Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon

Tasmanian Atlantic salmon is available in restaurants and supermarkets across Australia and is exported to many countries in Asia and other parts of the world. Tasmania’s rapidly growing aquaculture industry is driven by some natural advantages in farming salmon and being a primary producer more generally. It is a vital business for the Tasmanian people.

  • Tasmanian waterways are the cleanest in the world.
  • The aquaculture industry has built a reputation for maintaining high environmental standards, using the best technologies available.
  • Tasmania also has world class food safety, health and animal welfare standards. Salmon from Tasmania is extremely safe to eat.
  • Tasmania’s isolation and biosecurity controls mean the state is free from diseases and parasites that afflict aquaculture producers and fisheries in other countries.

When you buy Atlantic Salmon from Tasmania, you are supporting a developing Australian industry. You are also enjoying fresh, locally grown produce.

Salmon Growing and Harvesting

Salmon farming is based on the salmon’s natural life cycle. Fish are spawned, eggs are incubated and juvenile fish are reared in fresh water. This is done at the hatchery, usually located on land.

When the juvenile fish are ready for seawater, they are transferred via tank truck or live haul boat to the saltwater farm.

At the farm, they are reared to adult size and either harvested or returned to the hatchery to produce the next generation. Harvest-size fish are transported to the processing plant by boat or truck.

At the processing plant, the salmon are bled, eviscerated, chilled and packed for shipping.

Health Benefits of Eating Salmon

Eating Salmon can improve your health and family’s health as part of a balanced diet. Everyone wants good health and Salmon is an excellent source of nutrients for everyone, even pregnant women and mothers after their babies are born; since the salmon’s nutrients are passed through the breast milk to newborns.

People should eat Salmon or other fish twice or three times a week. It’s packed with nutrients and complex vitamins, such as calcium, B vitamins, phosphorus, zinc, and iron.

These nutrients are essential for your health. Salmon is a healthy promoter of Omega-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaemoc acid and docosahexaenoic acid). Omega-3 plays a very important role in health; it helps prevent hearts attacks caused by blood clots.

When Salmon (containing significant quantities of Omega-3) is added to the diet, several changes can be noted in your body. Unhealthy blood clots are less likely to form. Blood pressure is slightly lowered. The amount of fat in the blood is reduced. And it has also been shown to slow heartbeats and diminish irregular rhythms.

Buying and Handling Fresh Salmon

There are several quality concerns to keep in mind when purchasing and storing salmon. Here are some tips on recognising and selecting purchase-worthy salmon, as well as suggestions on how to best preserve its freshness and flavour until consumption.

Cuts of salmon

Whole salmon on ice.

Whole: the salmon is gutted and offered whole.

A fillet of salmon on ice.

Fillet: The sides of the salmon are separated from the ribs and backbone, producing two long portions of meat. A fillet of salmon may contain a single set of large bones, depending on the type of cut.

Portions of salmon.

Portions: A fillet is cut transversally into smaller portions.

Salmon mignon cut.

Salmon Mignon: This is a boneless Steak. “Salmon Mignon” is two de-boned salmon fillets are held together with a mesh specially designed for cooking and then cut into steak-size portions.

Salmon steaks.

Steaks: The entire salmon (without the head or tail) is cut transversally through the backbone, producing portions of about one inch in thickness.

Buying salmon

Freshness first

When purchasing salmon, make sure you patronize a reputable fresh-fish establishment and use common sense in selecting your salmon.

When whole fresh salmon is filleted, the insides should have an aroma similar to that of fresh fruit, not unlike that of watermelon or cantaloupe. The same can be said for all cuts of fresh salmon. The salmon’s skin should be firm and glossy, while the eyes should be bright and the cornea dark. The flesh should be soft, elastic, and somewhat translucent. Its color should be even and there should be no red spots around the eyes. The gills should be red and moist, never brown or sticky. If purchasing portions of salmon, make sure the cuts are smooth and clean. If purchasing packaged salmon, make sure the container is airtight and does not contain liquid. If frozen, the package should be completely solid.

