Salmon becoming increasingly popular with diners

February 17 2014

Fast-casual restaurants are hoping to attract a new wave of health-conscious diners with a vast array of salmon dishes.

Technomic reports the fish became a much more common feature on menus in 2013. It appeared 13 per cent more in the fourth quarter of the year, in comparison to 2012. 

However, the way in which it is being used by chefs in the restaurant industry seems to be changing as well. While salmon salads are commonplace, the fish is finding a new identity as an alternative burger protein or as a grilled or roasted protein choice at ethnic-menu concepts. 

Restaurant-goers may not currently be seeing salmon and other non-fried fish featuring on limited-service restaurants. However, eating healthily is a rising trend in Canada and restaurateurs will no doubt be keen to capitalize on the fact that salmon is not only a virtuous choice, but also one that will leave diners sated. 

In excess of three-quarters of consumers said foods that are described as high in protein are slightly or significantly more healthy than those that aren't, according to a Technomic poll. 

Salmon provides its diner with approximately 22 g of protein for each three-ounce serving. While this is similar to other meats, it has the added benefit of being abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help keep your heart healthy. 

Chefs are spoilt for choice when deciding what flavours complement salmon. Technomic's Flavour Consumer Trend Report found that Asian sauces, barbecue sauce, wasabi and citrus rank as common flavours for seafood entrees at restaurants. Remoulade, basil butter and maple are also cited as potential partners with the fish. 

The only downside is salmon often carries a premium price tag, as is the case with meats such as steak. However, diners may choose to buy it from time to time as a treat, to add a bit of variety to their diet.