Salmon, Chum








Oncorhynchus keta

Chum or keta salmon

Dog salmon, calico salmon, chub

Saumon keta


Salmone keta


Salmón chum


One of the most wide-ranging of the five Pacific salmon species, chums are landed in commercial quantities in the eastern North Pacific from Del Mar, California, to the Arctic Ocean’s Mackenzie River and south to Honshu, Japan. Commercially caught chums run from 6 to 12 pounds. Almost all chums are caught with seines or gillnets. Although the price is right, many buyers still shun chums because of the fish’s inconsistent quality. At the top of the line are the small quantities of troll-caught chums produced by fishermen in British Columbia and Southeast Alaska. Seine-caught fish are also quite good. Chum is graded in several stages. Silverbrights are ocean-run fish with reddish-pink flesh and shiny silver skin. Semibrights have watermarks above the lateral line. Grading terms such as fall chum, dark chum, qualla, calico chum and river chum are used for fish with watermarks below the lateral line.


Chum salmon has a lower oil content than the other wild salmon, which gives it a relatively mild flavor. However, it’s the meatiest and firmest in texture of the wild species. The pinkish-orange flesh of chum salmon is paler in color than that of sockeye, coho or chinook and is firm and coarse.Raw meat is orange, pink or red. The exact color depends on where the fish was caught. Meat becomes progressively paler and grayish during the upstream migration to spawn. Fish with watermarks below the lateral line have soft meat that is not flavorful, though it may be pink.


Calories: 120
Fat Calories: 34
Total Fat: 3.8 g
Saturated Fat: 0.8 g
Cholesterol: 74 mg
Sodium: 50 mg
Protein: 20.1 g
Omega 3: 0.7 g


Chum meat is good in casseroles and other dishes where color is not a consideration. Because of its relatively low price, chum is often used in value-added items. Since chum is a lean fish, it doesn’t grill or broil as well as the fattier salmon. It’s better to use chum with recipes designed to help the fish retain its moisture. For grilling, marinate first and baste while cooking.


Other salmon, Rainbow trout