Smoked Salmon

By Alyssa Morlacci
Updated on 14. Sep. 2020

Smoked salmon is hard to resist — the delicious fish practically melts on the tongue. It's also quite healthy!

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Smoked salmon...

  • ...is good for the heart and circulation. The omega-3 fatty acids abundant in smoked salmon have been proven to protect against vasoconstriction and high-cholesterol levels. Long-term studies have shown smoked salmon even has beneficial effects on existing heart diseases.
  • ...contains plenty of protein With 18 grams of protein per 100 grams, smoked salmon contains just slightly less protein than raw salmon. Nevertheless, it is still one of the best sources.
  • ...promotes brain activity. The polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids in smoked salmon improve the ability to think, concentrate and remember.
  • ...can help you lose weight. Although smoked salmon is relatively rich in fat and calories, you don't have to give it up on a diet. The omega-3 fatty acids in smoked salmon can even boost the breakdown of fat in the body.
  • ...isn't the best for pregnant women. Listeria is rarely found in smoked salmon, but doctors still recommend avoiding it completely during pregnancy as a precaution. Although there is no risk for the expecting mother, there is more risk for the unborn child.
  • ...sometimes contains harmful substances. Because the fat in smoked salmon may also contain traces of environmental toxins, experts advise that health-conscious people buy smoked salmon from certified or organic farms.

What You Should Know About Smoked Salmon

Salmon once it's been smoked not only gains a beautiful color but it also becomes tender. Its taste is created by the slowly rising smoke from high-quality wood, for example beech wood, in which the salmon slowly matures at a temperature of about 60 degrees F to a maximum of 64 degrees F.

The whole salmon, i.e. the halved and boned fish together with the skin, always go into the smoke. Only after smoking is the skin removed and the fish packed either whole or sliced.

Origin

Smoked salmon comes mainly from Norwegian farms.

Season

There is no special season for smoked salmon.

Taste

Depending on the manufacturer, smoked salmon can taste like smoke with a saltiness.

Here you will find all smoked salmon recipes.

How Healthy Is Smoked Salmon?

Figure conscious people often ignore smoked salmon because it's not exactly low in calories. However, smoked salmon contains good fats, which are composed mainly of omega-3 fatty acids. This makes it the perfect fish for those who want to reduce amounts of harmful cholesterol in the blood. Studies show the omega-3 fatty acids in smoked salmon reduce the risk of death from heart attack, even when there are other risk factors, such as obesity.

Several studies have also shown the positive or preventive effects omega-3 fatty acids have on breast cancer, while other researchers are looking into the same effect on prostate cancer.

Smoked salmon provides considerable amounts of minerals, especially phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. There are also several B vitamins, including vitamin B12 and niacin in particular. B12 plays an important role for the brain and nerves, while niacin, also known as vitamin B3, helps recovery and relaxation.

What those who have high blood pressure should especially be aware of is that smoked salmon is high in salt. It is therefore better to enjoy it only occasionally and in portions that are not too large. Since listeria is repeatedly found in samples of smoked salmon, pregnant women should avoid it.

Nutritional values of smoked salmon per 100 grams  
Calories 190
Protein 21 grams
Fat 11.8 grams
Carbohydrates 0 grams
Fiber 0 grams

Shopping and Kitchen Tips

Shopping

Many people think quality smoked salmon is expensive. This is a misconception. Even the packaged smoked salmon sold by discounters and supermarkets are decent. The assumption that smoked wild salmon is the best is also not necessarily true. 

Storage

Smoked salmon can keep longer. However, it is important to note the date on the package, as the risk of listeria infestation or other bacteria increases after the expiration date. Always store smoked salmon in the refrigerator, in the coldest compartment or at a maximum of 43 degrees F.

Preparation

Take smoked salmon out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before eating so it can develop its full flavor.

What To Make With Smoked Salmon

Aficionados like smoked salmon on its own or simply with a baguette, and possibly with some horseradish. Those who like variety can enjoy smoked salmon with pasta, pizza, tarte flambée, fine salads or cream soups.

Heating smoked salmon isn't a problem, as long as it's only for a short time. You should not roast or grill it, as this could produce harmful substances.

Knowledge To Go

Smoked salmon is a treat that almost everyone can enjoy with a clear conscience, as it contains valuable omega-3 fatty acids and other beneficial nutrients. Pregnant women, sick people, infants and people with weak immune systems should avoid smoking salmon because there is a certain risk of infection.

FAQs

How can I tell if salmon is spoiled?

Indicators that smoked fish has gone bad are an unpleasant smell and a changed appearance. If the salmon smells very fishy or even rotten when you open the package, you better throw it in the trash. The same applies to gray spots or a greasy layer on the fish.

How long can the fish be kept after it's been opened?

Once the original packaging has been opened, the fish should be consumed within two days and stored in the coldest place in the refrigerator.

Can I freeze smoked salmon?

If you cannot consume the fish before the expiration date, you can freeze it without it losing flavor. It is important that the packaging is still closed. Freeze it as early as possible and thaw as slowly as possible.

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