As the weather begins to warm up, so do grills across the country. Although hamburgers, steaks and hot dogs are still a standard choice among consumers, there is one trend that is gaining popularity these days: seafood. Specifically, salmon.
We spoke to Diana Dumet, Director of Marketing, Consumer Products Americas at Mowi, the world’s largest salmon producer, about this growing grilled salmon trend. Mowi’s efforts have them ranked as the world’s most sustainable protein producer for the second year in a row by the FAIRR initiative.
According to Dumet, although we are still a meat and potato culture, salmon is on the rise – something she says is a testament to our society’s healthier habits and food-conscious cooking. These days. As consumers begin to think more about alternative, healthier diets and value things like building protein, salmon is an easy choice.
Whether you’re looking for a simple weeknight meal or a superb barbecue in your backyard, here’s why salmon should be your next grilled meal.
Salmon is quick and easy
You don’t have to be a grill master to produce an impressive grilled salmon spread. Typically ready in 12 minutes or less, salmon is a great choice if you’re looking for something quick to prepare with minimal effort. Because of its firm flesh, salmon is perfect for grilling because it doesn’t fall apart in the heat, unlike many varieties of white fish. Due to its fast cooking nature, be careful not to venture too far from the grill so you don’t overcook it.
While other seafood can emit strong smells or flavors that put some people off, grilled salmon is an accessible and friendly option for everyone. Its smooth, buttery flavor pairs well with the smoke from a grill. (Farmed salmon tends to taste milder, while wild salmon is stronger.)
For Dumet, grilling is an ideal technique for adding smoky flavors to fish while achieving a crispy element on both sides.
“Salmon skin is best for allowing the salmon juices to lock in, and it provides a nice natural base to portions when putting on the grill,” says Dumet. “But for those who appreciate top and bottom grill lines, the skinless portions are ideal.”
Salmon is nutritious
Salmon is also a healthy alternative for those looking to pack a nutritional punch without sacrificing flavor. A single serving of a 3 to 4 ounce salmon fillet only contains about 200 calories. It’s one of the best sources of vitamin B12 and is packed with potassium, iron and vitamin D. Salmon is also rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. inflammation, lower blood pressure and decrease risk factors for disease.
Plus, it doesn’t take much for the flavors of the salmon to shine. While other meats often require heavy sauces or condiments, grilled salmon can be enjoyed with just a few fresh herbs and citrus fruits, keeping its already low calorie count. And besides a little oil to coat the grill, salmon doesn’t require the addition of extra fat.
“For grilling, consumers can easily add their favorite marinade or seasoning blend to spice it up, or simply use salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil to enjoy the mild flavor of Atlantic salmon. “, suggests Dumet. “Be sure to cook the salmon to an internal temperature of 145°F.”
What to look for when buying salmon
Dumet suggests looking for (or researching) a few things when buying this popular fish.
The origin, freshness and certifications of the fish must appear on the label.
Certifications can tell the consumer about the origins of the fish, such as how and where it was raised. Mowi salmon meets BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices) certification for environmental responsibility, animal health and welfare, social responsibility, food safety and traceability.
Other qualities to look for in salmon include color, marbling, texture, freshness and, if possible, a prepackaged format. Mowi’s prepackaged salmon guarantees fresh fish, never frozen.
What does this mean exactly? Pre-packaged salmon is packaged at an optimal temperature to ensure its safety. A skin-pack technology provides transparent coverage so consumers can easily see the fish from front to back. It also has a special film that allows the fish “to exhale, but nothing can breathe”.
Ready to grill?
Dumet recommends keeping your salmon at the right temperature (between 30° and 34°F) so that it stays fresh.
When buying Mowi salmon at your local grocery store, ask for an extra bag of ice to place on the salmon. Once at home, keep the salmon in its plastic film and prepare a bowl containing a strainer filled with ice and carefully place the salmon on it. Change the ice every day and be sure to enjoy it within two days. It is not recommended to consume salmon after two days.