What to avoid

  • Strong odor
  • Dull, bloody, or sunken eyes
  • Fading skin and gill color
  • Ragged-cut fillets and steaks
  • Frozen packages with torn wrappers, or those containing frost or liquid.

Storing salmon

To preserve its freshness, whole or cut salmon should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer as soon after purchase as possible. Wrap fresh salmon loosely in clear plastic wrap and use within 2 days of purchase. Cover and refrigerate any leftover cooked salmon and consume within 2 days as well.

We recommend the purchase of a good refrigerator-freezer thermometer to accurately regulate the temperature at which your salmon is stored. To best keep salmon, set the refrigerator temperature close to freezing and the freezer temperature well below zero.

Refrigerated salmon that has not been frozen is good for 36 hours. However, the quality of salmon in a refrigerator with a warm setting will decay rapidly. Fresh salmon stored in your home’s freezer should be consumed within 4 months, while commercially frozen Salmon has a shelf life of 8 months.

TIP: To protect whole salmon from freezer burn and oxidation, it should be frozen with the skin and head.

How to freeze salmon

Before freezing

Before freezing salmon, be sure to rinse it briefly under cold water. Thawed salmon can be re-frozen if it was fresh to begin with and kept thawed no more than two days. Whole salmon can be stored directly on ice. Fillets and steaks should first be placed in waterproof plastic bags or airtight containers and then placed on ice. Be sure to drain the melting ice, replacing it regularly.

Equipment

An accurate thermometer will help you keep your freezer temperature at 0º F or below. Higher temperatures will cause salmon to deteriorate faster. A vast array of freezer containers and materials are readily available at supermarkets and home stores. Whichever you choose should be moisture-proof, airtight, and able to withstand temperatures of 0º F or below. For dry-packed salmon use freezer bags, heavy foil, or laminated freezer wrap.

Headspace matters

The amount of space between the lid of the container and the food it contains is called headspace. Headspace allows room for food to expand without breaking the container; always leave a small amount when freezing.

Freezing Steps

  1. Rinse salmon under cold water. Cut and repack salmon into portions you will most likely use each time you cook.
  2. Wipe container rims. Seal according to manufacturer’s instructions, keeping out as much air as possible. If necessary, use freezer tape around the edge of the lid to ensure an airtight seal.
  3. Label each container with its contents and date of repacking.
  4. Add packages to the freezer in batches to make sure the food freezes quickly and solidly. Leave some space between the packages so that air can circulate around them. Once frozen solid, the packages can be placed closer together.

TIP: Label your bag or container BEFORE packing the salmon.

TIP: Frozen salmon should be stored in a freezer that is not opened frequently so as to prevent temperature fluctuations that could adversely affect the salmon.

How to defrost salmon

When defrosting Salmon, remember it must remain cold up until the moment it is used for cooking; therefore it should not be defrosted at room temperature. Instead, it should be defrosted in the refrigerator or, for quicker results, in the microwave. Be sure to place Salmon in a leak-proof container when defrosting.

If defrosting in the refrigerator

Fillets and steaks take anywhere from a couple of hours to one full day in the refrigerator to defrost, while whole salmon usually takes about 2 days. To accelerate the defrosting process, wrap the salmon in plastic and run cold water over it. Do not use warm or hot water.

If defrosting in the microwave

Defrost 500 grams at a time. Use a covered microwave-safe dish while defrosting. If using a plastic wrap to cover, punch a few small holes to allow steam to escape. For best results, set your microwave to low power and defrost for 15 to 20 seconds at a time, letting the salmon sit for 15 seconds and repeating until completely thawed.

Handling and cooking salmon safely

Keep anything that comes into contact with the fish clean at all times; this includes hands, utensils, surfaces, and cutting boards.

  • Always wash your hands before and after touching raw salmon.
  • After using a knife or any other utensil on raw salmon, do not use on other foods without first washing with hot, soapy water.
  • Keep separate cutting boards for raw salmon and ready-to-eat products.
  • Never cook salmon in stages: even if stored in the refrigerator between cooking periods, safe temperatures might not be maintained.

