cooked, it can be kept for up to four months. “Keep in mind, however, that you cannot freeze cooked dishes containing pasta, rice and potatoes as we would be mixing different foods with different properties and durations,” he clarifies.

How should we defrost salmon? To defrost salmon, it is best to leave it in the refrigerator covered to prevent the powerful smell of fish from mixing with that of other foods. We will always defrost it inside the refrigerator (not on the counter) and preferably in the lower parts of the refrigerator to prevent any exudates or liquids from the fish from contaminating other foods.

How long does salmon last in the refrigerator? Once it is in the refrigerator, it is not suitable to store the salmon for more than 1-2 days if we have kept it raw. In the event that we have cooked it and we want to take advantage of it to prepare another recipe later, we can extend its useful life to 3.4 days. “In dishes such as poke, sushi or tartare, which are made with raw salmon, it is better to keep the ingredients separately and assemble the entire dish when eating. Once prepared, we can keep it in the refrigerator and consume it in 1-2 days, ”reveals Mario Sánchez.

Can I take the salmon in a “tupper” to work? Both raw and cooked, the salmon must be refrigerated as soon as possible, otherwise we would be allowing entry into an ideal temperature window for the growth of dangerous microorganisms. Therefore, according to the food safety expert, if we want to bring “tuppers” or “sandwiches” to work with culinary preparations that contain this food, we will have to refrigerate it as soon as we arrive or, in any case, it is recommended that they do not keep more than two prepared food for hours at room temperature.

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