Does Salmon Taste Fishy

Does Salmon Taste Fishy?

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Salmon is one of the most eaten fish in a lot of countries, and you have probably already seen tons of dishes with salmon at restaurants. The pink, flakey fillet on the plate that you see is an oily textured fish eaten across the world in huge numbers.

However, it is still an ongoing debate whether the fishy smell is there or not. As simple as salmon might sound, it is still a food full of nutrients and flavor. People of all ages and health-conscious people can count on it for their protein intake.

From the article below you will get a thorough idea of how salmon and in fact different types of salmon taste like. If you find it fishy you will find techniques to make it less fishy.

Although how salmon tastes depend on a  lot of things, we still recommend you try one at least once in your lifetime. It will be totally worth your money, we promise! 

What Does Salmon Look Like

Salmons have small sharp angled heads with spend and long bodies. The color of salmon ranges from red to white. As time passes from when it has been caught, the color also changes. 

When cooked salmon has a distinctive orange and pinkish hue.  The color is actually a great indicator of whether the fish will taste fishier or better. The color also depends on what they have been fed. 

A rule of thumb for choosing salmons based on color is that always go for the whiter ones. Salmons also have little to no dark spots on their body and an adipose fin that sets them apart. 

What Does Salmon Look Like

Where to Find Salmon?

For salmons, you can find them in fresh and saltwater depending on the season. They are born in freshwater and can be found there for the first few months of their lives.

After that, salmons move to the oceans. So you can find adult salmons in the oceans like the Pacific and Atlantic. You will also find different types of salmons in different regions too.

Since salmons are one of the most consumed fish in the US, you need to level up your effort to catch them. A rule of thumb would be to travel to northern parts of the country that are closely connected to oceans like New York, Maine, Alaska, etc to catch them. 

Where to Find Salmon

Does Salmon Taste Fishy?

Generally, salmons are known to be rich and strong flavored fish with lots of nutrients and fat content. So, the short answer for this oceanic fish is, yes it does smell fishy but It has a fishy flavor that is stronger in fish that come from the sea.

Salmon, as a popular oceanic fish, carries the same taste and flavor. However, the scale of the smell and taste depends greatly on the type of salmon you are choosing, storing duration, and the way you cook it. For example, fresh salmon will have a better taste and less fishy flavor.

It will be softer and milder and have a better aroma. The more time you keep it inside a refrigerator, the more fishy taste it develops over time. Moreover, it is said that the salmon that is lighter will have a milder flavor and fragrance. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can’t expect canned salmon to taste the same as delicate ones.

Canned ones will have bland and overly oily flavor. And it will most probably have a strong fishy taste. Another tip to make it taste less fishy is that if you get baked or grilled salmon, then the fishy taste tones down a lot. All in all, you should expect some fishy taste as salmon is seafood, but more expensive and fresh ones will have a tolerable fishy flavor that you will probably not even notice. 

How Do Different Types of Salmon Taste

Silver Salmon

As the name suggests, this salmon has silver skin. However, the flesh is bright red which makes it distinguishable. It tastes rich, delicate, and very oily making it comparable to one of the most expensive salmon types out there. Because of the rich taste, the fishy flavor is mild to non-existent.

Atlantic Salmon

This is pure salmon but the type that has a very mild flavor. By the name, it can be found mostly in the Atlantic. It will also be a little more affordable than King or Silver.

Sockeye Salmon

This type of salmon has a fishy flavor but a salmon texture. The color is also very dark red which makes it distinctive. It is lean, rich, and oily and all the other good things about salmon are in it. You can get a pouch of sockeye salmon here!

Humpback Salmon

This one has pink flesh. Which is probably what most people have eaten. It is also the most common one found in the pacific ocean. The name comes from the hump it has on its back.

This type of salmon doesn’t contain all that much oil or fat which is why it is not as rich or delicate. It might be a little flaky too. It might be more affordable so expect a little fishy taste and less oily flavor. 

Chinook Salmon

This salmon is known to be the most expensive and rich-in-taste salmon out there. Which is why it is also called the king salmon. Every pound of this fish costs about 30 pounds.

The meat is very delicate and oily. But not fishy at all except for the hint of flavor that should be felt from a fish. It also has intramuscular fat in meat that makes the texture very different. It will give you the entire salmon flavor and more. 

Dog Salmon

If you are looking for another mild and nonoily type this one is for you. It doesn’t have any intense fish flavor at all.

It also doesn’t contain very little oily texture. Try to add it to soup or any other dish with moisture. 


Salmon also provides vitamins, minerals, and other healthy nutrients. If we take a 100g fillet of salmon we will get about 200 calories, saturated fat about 3g, and 20g of protein. In terms of vitamins, it also has vitamins E, D, C, and A. In fact, daily consumption of salmon is beneficial and decreases vascula risk according to this study.

How to Make Salmon Taste Less Fishy

How to Make Salmon Taste Less Fishy

If you still find salmon fishy or are worried about it, you can follow some techniques to get rid of that. The first one is that you can add citrus to the salmon. But it only works on cooked salmons.

Once you are done cooking, squeeze some lemon juice and zest on top of the salmon. Then wait for a few moments for it to get soaked in. It works best on grilled and baked salmons where the lemon enhances the taste as well.

As an alternative, you can also use some hot sauce with it since it goes well with cooked fish. The second way is to add some special ingredients to marinate the fish. You can add yogurt, garlic, and lemon juice and keep the fish marinated.

Adding brown sugar or honey will mingle with the flavor and make it tastier. This recipe is the most popular that not only tones down the fishy flavor but also enhances the overall taste of the fish. The third way is to soak the fish in milk for about half an hour.

The protein in the milk will tone down the fishy taste and make the texture softer. It will also make the fish taste sweet. You can watch this video to see how to make salmon taste even better in more ways -


Whether salmon tastes fishy or not depends on your tastebuds too. Some people find it to be a delicacy at all times. Some find it fishier than most.

However, if it tastes too fishy for you, there is a chance that the fish is rotten and should not be eaten.

Instead of forcing yourself to eat it, if you find it to be too fishy remember to toss it. But the chances are you will fall in love with this fish just like most other!

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Bella Howard

Bella Howard is a contributing writer and foodie with a particular love of Mexican, Chinese and Euro...

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