Cooking Salmon

Preparing salmon for cooking.This section will explain hot to cook and enjoy Salmon. Explore the different methods to cook Salmon and what you have to do before cooking. Give your family the best quality, taste and flavor at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or simply make a delicious appetizer.

BEFORE COOKING

  • Maintain salmon refrigerated until actual cooking.
  • Avoid working with raw and cooked salmon at the same time to prevent contamination.
  • Cook salmon with its skin intact to prevent curling.
  • Rinse your hands with hot water.
  • Rinse salmon with cold water.
  • Remember that salmon continues to cook even after it is removed from heat.

Poaching

This method is defined as “cooking by partially or completely submerging in a simmering liquid”. This is one of the preferred methods of preparing salmon due to its quickness and ease. Once the simmering liquid cooks the salmon, its unique flavor is locked in, leaving a delicious main dish that can be served with almost anything.

Pour one and a half cups of water or broth into a large skillet. Bring to a boil. Add salmon and return to a boil. Reduce heat.

Fresh or thawed Fillets or Steaks: Simmer, uncovered for 4 to 6 minutes, per ½ inch thickness.

Frozen Fillets or Steaks: Simmer, uncovered for 6 to 9 minutes, per ½ inch thickness.

Whole/Dressed Salmon: Simmer, covered 6 to 9 minutes, per ½ pound. Leave the head and tail intact so as to allow the salmon to retain its natural juices.

Baking

This method is defined as “cooking by exposure to the indirect, dry heat of an oven”. This must be done at high temperature so as to cook the fish through entirely. Cooking times for salmon differ, depending on the type of cut being used.

Preparation: Place a single layer of salmon on a greased baking pan. Any thin edges protruding from fillets should be tucked under. Brush the salmon with butter or oil.

Frying

This method entails cooking the salmon by submerging it in oil or fat at a very high temperature. A high-quality frying pan with a non-stick surface should be used for this method.

Preparation: Pre-heat oil or fat in large pan. Once the oil has reached frying temperature, place a single layer of salmon in the frying pan, carefully avoiding contact with any oil that might spill due to sizzling.

Grilling

This cooking method entails cooking directly over an open fire or over hot coals. This should only be done using safe, appropriate equipment.

Direct Grilling: If using frozen salmon, thaw before grilling. For fillets, use a well-greased grill basket. Steaks and whole salmon should be grilled directly on a greased grill rack. Place the rack or basket directly on preheated coals. Grill, uncovered, for the time specified or until the salmon flakes easily when probed with a fork. Flip the salmon over several times throughout the grilling process. If desired, brush the salmon with melted margarine or butter before grilling.

Indirect Frilling: If using frozen salmon, thaw before grilling. Using a closed-top grill, arrange coals around the drip pan. Light grill, maintaining proper grilling temperature. Place salmon fillets in a well greased grill basket (for steaks and whole salmon, use grill rack). Place the salmon on the greased grill rack over drip pan. Cover and grill for the time given below or until the salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork. Flip salmon over halfway through the grilling time. If desired, brush the salmon with melted margarine or butter before grilling.

Smoked Salmon

There are two varieties of smoked salmon: Cold Smoked and Hot Smoked. The difference between the two lies in the temperature at which they were processed.

Hot Smoked Salmon is smoked at an extremely high temperature; hot enough to actually cook the salmon.

Cold Smoked Salmon, on the other hand, is smoked at a much lower temperature; thus it is not truly cooked, it is offered almost raw.

The robust flavor of smoked salmon is a result of the high temperatures and long hours involved in the smoking process.

Smoked salmon must always be kept cold. If smoked salmon has never been frozen and is being refrigerated at your home, it should be consumed within 8 days.

If you have purchased fresh smoked salmon and have frozen it, it should be thawed and consumed within 2 months. To store smoked salmon, it must be placed in plastic-wrap and aluminum foil, then frozen.

To thaw smoked salmon, place it in refrigerator or at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

Smoked salmon should be stored in the refrigerator no more than 4 days. If it becomes discolored or smells different, smoked salmon should be discarded.