Why Does My Salmon Taste Fishy?


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Have you ever tasted salmon and thought it tasted really fishy? Maybe the experience was enough for you to not want to eat salmon again. Yes, fish can sometimes taste fishy. After all, it is fish. 

But, even though some fish like salmon are known to taste more fishy than other types of fish, it’s important to note that salmon shouldn’t taste too fishy and if it does, then there is a reason behind it. 

So, why does salmon sometimes taste extremely fishy?

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Salmon will taste fishy if it isn’t fresh. This fish usually tastes fishy unless you are eating it right after it has been caught or it has been flash frozen right after being caught. Another reason salmon may be extra fishy in taste is that it hasn’t been handled properly.

Why Does My Salmon Taste Fishy?

Salmon is a healthy fish to eat. This pink colored fish is actually the second most popular seafood choice in the U.S. just after shrimp. Its health benefits may be the reason for this. 

Salmon is high in omega 3 fatty acids which help support the health of your heart and brain. Salmon is also high in protein and other beneficial nutrients and it is low in calories. 

So, because of this, salmon is a healthy meat. Now, salmon can contain mercury which is toxic. If you consume too much it can lead to some harmful health conditions affecting the nervous, digestive, and immune systems. 

So, in order to avoid this, you should limit your intake of mercury-containing fish to 6 ounces a week.

The reason salmon smells extra fishy is because its fatty acids have started oxidizing. This will only intensify when the salmon is cooked. Brining the salmon in vinegar, lemon, or other acid can decrease the smell of the fish. 

You must get fresh salmon for it not to taste too fishy. The fresher the fish, the better it is going to taste. This also ties in when you should eat the salmon. 

If you aren’t going to be freezing or canning the salmon, it is recommended to eat it that day. This is the freshest it is going to be. After being stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days, it is going to become more and more fishy in flavor. 

Freezing the salmon is a great way to preserve it. Thai slows down oxidation so you can keep the salmon for longer.

Freshly caught and frozen salmon can be purchased and shipped to your home. Because it is fresh and has been frozen right away, this type of salmon isn’t going to taste as fishy as some of the ones you will find in grocery stores. If you order salmon at a restaurant and it smells very fishy, then you don’t want to eat it. 

The best salmon won’t have a fishy smell. Most wild-caught and farmed salmon can get to stores in less than 24 hours, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find salmon that is fresh. 

Salmon shouldn’t taste too fishy. If it does, then it is not fresh. To see the most popular fish seasoning for your salmon (or other fish)  just click here. 

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How Do You Get The Fishy Taste Out Of Salmon?

Salmon is healthy fish with a tender and flaky texture. It features a mild to rich flavor. While these qualities may differ according to the species of salmon, it is known to be delicious. 

But, if your salmon is just too fishy, is there any way to get the fishy taste out of it?

To get the fishy taste out of salmon, you want to soak the fish before cooking it, and cook it with some acidic ingredients to remove any fishy taste. Sauces and glazes can also help to mask the fishy flavor. To avoid salmon that tastes fishy you need to be sure you are buying fresh salmon. 

Now, even though salmon is really good for you, some may not be able to get past its really fishy taste. As we mentioned earlier, the way to not get fishy tasting salmon is to buy it as fresh as possible. Fresh salmon isn’t going to taste as fishy as salmon that’s been stored for a while. 

Fishy tasting fish can also be a result of poor handling, which is why the fresher the salmon, the better it’s going to taste. 

So, when you are buying salmon, follow some of these helpful tips so that it doesn’t taste too fishy:

  1. Smell it. Start by smelling the salmon before you bring it home. If it is fresh, it shouldn’t smell fishy. If it does smell fishy, pass and look for a fresher one. 
  1. Feel it. The flesh of the fish should be firm and not mushy
  1. Look at it. Sometimes the appearance of the salmon can let you know if it is fresh or not. Avoid any salmon that has frost or ice crystals in its package. This indicates that the fish may have thawed and then refrozen which means it isn’t fresh.
  1. Store it. Once you have selected your salmon and brought it home, be sure you are storing it properly. If you plan on cooking the salmon that day, store it in the coldest part of your refrigerator. If you are saving it to cook on a different day, then put the package in a freezer bag that can be tightly sealed and freeze it immediately. In the freezer, you can keep the salmon for up to 6 months. When you cook it, defrost the fish overnight in the refrigerator.

If you don’t like fishy tasting fish, then salmon may not be the best choice for you. It is healthy but it is going to taste more fishy than other types of fish like flounder, tilapia, cod, and arctic char. But, if your salmon is just way too fishy, then there are some ways you can remove that undesirable taste. 

Here are some idea on how to remove that fishy taste from your salmon so you can improve its flavor:

  1. Try soaking the salmon for about 20 minutes before cooking it. Milk protein binds with fishy odors and removes them. This can also leave behind a much better flavor.
  1. Try squeezing some fresh lemon over it to add some flavor if your salmon is already cooking. This can dull that fishy taste.
  1. Try serving the salon with some sauces or glazes that can cover up most of the fishy flavor. Dill, lemon butter sauces pair well with salmon. Honey or brown sugar glaze can also improve the flair of the fish.

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Final Thoughts

So, by selecting the right salmon and cooking it in the right way, you can avoid fishy tasting salmon. This fish is naturally more fishy tasting than other types of fish. But it shouldn’t taste too fishy. 

Some ways to make sure your salmon won’t taste too fishy, is to purchase it fresh, store it properly, and cook in a way that will remove the fishy taste. The main reason why your fish tastes fishy is that it isn’t fresh. Fresh salmon won’t smell or taste too fishy. 

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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