Fish In Focus - King Salmon

King salmon is a fish worthy of its name, prized for its rich flavour and delicate texture.

A member of the Salmonidae family (trout, salmon), king salmon was introduced to New Zealand in the early 20th century. The species varies in colour, but fresh run salmon are largely silver, with a dark tinge on its back, dotted with black spots.

King salmon has a full, rich flavour with a delicate, “melt in the mouth” texture. It is highly regarded for its taste and texture - the result of a premium breed of salmon, which stores higher levels of natural oils. It is also a very versatile fish that can be cooked using a variety of methods. It cooks quickly and flakes easily when tested with a fork.

King salmon is delicious both cooked and served rare. It is frequently eaten raw as sushi or sashimi. You can buy king salmon whole, filleted, portioned or smoked. Good-quality king salmon will have an even consistency of vibrant apricot colour across the salmon meat, with firm, moist flesh.

The premium taste and texture of king salmon make it a popular Christmas protein. For a quick and easy meal, try barbecued salmon. Mix together a handful of roughly chopped chervil and Italian parsley, lime zest, a pinch of chilli flakes, and a clove of garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Brush the salmon fillets with olive oil and dip into herb mix until generously coated. Barbecue until the fish is just cooked through. Serve on a bed of grilled seasonal vegetables, with a basil pesto sauce. For the complete recipe, visit


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