- 1 Trout vs. Salmon: Meet the Family
- 2 Trout vs Salmon: In-Depth Comparison
- 3 Trout Overview
- 4 Salmon Overview
- 5 Common Trout & Salmon Species You Can Find in the USA
- 6 Conclusion
When you read the title, you may think, “What’s the big deal with the difference between trout and salmon.” Most people think all fish are similar: they smell similar, look alike, and all go well with wine. And yes, without going into much detail, it seems like there’s not much distinction between these two types. However, there is so much more trout vs. salmon differences: from overall looks to nutritional value. Both salmon and trout need different methods of preparation, taste, and even cooking methods.
The most apparent trout vs. salmon difference is their origin – trout live in freshwater places, like rivers or lakes. Meanwhile, salmon is from saltwater and mostly lives in the sea or even oceans. So as you can imagine, their regular habitant would also affect the taste of these two fishes, as well as what benefits they have for you.
But even that’s not all the differences between trout and salmon; there are so many more!
Trout vs. Salmon: Meet the Family
Both the salmon and trout belong to the same fish family called Salmonidae. Salmon, trout, and char are the best known Salmonidae, and they all look alike. It’s pretty much the same as in human families. You can often recognize that the family members look alike because they have a similar nose, for example. But in the fish family, they have a similar appearance in terms of scales, lateral lines, and fins.
Pacific Trouts and Salmons
Pacific trout and salmon belong to the Oncorhynchus species and located in North America. And pacific salmon is a much more common and known type of these two types, probably because Pacific trout is an endangered species. And sadly, due to climate change and human activity, pacific trout may be extinct soon. Dimes and water mining are also active threats to the species survival.
Now, Pacific salmon is a common name for five different types of salmon that live in the Pacific Ocean in Canada and US territory.
To be more precise, the first live in freshwater and then migrate to the ocean as juveniles. Then, when it’s time for spawning, they again return to freshwaters, such as mountain rivers. Other than that, Pacific salmon is “king” or chinook, coho, pink, sockeye, and chum salmon.
Atlantic Trouts and Salmons
Atlantic salmon are the largest species that have more similarities to the brown trout than to pacific salmon. That’s because young Atlantic salmon has a brown color, so it can often confuse brown trout. It is also known as the king of fish because it can grow up to one meter.
Other than that, people often farm Atlantic salmon, hence why it’s considered less healthy than wild salmon or even trout.
Char (aka Salvelius) belongs to a subfamily Salmoninae and the family Salmonidae. They are small, 115-200 in length, and have colorful (light yellow, pink or red) spots over darker skin. And in rare situations, they can become invasive.
Trout vs Salmon: In-Depth Comparison
Now, let’s take a closer look at what is the most significant difference between trout and salmon:
Despite belonging to the same family, both salmon and trout still look different:
The most important thing for us is usually the taste of the food, so let’s begin with the taste of trout vs. salmon. Here is a piece of advice before we move on. If the strong flavor of the fish repulsed you in childhood, we encourage you to try it again. The thing is that our buds are more sensitive when we are kids. With time, our tongue feels less taste, so now the fish would taste a lot different than what it was back when you were a child.
When we talk about the difference in taste between trout vs. salmon, we will focus on specifics that only the most refined gastronomes can feel. Both salmon and trout count as delicacy food, so you won’t mistake whatever you choose. And we have to say that this is not the game when you have only one correct answer and one winner. Trout and salmon can be both perfect solutions for your meal, but it is good to choose according to your current taste preferences and mood.
- Trout taste: So what does trout taste like? Trout has a mild flavor, similar to catfish. Some fish lovers describe it as the taste of a gamey fish, aka “chicken of fish” With the best-prepared trout, you will have a good combination of potent taste and soft feeling for your palates.
- Salmon taste: And what does salmon taste like? Mild and delicate taste with a combination of softness and juicy touch is specific to best-prepared salmon.
Nutrition & Health Benefits
As for nutrition, the main reason why fish is so important is that it is rich in nutrients such as omega fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) and proteins. But how do the fish create this healthy material? The point is that fish feed on algae food. And algae are rich in Omega 3, which is why consequently fish is too.
Why are we pointing this out? We want to emphasize it is important to take care of the ecosystem.
One more thing is that fish has an ideal proportion of different nutrients. To get an idea, we will show you the table below with listed nutrients per gram.
|Nutrient||Trout (per 80 gr\1 filet)||Salmon (per 200gr\5 filet)|
There are many health benefits of Omega fatty acids: they are good for brain cells, skin, eyesight, hair, and nails. In addition, proteins and omega fatty acids are essential for our cardiovascular system and strength. And as you already noticed in our chart, both trout and salmon are rich in nutrients and have zero carbs, which is an ideal option for any healthy meal.
Necessary ingredients that you have to have before starting the preparation are olive oil, lemon, and wine. We would also highly recommend garlic. But if you don’t like its smell, we would recommend rosemary.
Now, when you know the ingredients that go along well, it is time to start cooking. Keep in mind that all the methods and tips vary depending on your preferences.
