If you ever have difficulty deciding between branzino vs salmon, this article is for you. You may inevitably see it become the talk of the town next to haddock and cod, as it has taken the hearts of many home and commercial chefs. But what is the major difference between branzino and salmon?
The first noticeable difference between branzino and salmon is the taste, appearance, and size. The branzino is about 2 feet long and weighs about 5 pounds, while the salmon weighs about 10 pounds and is about 4 feet long. Branzino has silver scales, while salmon has pink scales.
Let’s look further into these fishes and their differences below!
What Is Branzino?
Branzino, also called sea bass, is a white-fleshed fish usually served whole. It tastes buttery and flakey, with a subtle taste of the ocean.
Furthermore, branzino is found wild in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. However, it has been farmed for centuries — longer than any other fish species — and the commercial farm-raised variety accounts for about 90 percent of all branzino sold today.
When you buy it from the store, it usually comes in fillets or steaks, but it might be served whole if you order it at a restaurant. It’s not as meaty as salmon or cod; instead, it has a delicate flavor and texture for fine dining.
Branzino is often baked or grilled at home with olive oil and herbs like rosemary and thyme.
If you’re going out to eat, you’ll find that branzino can be made in several ways: poached in butter sauce and served with vegetables, flambéed in brandy and served with lemon wedges, or fried whole served with tartar sauce.
See Also: What Does Tilapia Taste Like?
What Is Salmon?
Salmon is an oily fish found in the Northern Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It is usually orange or pink in color and has a meaty texture. You can find it fresh or frozen, whole or sliced into steaks, fillets, or other cuts.
In most cases, the darker the flesh, the stronger the flavor. Salmon is also available smoked and canned (as salmon jerky), making it easy to enjoy whether you are or what you’re doing!
The best way to cook salmon is by grilling it over high heat for about four minutes per side. Try pan-frying if you’re on vacation if you don’t have access to a grill. Salmon is an oily fish with a rich flavor, ideal for grilling.
The best way to prepare salmon is by cooking it over high heat for about four minutes per side. If you’re on vacation and don’t have access to a grill, try pan-frying instead!
Salmon comes from saltwater habitats worldwide but tends to be most common in cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere like Alaska, Canada, and Norway.
Some species live only in freshwater lakes, such as Lake Baikal in Russia or Lake Tanganyika, Africa’s second-largest lake.
Branzino Vs Salmon: Key Difference
1. Appetite Appeal
It’s true that the color of salmon and branzino vary based on their environment and how they’re raised. But in general, salmon tends to be much darker than branzino.
In addition, branzino is also more likely to have bones (which can be easily removed) than salmon.
Branzino is silver-skinned and white-fleshed. However, salmon ranges in color from light pink to deep red and can be cooked in various ways while maintaining its flavor.
Branzino is mild, while salmon has an intense flavor. The meat of branzino is flaky and falls away from the bone quickly when appropriately cooked.
Salmon meat is more firm, making it easy to cook using different methods, including grilling and oven roasting.
3. Nutrition Facts
Beyond their differences in appearance and taste, branzino and salmon have a few nutritional differences.
Both branzino and salmon are high in protein and low in fat; both fish are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart health and brain function.
However, salmon has more Omega-3 fatty acids than branzino does, which help to promote heart health and lower the risk for several chronic diseases.
Salmon has more Vitamin D, which helps boost your immune system and promote bone health.
However, branzino does have more calcium than salmon does!
Salmon is native to the Pacific Ocean and can be found around the coast of North America, Alaska, and Japan.
They are also popular in South American waters, like those surrounding Chile. Branzino is a freshwater fish, so it lives in rivers and lakes.
It can be found throughout Eastern Europe and Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). It has also been introduced to Egypt’s Nile River, where it has thrived as an invasive species.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is Branzino Sometimes Called European Bass?
Branzino is a name that refers to a type of sea bass primarily found in the Mediterranean Sea and parts of the Black Sea. The fish’s English name is branzino, although it is also often called European bass.
However, the “European” part of the name comes from branzino being native to The Mediterranean Sea and The Black Sea.
Is Salmon Healthy?
Salmon is an oily fish loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, B vitamins, and selenium. A 3-ounce serving (about the size of a deck of cards) of wild Atlantic salmon contains about 200 calories and 16 grams of total fat, including 2 grams of saturated fat.
Can I Substitute Branzino For Salmon?
You can substitute branzino for salmon in most recipes, although it will not taste the same. Branzino has a slightly meatier texture than salmon, but it still flakes nicely when done cooking.
How Do I Know If A Branzino Is Fresh?
One of the best ways to tell if a branzino is fresh is its color and firmness. A fresh fish will have bright red gills, clear eyes, and no fishy odor. Its meat should be firm to the touch and spring back when you press it; loose flesh indicates that the fish has been sitting out too long.
Can I Keep A Branzino In A Home Aquarium?
Yes, in some cases. Suppose your aquarium can hold about 200 gallons of water (a standard-size aquarium is 55 gallons). You can probably keep a branzino in there alongside other non-predatory fish (but no sharks or eels) as long as they all have plenty of space to swim and hide from each other.
So which is better – branzino or salmon?
Both Branzino and Salmon are great fish. However, salmon is definitely a better fish in this situation. It is generally thought to be superior to Branzino because Salmon is a lot more preferable and easier to find.
Given how great salmon tastes, instead of how bland branzino is, it’s probably a preferred option. Even though the French love their Branzino (Mediterranean Sea Bass) with lightly crimped, mild-flavored flesh, delicate, mildly flavored, flaky, and moist.