Randy Hartnell, fisherman and president of vitalchoice.com from Bellingham, WA, shares his secrets for using salmon in every day recipes.

eat your heart out salmon

When people describe salmon as being "fishy," Randy says it's likely they've never had good salmon. "There's a lot of bad, farmed salmon out there," he says. Farmed salmon is fed a high-fat diet that results in an unappetizing oily taste. As the head of Vital Choice, an online retailer specializing in wild, sustainably harvested seafood, he convinces naysayers to try wild salmon: "They end up being our staunchest advocates." Bonus: Wild salmon, unlike farmed, is easy on the planet and loaded with more of the so-called good fats, like omega-3s.


Read labels
 Look for wild or Alaskan salmon (salmon farming is banned in Alaska, so it's always wild). Steer clear of salmon labeled "Atlantic," which is code for "farmed."

Don't overcook it
 Wild salmon takes less time to cook than farmed salmon. Use low to medium heat and keep an eye out for any sign of white, gelatinous bits -- this protein gets pushed to the surface when the fish begins to overcook, so immediately remove the fish from the heat.

Buy frozen, not fresh
 All fish is frozen once it's caught, but most stores will defrost the fish and market it as "fresh." Leaving the fish frozen and vacuum-sealed keeps it from breaking down and developing a fishy smell, which happens with age. Thaw salmon in the package by submerging it in cool water for 30 minutes, replacing the water twice.