Smoked salmon is highly regarded for its salty taste and fireside smoked flavor. Because of its higher cost, it is usually considered a delicacy. It is usually mistaken for pickled salmon. Pickled salmon is salmon marinated in brine but not smoked. However, like pickled salmon, smoked salmon is usually eaten with cream cheese, cucumber or tomatoes and other ingredients on biscuits.
This article introduces all the information you need to know about smoked salmon, including its nutritional content, treatment methods, and health benefits and risks.
Smoked salmon has relatively low calories, and it also has high-quality protein, essential fats, and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
A 3.5 ounce (100 grams) portion of smoked salmon provides:
Protein: 18 grams
Fat: 4 grams
Sodium: 600–1,200 mg
Phosphorus: 13% of the daily value (DV)
Copper: 26% of the DV
Riboflavin 59% of DV: 9%
Niacin of DV: 30% of DV
Vitamin B6: 16% of
DV Vitamin B12: 136% of
DV Vitamin E: 9% of
DV Vitamin D: 86% of DV
Choline: 16% of DV
More importantly, smoked salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, providing 0.5 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). These fats are considered essential because your body cannot make them, so you must get them from your diet. EPA and DHA are important for brain function, heart health and healthy aging.
Due to the processing method of smoked salmon, its sodium content is relatively high, about 600-1,200 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). In contrast, the same serving of fresh salmon can provide 75 mg of sodium. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the United States Nongye Bu (USDA) proposed to limit sodium intake to 2,300 mg a day to reduce the risk of heart Dirty risk of disease and stroke. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend lower thresholds-2,000 and 1,500 mg per day, respectively. Therefore, you need to monitor the intake of smoked salmon, especially if it is sensitive to salt.
The production process of smoked salmon
Smoking is a processing method that seasons, cooks or preserves food by exposing it to smoke. Usually used for meat, poultry and fish.
To smoke salmon, melted boneless fish fillets are covered with salt, sometimes sugar, and left to stand for 12-24 hours to absorb moisture through a process called curing. The longer the marinating process, the more salt the salmon contains.
By removing water, the salt enhances the flavor and acts as a preservative to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Then, rinse the fillets with water to remove excess salt, and then transfer them to a smoker to dry. The drying process helps the fish fillets to form a protective film, which is a protein coating that allows the smoke to better adhere to the surface of the fish. Smoke devices attached to the kiln, they burn wood chips or sawdust (usually from oak, maple or hickory) to produce smoke.
The difference between cold smoked and hot smoked salmon
Salmon can be hot smoke or cold smoke. The main difference is the temperature of the smoking chamber. For cold-smoked salmon, the temperature should be 10–32°C (50–90°F) for 20–24 hours. This temperature range is not sufficient for cooking salmon, so extra care should be taken during preparation and marinating to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Conversely, for a hot smoker, the chamber must be warm enough to allow its internal temperature to reach at least 145°F (63°C) for at least 30 minutes to properly cook the salmon. Most smoked salmon on the market is cold smoked. You can distinguish hot-smoked varieties because their packaging usually indicates that they are fully cooked. Cold smoked salmon tends to be smooth and mild, while hot smoked salmon is flaky and has a stronger smoky flavor.
Due to the food safety risks involved, food scientists usually advise against using cold smoke methods at home. However, as long as you have proper equipment and technology, you can safely smoke at home.
Selection and storage
Some species of smoked salmon need to be refrigerated, while others need to be refrigerated until the package is opened. Check the product label for storage recommendations. Once opened, smoked salmon can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or 3 months (provided by the National Family Food Preservation Center). You should avoid smoked salmon that contains a lot of black spots. The taste of these black spots is often unpalatable and should be trimmed off-because sometimes the manufacturer will leave them in to increase the weight of the package.
Health benefits and risks
Smoked salmon can bring many health benefits, but there are some disadvantages you should keep in mind.
The benefits of smoked salmon
The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA provided by salmon and other high-fat fish are related to reducing the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and age-related mental decline. These fats can work by lowering triglycerides, reducing inflammation, and maintaining brain structure and function.
However, other nutrients in high-fat fish may be part of the reason for the benefits, because multiple studies of omega-3 nutritional supplements have failed to find the same benefits.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that adults eat at least 8 ounces (227 grams) of seafood a week to obtain approximately 250 mg of EPH and DHA.
Smoked salmon also has many vitamins and minerals that are essential to your health. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of food contains up to 136% of the daily vitamin B12 requirement and 86% of the vitamin D DV.
In addition, the same amount of food can meet half of your daily demand for selenium. Selenium can act as an antioxidant and prevent many diseases.
Risks of smoked salmon
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of smoked salmon has reached more than half of the daily sodium limit set by the USDA.
Therefore, if you pay attention to salt consumption, you may want to moderately reduce your intake of smoked salmon or switch to fresh salmon. In addition, observational studies have shown that smoked and processed meat is associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, especially colorectal cancer. Smoked salmon may also increase the risk of listeriosis, which is a food-borne disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes. This bacteria is easily destroyed by heat, but it grows at a temperature of 34-113°F (1-45°C), which is the temperature range for cold-smoked salmon.
Listeriosis is more likely to infect the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Therefore, these people should avoid cold-smoked salmon, although canned and shelf-stable varieties are considered safe.
Ways to eat smoked salmon
Here are some ways to enjoy smoked salmon:
- On a cream cheese bagel
- On your favorite salad
- Toast and scrambled eggs
- Potato soup
- Mix into the pasta
- Stir the biscuits
- On the platter with vegetables
In addition, if you have your own smoking equipment, you can make your own hot-smoked salmon at home.
First marinate the fish fillets in salt for at least 4 hours. Next, pat it dry and place it in a smoker at 225°F (107°C) until its internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C). You can monitor the temperature with a meat thermometer.
Smoked salmon is a salty marinated fish, known for its fatty texture and unique flavor. It is rich in high-quality protein, essential omega-3 fats, and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
However, it contains a lot of sodium, and cold-smoked varieties may increase the risk of listeriosis.
However, when consumed in moderation, this smoky flavor can add health to your diet.