My Relationship With Salmon

I always thought that my friends and colleagues never bother with my blog. Even if I share some of my blog posts that I thought could be interesting for them to read on Facebook, I always thought that they hardly bother. And then I learned that it is not the case, and that quite a number of them actually do read some of what I post.

Today I learned that not only do some of my closer friends read my blog, I also have some friends who I have minimal interaction with after we left school, but they read my blog. In fact one of my silent reader was a friend from my Chinese tuition class. We have not seen each other for more than 10 years now. And she does not even have Facebook, but she reads my blog. She reads almost every single one of my posts since the old blog. She’s also married so don’t get the wrong idea.

This friend, the last time I saw her was when we had a gathering among a few close tuition mates shortly after we got our SPM results. I don’t remember the exact date and exact place we went for that gathering, in fact I don’t even remember what I did during the gathering, but apparently, we went to Sushi King. How do I know? Because this morning, I received a Skype message from this friend asking me: Eh? You eat salmon now? I thought you hated salmon? I remember the last time we had that gathering at Sushi King, you avoided the grilled salmon at all cost!

Shake Sashimi
She saw this picture in the previous post

Thanks for giving me something to write today, my dear. As I have written about my relationship with beef, now I am going to tell you all my relationship with salmon!

I don’t hate salmon. As you can see, I absolutely love salmon in the form of sashimi. In other words, I am fine with raw salmon.

What I do hate, is cooked salmon. I don’t care how fresh the salmon is, or how you cook it. You can give me poached salmon, steamed salmon, deep fried salmon, grilled salmon or baked salmon. I hate them all!

If you ask me why, I don’t think I can give you a very good answer. I hated that taste which I would call the salmon taste, because that taste does not exist in any other fish that I have ever eaten. I don’t think very many of you would understand this, because when I said there is a weird taste on salmon that I don’t like, my family and friends would stare at me like I am the weird one. Some of my friends would say: “Weird taste? What weird taste? It tastes like any other fish!“, so I suspect I am the only one who can taste this strange taste.

I don’t understand this myself. This taste will only surface when the salmon is cooked. If the salmon is raw, I would not be able to taste this strange taste and I would love this fish. And I don’t think it has got anything to do with the freshness of the salmon. Some of my friends commented that maybe I have only eaten cooked salmon that was not fresh, that’s why I get the fishy taste. It’s not the fishy taste, it’s the salmon taste! And there was once when my mom pan fried some salmon and my sister exclaimed: “Wow! This salmon is so fresh!“, but when I placed a bit of that fish in my mouth, yup, that horrible taste is still there.

I don’t know. I guess my tongue is broken. That must be why it seems like I am the only one in this entire world that feels salmon has a strange and horrible taste when cooked.

My first experience with cooked salmon was at home, some time during high school. Before this, we never had salmon at home before, but my mom started to be more health conscious and she read that salmon has very good naturally occurring Omega 3 or something like that, so she started buying them from the market and cooking them. I’ve had salmon sushi before and I thought they were delicious, so I was excited to see mom dishing out that big slab of grilled salmon. But my excitement became horror the moment that first mouthful of salmon touched my mouth on that fateful evening. That nasty taste exploded in my mouth and I was taken by surprise. In fact I was so ill prepared to deal with that foul taste that I quickly spitted everything out, to the anger of my mom.

Since then, I have tried a few more cooked salmon, both at home and at the restaurants. My experience had never improved. After awhile, I finally gave in and decided that cooked salmon is just not for me.

The memory of that fateful evening is basically ingrained in my heart, so of course, my mom would forget it. When I started working in Penang, every time I go home for a visit, this conversation would happen between me and my mom:

Mom: I’m going to cook your favorite fish for dinner tonight!
Me: No need lah, don’t treat me like someone special, just cook the usual stuff!
Mom: No, you don’t come home very often, I must make sure you get your favorite salmon!
Me: What? Salmon? That’s not my favorite fish. That’s my LEAST favorite fish!
Mom: What? I thought it was your favorite fish. Since when did you start hating it?
Me: Since the first time you decided to cook salmon for dinner?
Mom: ……

This conversation is not a one off. It would repeat itself almost every time I go home for a visit..

Oh, and one more thing. I also hate it when people try to convince me to give cooked salmon one more chance because I have not tasted really really fresh salmon yet to conclude that I hate cooked salmon. Leave me alone! Get out of my life! Seriously, I agree with your rights to love cooked salmon, but you should also agree with my rights to hate them.

