America's Test Kitchen LogoCook's Country LogoCook's Illustrated Logo
Cooking Tips

3 Ways to Make Salmon Taste Less Fishy

Salmon can have a very strong flavor. Here are three delicious ways to minimize it. 

Published Aug. 26, 2022.

Doctors say it all the time: “Salmon is good for you.” It’s high in protein. It’s high in potassium. It has a ton of those fancy-pants omega-3 fatty acids.

The problem is that not everyone likes salmon.

Some people love it. Others think it tastes too. . . fishy.

Don’t worry! Our masterminds at ATK have come up with a few ways to help minimize salmon’s strong flavor. These techniques will have you eating (and enjoying) salmon in no time.

Sign up for the Notes from the Test Kitchen newsletter

Our favorite tips and recipes, enjoyed by 2 million+ subscribers!

1. Sugar + acid is your friend.

Whether you use honey, teriyaki, or miso, glazed salmon is all the rage. There’s a reason for it! For one, it’s delicious. But from a scientific standpoint, the sugar and acid cut through salmon’s fishiness. Glazes add a ton of flavor while taming the salmon. It’s a win-win. 

Try this method with our Air-Fryer Honey-Glazed Salmon with Snap Peas and Radishes or my personal favorite, Miso-Marinated Salmon.

2. Turn on your grill!

Cooking your salmon outside actually does two things: For starters, the smoky char from the grill offsets the salmon. Second, it also prevents the salmon from stinking up your kitchen. Nobody wants a stinky kitchen. 

Try this method with our Grill-Smoked Salmon or even our Cedar-Planked Salmon.


Fresh, modern flavors, 175+ recipes that accommodate multiple kinds of fish, and plenty of fish facts will inspire you to dive into seafood cookery with confidence.

3. Burger it.

Turning salmon into salmon burgers is a great way to enjoy salmon. Why? It’s a patty mixture, which means you can mix in whatever you want. The flavor combinations are endless. 

Our Salmon Burgers with Asparagus and Lemon-Herb Sauce, for example, combines lemon, scallions, Dijon, capers, and herbs. Oh and be sure to try our Grilled Southwestern Salmon Burgers. The spicy chipotle-lime mayo is to die for. 

They’re also grilled. (See 2. Turn On Your Grill!)

This is a members' feature.