BUCHANTY, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 22: Migrating salmon are seen leaping at Buchanty Spout on the River Tay in Perthshire on October 22, 2020 in Buchanty, Scotland. The salmon are returning upstream from the sea where they have spent between two and four winters feeding with many covering huge distances to return to the fresh waters to spawn. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
The Salmon Variety Chefs Call 'The Wagyu Of The Sea'
By Nico Danilovich
The culinary potential of salmon, whether farm-raised or caught in the wild from the Atlantic or Pacific ocean, is endless. If cooked right — baked, grilled, or pan-fried — good salmon will end up with crispy skin and tender meat, but there is a variety of salmon that tastes so delicious it’s considered by chefs to be the Wagyu of the sea.
Wagyu literally means “Japanese beef,” and it generally refers to the high quality cow meat from Japan that is buttery soft, noticeably marbled, and very expensive. According to Pawan Pinisetti, former executive chef of Las Vegas’ Top of the World restaurant, the salmon variety that matches Wagyu’s reputation is the New Zealand farm-raised Ora King Salmon.
“It's the Wagyu of the sea,” said Pinisetti. Reared in fresh spring water and then raised in fast-flowing seawater, which mimics the wild, Ora King Salmon are also selectively bred and fed a special diet of oils and veggie protein, which gives it a nice 25% fat-to-lean ratio. This results in succulently rich, reddish-orange meat with a Wagyu-marble appearance.