What The ‘White Stuff’ On Salmon Actually Is
Salmon is a staple in most American homes and restaurants. When we grow tired of eating the regular rotation of baked chicken, spaghetti, taco, and pizza, the go-to in our family kitchen is usually salmon. In fact, salmon is usually our family’s “fancy meal” at the end of a hard week. Pair it with asparagus, garlic roasted potatoes, and dry white wine and we’re feeling quite extravagant. Yep, all while our two-year-old throws it on the floor. Super fancy.
Sometimes, though, when you investigate your salmon a little closer, you may notice something unappetizing. Questions that typically start flooding my mind are similar to, “Am I supposed to eat that white stuff on the fish? Hold on, what is that white stuff on my fish? Did I cook it wrong? I definitely cooked it wrong. We’re all probably going to get violently sick.”
So, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but an anxiety-fueled cooking experience would not be new to me. So, if you have similar thoughts, (or are just curious) we can all take a collective breath, and read ahead to ease our troubled minds.
What Is The White Stuff On Salmon?
Albumin is the name of the protein (aka the ‘white stuff’) that sometimes oozes out of salmon. Yum, right? However, it’s harmless according to Food Network host Danielle Alex. “More often than not, when you overcook salmon, you can see a lot of that white substance all over the salmon,” Alex stated. “There’s nothing wrong at all with eating that albumin. It tastes completely fine, it’s good for you, it’s just another protein that comes out from the side of the salmon.”
That may be the case, but, it’s not exactly appetizing or visually pleasing. So, are there ways to reduce or eliminate the albumin that apparently comes free with the salmon? According to Bon Appétit, there are!
How To Reduce The Look Of Albumin In Salmon
Low and slow is the way to go, apparently. If you’re baking your salmon, cooking it on low heat for a longer time should reduce the amount of albumin that appears on the surface of your fish. If you opt to pan-sear your salmon, follow Chef Ramsay’s recipe. He likely wouldn’t lead you astray. Plus, he encourages you to cook the salmon skin down, preventing it from overcooking, which is the other way the albumin appears typically. Whichever way you decide to cook it though, make sure the internal temperature gets up to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, per the FDA.
Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and an antioxidant called astaxanthin, according to BBC Good Food. These may help support brain function, be anti-inflammatory, and have been linked to lowering cholesterol. So, next time you cook salmon, don’t worry about the white stuff. If you do accidentally cook it too fast or hot, you can always scrape off the albumin, or just eat it. It’s up to you!