Next time you see me blogging about a bacon sandwich or bacon pasta or bacon whatever, feel free to comment “Oh, lovely recipe, but bacon is too oily, I would substitute it with salmon” because it is well within your rights to prefer salmon over bacon. But don’t you ever ever add “You should try it too, it’s good! Cut back on the bacon!” because if you add this, I would be really pissed off and feel like slapping you.

Bacon and Egg Sandwich

Don’t tempt me!

On a probably unrelated note, I would never understand bacon haters. I mean, doesn’t matter if it is pork bacon or beef bacon or lamb bacon, any kind of bacon is seriously the most delicious meat in the world by a million miles. How can anyone hate such delicious strips of meat?

In an ideal world, anyone who tells me bacon is bad or horrible, I would slap that person. In fact I would keep slapping him/her until he/she wakes up from that delusion and attains enlightenment. If I am allowed to set a law in motion, then I would make bacon hating a federal crime, punishable by fines of up to RM 10 000 and the criminal would be sent for bacon rehabilitation where he/she would be stuffed with bacon purchased using the fine money.

But this ain’t an ideal world, so I can only fantasize. So to all the bacon haters, you stick to your bacon hating while I stick to my cooked salmon hating. 大家河水不犯井水 各自相安无事 (The river does not infringe on the well, every one lives happily ever after), okay? 😉

Why am I even saying all these here? This post is supposed to be about salmon, now I think people will comment about bacon instead! 😐


  1. Yessss bacon!
    But okay… salmon. So I used to be REALLY anti-raw fish. Like the thought of it grossed me out. But now I like it. But not all raw fish (because I’m not rich enough to eat sushi/sashimi). I really like raw salmon now, and I don’t like cooked salmon anymore either. I think I know that taste that you speak of. It doesn’t disgust me, but I do prefer raw more now. But I really really like smoked salmon though! It’s barely cooked and to me, doesn’t have that taste. It’s just a little saltier than raw!

  2. I don’t have anything against cooked salmon or raw salmon. But you are right in saying both taste very different from one another. The other day I tasted the cooked salmon sushi downstairs at my work, and it tasted like fried chicken. It was very oily, though… 🙁

    As for bacon, I don’t hate it or love it. I don’t understand why a lot of bacon come with very white, fatty strips…bacon was always like that when dad cooked it at home 🙁

    • Cooked salmon sushi? WTF is that?? I’ve never seen cooked salmon sushi before! 😐

      The fatty part is what makes a bacon strip so irresistible! It is an integral part of a bacon trip! 😀

      • Maybe you need to go and eat at more sushi restaurants 😀

        I don’t know if Malaysia has this, but in Australia BBQ sauce is very popular with bacon. It’s a sweet kind of sauce, a bit savoury too, dark reddish-brown in colour. Today I bought a bacon and egg sandwich for lunch at the food court. It had this sauce in it, totally spoilt the whole thing :/

        • I suppose so. In all honesty, I have only eaten in probably 3 or 4 different sushi chains in Malaysia, plus another one in Tokyo. Not nearly enough sample size.

          We do have BBQ sauce here, but I don’t think I will use that on bacon! Sweet doesn’t seem like the correct flavour to complement bacon!

  3. LOL….yeah 河水不犯井水…i stick to stick to yours. My FIL cook Salmon head curry. For me ok la. I can eat la. Seems Salmon head are cheaper now than the normal fish…

  4. When it comes to salmon, we’re opposites! First of all, I love salmon…cooked more than raw! But I like my salmon fillet grilled or pan-fried to medium rare and not overdone but not poached, steamed or baked. In Japanese eateries, I especially like them when they’re lightly torched. I’m not a big fan of raw salmon.

    So, I’m going to defy the odds and ask you to try to meet the salmon halfway…kekeke! 😀 Try it aburiyaki (lightly grilled) style with salmon harasu (belly).

    And thank god if I live in your ideal world, I won’t be punished with fines anytime soon coz I’m a bacon lover….and pork bacon is the mother of all bacon! ;D

    • Maybe you do need to taste raw salmon that are really fresh, and you definitely need to try really fresh tuna sashimi. That feeling when the fish melts in your mouth.. OMG!! Wow!! 😀

      I have actually not tried undercooked salmon before. Maybe I could try it, just to be sure. Aburiyaki, I shall take note of this name.

