How to Eat Canned Salmon

“How do you eat canned salmon?” is a common query from folks we meet at our food demonstrations.

Serving salmon sample at Whole Foods Market
Serving salmon sample at Whole Foods Market

Canned Alaska salmon, especially in its traditional form, can be somewhat of a mystery food to the uninitiated. Complete with skin and bone, ‘traditional pack’ canned salmon I like to think of as the food symbol of the great, raw, wild, supremely healthy country that it came from Alaska.

People who have eaten canned salmon since childhood are comfortable with the presence of the highly nutritious skin and bone, sometimes claiming to having fought with their siblings over who got those delicious crunchy little vertebrae.

Two cans of salmon, Redhead and Thinkpink 'traditional' pack, as is, completely unadorned
Two cans of salmon, Redhead and Thinkpink ‘traditional’ pack, as is, completely unadorned

Other of us, often, ironically, from the salmon rich west coast, are puzzled, if not repelled by the presence of those highly nutritious anatomical parts that we mostly do not see in today’s highly processed foods. I look at a deboned chicken breast or pork and there is little there to remind us of the living, breathing creature that once is now that hunk of defenseless flesh.

Not so with canned Alaska salmon that skin and bone is a badge of the life that was lived by that beautiful creature that felt the drive to leave its natal stream, traveling the Pacific Ocean for thousands of miles, and then return to its exact place of birth.

Redhead wild Alaska sockeye salmon, straight from the waters of the great Bristol Bay, on a bagel
Redhead wild Alaska sockeye salmon, straight from the waters of the great Bristol Bay, on a bagel

I have said this many times, and it is true, when mixed into recipes those skin and bone seemingly dissolve into the recipe. We have served various canned salmon recipes to thousands of people, and not once has the person detected the skin and bone, though we quickly tell them. Traditional pack salmon has nearly double the long chain omega 3 fatty acids as skinless and boneless canned salmon fillets (which are delicious, too) and also provides calcium due to the presence of the bone.

How to Eat Canned Salmon;

  • Straight Out of the Can! Just open the can, maybe squeeze on some lemon, and fork on! There is simply not an easier, better protein source than canned Alaska salmon.
  • Finely chop celery, add salmon, whether Redhead (sockeye) or Thinkpink (pink) salmon, squeeze on lemon and put on a dollop of cocktail sauce.
  • Drain a little of the naturally occurring juices (the oily liquid in the can comes solely from the fish itself, there is nothing added but a little salt), then add a little olive oil plus some chopped onion. That really evens the flavor out in a very delicious way
  • Forrest Gump Says, “Salmon Cakes, Salmon Salad, Salmon On A Bagel, Salmon Chowder, Salmon Pasta, Salmon Wraps, Salmon Cocktail…”

Eat canned salmon at lunch, or better yet breakfast, like the Japanese or Scandinavians, and see if the hunger pains don’t stay away for hours. There something unique about protein from coldwater fatty fish that satiates like none other.

Delish, low calorie and energy sustaining!

13 thoughts on “How to Eat Canned Salmon

    1. The use of country in this instance is referring to just a land mass as opposed to a country like the United States is a country; thanks for looking out though.

  1. How long can and open can of salmon stay in the refrigerator… And i can defintely you say eat it from the can…can i also use the blue can to make salmon cakes?

    1. I usually try to eat it within a couple of days, but mostly because of taste not safety. You can use any cans to make salmon cakes!

  2. Appreciate this because tonight opened my first can of red sockeye salmon and admit it – I was grossed out! Using it for salmon cakes and glad to read here that mixed into a recipe it’s undetectable.

    1. Made my first round of salmon patties tonight, thought it had bones because I bought a brand other than Starkist! I called my mom to complain about the bones and she said I’ve been eating them for years, lol. That was after I had grabbed a second bowl and meticulously picked out all of the vertebrae. Lesson learned, but still gross.

  3. Just had a salmon sandwich using my first can of salmon. I scraped away the skin, wondering if it was OK to eat. Also drained the liquid before researching on computer. Guess everything in the can is OK to eat + being good for you. If you say it’s OK I will look forward to buying more canned.
    Thank you.

    1. We encourage eating both the skin and bones! They are pressure cooked so they are unnoticeable when mashed up and full of nutrition.

    1. There are lots of nutrients in the skin as well as the bones. Are you talking about our canned fillet product or a raw product? As far as the white stuff it is most definitely healthy fats that come to the surface; very good for you!

    1. The ‘best by’ date id five years after processing, but ‘best by’ is a term declaring optimal quality, not shelf life. In the old days, I am told, the canners used to turn the cans upside down every six months to keep the oils migrating through the meat.

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