Marinade for Trout vs. Marinade for Salmon
Our advice is to prepare the marinade in advance for both recipes. For the best results, you should do marinade for salmon at least a day before serving. On the other hand, you can marinate the trout only two hours before cooking in the oven.
Why is there such a big difference between these two marinades? First, to marinade salmon, more time is necessary because salmon doesn’t need frying. In some cases, if you can’t eat raw fish, cook it for a few minutes to avoid destroying the nutrients.
Marinated trout absorbs sauce when you fry it. If you can marinate it the night before and then put it in the fridge, it will be even better.
Common trout weighs about 1 Ib, so one is enough per person. It’s much better if you buy fresh trout than a frozen one, and of course, you have to be sure that the fish is clean.
The taste of wild trout is much better than the taste of farmed fish. Besides that, farmed fish doesn’t come with nearly as many nutrients. It stands for all fish, though, not just trout or salmon.
Trout Cooking Tips & Flavor Expectations
For best results, you have to find a perfect combination of spices, sauces, or marinades. With the right spices formula, you won’t only prepare tasty food but create a miracle. It’s no wonder that some gourmands after the perfect meal proudly say that sex is overrated.
Here we will list some of the dishes that guarantee satisfaction. If you are curious, you can look for the recipes.
Best trout dishes
- Trout in rosemary, lemon, and olive oil marinade
- Trout in orange and saffron marinade
- Grilled trout with garlic and parsley sauce
- Breaded fried trout fillets
- Roasted Trout with grilled vegetables
Trout Bone Removal tips
We highly recommend that you prepare fresh trout. However, many people hesitate because they worry about bones. So they opt for trout fillets. Indeed you can always do that, but keep in mind that in that case, you won’t enjoy some delicious parts of the fish. Hence we are going to share the secret to remove the bone.
- Remove the head and the tail of the fish. Split the fish into two sides. The bone should be only on one side of the fish. Take the bone from the side of the tail and slowly start to lift it.
- Alternatively, you can also use an electric knife for filleting the fish.
Salmon tastes delicious in general. Combined with butter and herbs, it becomes so yummy and flavorful. And you can prepare it in various ways. However, we suggest you opt for quick cooking methods to keep the nutrients.
Salmon Cooking Tips & Flavor Expectations
The flavor of a salmon may vary depending on the combination of the ingredients. So, you may wonder, does trout taste like salmon? Mostly, yes, with the difference that trout has a more gamey taste. And of course, you can always improve it even more with:
- Salmon with mango and peach
- Salmon with avocado and walnuts
- Salmon with butter and basil and garlic sauce
- Salmon with Mediterranean and garlic marinade
- Honey garlic salmon
Salmon Bone Removal Tips
Meat close to the bone is rich in oils, so we want to show you how to remove bone in the way that you keep most of it. For precise bone removal, you will need a sharp fish fillet knife.
- Cut the fish near the collarbone. Then take it from the side where the tail is. Make a hole near the tail, on the side where the spine is. Try to make a cut close to the spine. Continue to cut in the same direction until the collar bone. When you rip salmon apart, it will be easy to remove the backbone.
- You can also cut the salmon horizontally, fry it and then remove the bone.
Common Trout & Salmon Species You Can Find in the USA
Here we will focus on the most popular trout and salmon in the US. Check the list below with a short overview and decide which one is your favorite.
Like most Americans, we adore Rainbow trout because it has a less fishy smell when cooked. Because of that, you have to be an expert to notice the difference in taste when comparing rainbow trout vs. salmon dishes. The meat has a beautiful pinkish color, and the taste will make you ecstatic.
Steelhead Trout is anadromous species. It lives in the sea and at spawning time, goes to the stream. The best-known type of this fish is Californian steelhead trout.
Unlike the salmon, it doesn’t die after spawning but can spawn several times. And as far as the taste goes, between steelhead trout vs. salmon we’d say the former definitely has our vote.
Sockeye Salmon is also called Red Salmon, and its habitat is the Pacific ocean. They live in freshwater and migrate to the ocean when they are ready to spawn. In fact, they can swim up to 1 600 km to reach their destination! After spawning, they die.
Brook Trout is a fish of nine US states Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. It lives in clear lakes and rivers. It has a specific appearance of darker skin with a marbled pattern.
Choco or Silver Salmon belong to the Pacific salmon species. Mature silver salmon becomes reddish in the belly area.
Chinook Salmon or King Salmon got its name because it’s a large fish that can weigh up to 37 Ib. King salmon is a beautiful fish with blue-green, red, or purple color on the back. You can find them anywhere from the Californian coast to Alaska.
We must admit that we love both trout and salmon. Hence finding the difference between trout vs. salmon and determining which is better was not easy. However, there is one situation where salmon prevails. It is better for a romantic dinner because it is an aphrodisiac when accompanied by the right wine. And in our opinion, the best-tasting fish is the one that suits you and your particular desire. So whether you choose trout or salmon, you won’t make a mistake because their meat is delicious and very healthy. But remember – trout has fewer calories, so if you’re someone who watches over their calories consumption – tout is a better everyday choice.