    • If your comment is first, I would agree with you. But if you look at the comments before you, then I think your tongue is the broken one LOL! 😀

  5. Yeah, I know what you mean about the smell of cooked salmon. Very strong, it’s an inherent part of the fish, no matter how fresh it is. I also very much prefer raw salmon but I don’t mind the strong smell when it is cooked. So there’s nothing wrong with your tastebuds as judging by some of the comments, there are many who concur about the smell 🙂

    And yes, bacon rawksss!!!! I had a good laugh at your proposed law for bacon haters 😀

    • So my tongue is not broken in a sense that there really is a special salmon taste. The ones who said cooked salmon tastes like other fish, they are the ones with broken tongues! 😀

  6. I used to hate all kinds of fish when I was little. Steamed, fried, all yucky.. I only eat rice with the fish oil, the ones fried, adding soya sauce only, if you know what I mean.. Then I had my first taste of fish & chips, and I love it! I still hated steamed fish though.. Ahhh, salmon.. The taste is always fishy nomatter how fresh it is – steamed or fried.. Same here..

    • Another cooked salmon hater. Wow!

      For me, I hate fish if there are a lot of bones to deal with. That’s why if it is fish fillet, or cod fish slices, then I am okay with them. Steamed cod fish = yums!!

  7. “She’s also married so don’t get the wrong idea.” You mean you’re married too? Wink! Wink!

    Me too! I don’t mind eating but I can’t say I like it – it does have a not-so-pleasant smell that I am not fond of and though I do like most fish skin, salmon’s makes me feel “geli”. Have to be careful with raw salmon though – we must be very sure it is really very fresh. All things considered, including the price, I can jolly well live without it. Only my daughter enjoys it…very much.

    • I mean “She reads my blog, and she’s also married”, not “I’m married, and she’s also married” LOL! 😀 (I know, it doesn’t make much structural sense as far as proper English goes)

      So you are another person on the same boat as (quick headcount check) me, Merryn and Libby. The list is growing. Cool!

      Now salmon skin deep fried. That’s something I can wallop a whole bunch in no time! I missed out on this in the post!

  8. High five! Me too! I like raw salmon, but cannot accept cooked salmon, I always feel cooked salmon is very fishy.

    I love this post because I found someone with the same taste and views as me.

    • It’s not fishy, I think it is like mun said, it is the salmon oil taste when cooked.

      I’m surprised I see a few of you here with the same taste buds as me. Maybe only weird people blog, that’s why we can find so many people that have similar traits with ourselves. Or maybe actually many people feels the same about cooked salmon but dare not admit it because everyone else pretends to love it, you know, like the naked king story..

  9. You are not weird lah. I also love my salmon raw. I can still tolerate smoked salmon but I totally dislike poached salmon. Such a waste of a good fish.

    • It is a waste only to us, people who dislike it cooked that way I guess. Some people would say poaching and steaming are the best way to prepare a very fresh fish.

  10. I know the salmon taste you are talking about. It is the natural salmon oil taste when cooked. Other fish oil does not taste like salmon oil so when people tell you that salmon taste like other fishes, their tastebuds are broken not yours.

    I can taste the salmon oil but unlike you, I love the taste. I eat salmon just to get that taste. It is only when cooked, the salmon oil taste becomes very distinct so that is why you can eat salmon sashimi.

    Next time just ask your mother to get very fresh salmon and you can eat it raw like salmon sashimi lah. No need to have that conversation over and over again like groundhog day. 😀

    My spouse loves bacon but unlike you, he says only pork bacon is the true bacon. Beef bacon, turkey bacon, lamb bacon are all bacons wannabes and just don’t cut it.

    • She doesn;t like raw fish. In fact she is worried with eating raw fish. Which is true if we are the ones preparing it, because we might prepare it wrongly and make ourselves fall sick eating it.

      I agree with your spouse to a certain extent. If you notice, I did NOT list down turkey bacon. Turkey bacon is NOT bacon. Lamb and beef bacon, I have only tasted them in a hotel in Los Angeles. They might not actually be bacon, it is just that they were named as such on the buffet spread. But they are both delicious. Technically I think bacon specifically means pork though..

  11. i would always welcome anyone to read my blog, go leave as many comments to express your view.. but i would find it rather weird if we are going to talk about the topic of my posts face to face.. i don’t know why but i just feel weird, it’s like i would just leave my blog in the virtual world.. :p

  12. I love salmon in all of its delicious forms, but you are free to hate it! 😉

    I think some moms have selective amnesia, every time my boyfriend’s mom cooks soup she will add 笋 to it even though my boyfriend has told her hundreds of times that he is allergic to it. Maybe she wants to kill him? 😀 (I don’t know how to say 笋 in English, it is something related to bamboo but fatter).

    • We call it bamboo shoot, so if you say it is that bamboo thing, we would probably understand. 😀

      I believe this selective amnesia, it is an Asian mom thing. Sometimes it is unintentional, but sometimes I think they do it on purpose. For example, my mom sometimes would cook something that I hate just because she thinks those things are very good for health and I must be forced to eat them, and then pretend that she thought I love them. 😐

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