You’ll need all five senses for this one.
Seafood newbie? The fish counter at the grocery store can be an overwhelming part of your food shopping trip if you’re not sure what to look for. Sometimes it might seem less intimidating to head to the freezer aisle and buy some salmon fillets, TBH.
In this video, cardiologist and chef Mike Fenster, MD, has all the tricks to help you master the seafood counter experience. If you’re looking to buy a whole salmon, follow these guidelines:
Give the salmon a quick visual exam, especially the eyes and—if possible—the gills. The eyes should be clear, not cloudy, and the gills should be a bright red hue.
Touch the salmon skin. It should be pretty firm.
Give it a sniff. After feeling the skin, smell your fingers. Dr. Mike says the aroma should be fresh, almost like a salty cucumber, instead of actually smelling like fish. That fishy smell is actually a bad sign anytime you’re buying seafood.
If possible, learn where the salmon came from. The best salmon to buy, according to many chefs, is Alaskan salmon. The water surrounding Alaska and parts of Canada are known for being a little cleaner thanks to sustainability efforts, which means the fresh salmon should be cleaner and healthier as well.
Sure, the frozen salmon fillets may still provide the health benefits you are looking for, such as omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein, but the best flavor comes from fresh salmon. Buying a fresh salmon will give your meal the best texture, taste, and nutritional content possible.
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Now salmon is one of the world's
most popular fishes.
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It's known not only for
its flavor, but the intense
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health benefits that we see in other fatty
fishes like mackerels and tunas, why?
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Cuz they're rich in omega-3
essential fatty acids,
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those are the kinds that are heart
healthy, but it goes beyond the heart,.
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They're also good and
they're incredibly important for overall,
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good smart thinking, and also very,
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very important for reducing inflammation.
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One of the great things
about salmon this fresh,
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is I know the guy who had to wrestle a
grizzly this morning to bring this to us.
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So I want my good friend Mike Doucet
to say to come on stage.
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Hey, Mike how are you doing?
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Good to see you.
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you don't mind the fishy smell, right?
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Not at all.
Because you were knee-deep
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in the creek this morning
wrestling a grizzly.
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Fresh, they are fresh.
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And that's what so important,
so critical, not only for
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the health benefits, but for the flavor.
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One of the things that we want to
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look for, in this beautiful salmon here,
you want the eyes to be clear.
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If you've got an opportunity,
check the gills, and
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they should be this bright red, nice red.
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NIce red, yeah.
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The flesh should be firm,
anything else we should be looking for?
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Well, the flesh on a salmon is,
you rub, smell that?
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Yeah, and here's a great take home tip,
fish is the only food that we eat,
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that you should never eat if it
smells like what it is [LAUGH].
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Yes, so true, so true,
that fish is from Alaska,
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we know that because we know
what boat it came from.
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We can follow where the boat was actually
fishing, because each boat has a GPS on
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it, which we can actually follow and see
what fishing grounds this fish came from.
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Wow, so you can actually tell where
they've been anywhere in the world?
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This fish, yesterday,
was up in Alaska, up by Kodiak Island,
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since it's important to know where
the fish was, we know Alaska is clean.
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We know New Brunswick, and
we know the Canadian waters are all clean.
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Alaska created sustainability, they were
the first ones, everyone else followed.
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That's great, thanks, Mike,
appreciate you being here today.
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Thank you very much.
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Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, Appel LJ. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease new recommendations from the American Heart Association. Arterioscle Thromb Vasc Biol. 2003;23(2):151-152. PMID: 12588750. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12588750).
McNamara RK, Carlson SE. Role of omega-3 fatty acids in brain development and function: Potential implications for the pathogenesis and prevention of psychopathology. PLEFA. 2006.07.010. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plefa.2006.07.010).
Omega-3 fats: Good for your heart. Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Health: U.S. National Library of Medicine. 2016. (Accessed April 18, 2017 at https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000767.htm)