What is Chum Salmon

Chum salmon are the most widely distributed of all the pacific salmon; they extend from the shores of the Arctic ocean to the coastal regions of North America. Chum grow to be among the largest of pacific salmon, second only to the chinook salmon in size. Chum can grow up to 3.6 feet and 30 to 35 pounds, but the average weight is anywhere from 8 to 15 pounds.

Chum are similar to pink salmon in that they do not spend an extended period of time in freshwater, but it seems to be to their advantage. When they are in the ocean, chum have a metallic greenish-blue along their backs with black speckles, similar to both sockeye and coho salmon. But as they enter freshwater, chum change to a tiger-stripe pattern of red and black.

Though they are a large salmon, they have a lower fat and oil content than others, making chum have a relatively mild flavour with a meaty, firm texture. Raw chum is orange, pink or red and is more pale than sockeye, coho and chinook. They are low in sodium and a great source for omega-3 fatty acids, protein and vitamin B12.

How to Cook With Chum Salmon

Chum can be a delicious surprise when paired with the right recipe. Because of its low fat and oil content, chum salmon is great when smoked or fried. When it comes to looking for a great recipe, salmon cakes are the perfect match for chum salmon—a light but flavourful dish!

Salmon Cakes with Chive and Garlic Sauce

Serves 4 to 6


  • 4 to 5 medium potatoes or 3 cups of mashed potatoes
  • Canned or fresh salmon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp of flour, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

For the sauce (optional)

  • ½ cup of greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 tsp of chopped chives
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Skin and bone the salmon.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed potatoes, salmon and egg.
  3. Zest and juice the lemon before adding both to the mixture with the chopped parsley and flour.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and mix everything well.
  5. Scoop out mixture into even sized balls, roll in flour mixture and flatten slightly. Can refrigerate to prevent crumbling.
  6. Fry salmon cakes in hot olive oil until golden brown and crunchy on the outside.
  7. For the sauce, mix yogurt, lemon juice, chopped chives and minced garlic in a small bowl.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving, allowing the flavors to blend.

Salmon is great for any meal, but there is nothing better than fresh salmon. Make this recipe shine with your own fresh caught salmon!