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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Salmon

Craving salmon and found your fridge without? No stress.

The sea’s full of fish, and so are we, swimming with some top-notch alternatives that’ll save your dish and maybe even amp it up a notch.

Think beyond the pink—there’s a whole palette of flavors waiting to make a splash in your next meal.

From the mild and flaky to the rich and hearty, we’ve lined up five star substitutes that’ll have you forgetting all about that salmon.

Get ready to meet your new go-to picks for when the salmon’s just a fishy wish.

What is Salmon?

Salmon – that remarkable fish, an amazing subject of exploration and mystery.

People have been fishing for it, eating it, and studying it for centuries.

It is a uniquely complex creature; the migration to spawning grounds in freshwater rivers and the transition to saltwater life when they reach adulthood.

We could go on forever.

With its rich silver hue and savory flavor, salmon is a delicacy enjoyed by many.

It has a unique texture, both dry and succulent at once.

To cook delicate salmon dishes such as teriyaki or sushi – each dish requiring its own method of preparation depending on the desired texture – is an art form in itself.

Whether baked or grilled, poached or raw, however, you decide to make it, one thing’s for sure: the delicious taste of salmon will always remain the same.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Salmon

If you’re looking for a fishy alternative to salmon, there are a few options you can choose from.

From mild whitefish to meaty trout, the best substitutions will depend on your particular taste and preference.

We’ve rounded up five of the best options – take a look at them below.

1 – Pollack

Pollack, a curious and perplexing fish with its distinguished coloration, is frequently misidentified as salmon.

While the two varieties of fish share some similarities, they are, in fact quite distinct, and their flavors and textures differ dramatically – making substitution or confusion of the two a dangerous mistake.

Pollacks’ stark white flesh has a sweet flavor when cooked that pairs well with sharper notes.

Similarly, cooked pollack has a firm texture with delicate flakes for easy incorporation into recipes – an excellent substitute for salmon whenever one yearns for an alternative to the ubiquitous fish.

Substitution of pollack for salmon can be achieved by adjusting both cooking technique and ingredients on hand; baking or poaching ensures optimal results.

2 – Hake

Hake is an unusual fish that can quickly spark curiosity.

It has a long, distinguished history of being popular in Europe, with its namesake hake coming out of the North Atlantic and Mediterranean waters.

For those who are unfamiliar with it, Hake is a whitefish species with delicate yet sometimes firm flakes; It has a mild flavor profile with notes of sweetness that can be noticed upon tasting it.

Knowing what to substitute this interesting ingredient for might be tricky – Thankfully, Hake makes an excellent substitute for salmon as it behaves similarly when cooked, just with a less intense flavor.

If you want to try something unique for your next meal, why not give Hake a go?

3 – Halibut

Halibut, the oft-overlooked member of the flatfish family, is an enigma wrapped in mystery.

While it is far less popular than its cousins—salmon, and tuna—it has some unique characteristics that make it stand out.

Its delicate white flesh has a mild flavor, with an almost sweet taste, and a firm texture that makes it ideal for grilling or baking—the perfect seafood choice when salmon isn’t available.

The flavors can be enhanced with marinades or sauces, allowing halibut to hold its own against its more celebrated brethren.

As a bonus, halibut can be substituted for salmon if necessary in any recipe to provide similar results—not that anyone would notice the transformation.

4 – Steelhead Trout

Adorned with deep, glimmering hues, steelhead trout is quite a remarkable creature.

Its size can range from 2-10 pounds, and it bears similarities to salmon, with the exception of its smoother texture and richer, less salty flavor.

Steelhead trout is, in fact, a type of rainbow trout that spends most of its life in saltwater but returns to freshwater again to spawn.

This unique characteristic gives this delicious fish a uniquely succulent flavor that makes it an intriguing substitute for salmon.

Plus, in comparison to other types of fish, steelhead trout is anything but daunting to prepare – making it easy to grill or bake for a nourishing yet flavorful meal.

5 – Arctic Char

One would hardly expect to find a fish growing in the cold waters near the Arctic Circle, though that’s where Arctic Char resides.

It’s a unique species with a unique name and one which is gaining traction in many parts of the world.

Arctic Char looks much like salmon — and tastes similar too — but with its own distinguishing features: the flavor is milder, with a slightly sweet aftertaste, and its flesh has an altogether firmer texture than salmon.

If you can’t get your hands on some salmon which may be costlier than Arctic char or not accessible, why not try substituting it? And because of its mild taste, it might be advantageous when used in recipes incorporating fragrant herbs or various spices.

All-in-all, Arctic char makes for an enjoyable dish that won’t break the bank.


In conclusion, finding a suitable substitute for salmon can be difficult; fortunately, there are some excellent alternatives that make the quest just a bit easier.

From pollack to halibut, steelhead trout to arctic char, these fish all bring something unique to the table and can certainly measure up to their more renowned cousin.

Regardless of your preference or budget, one of these options should do the trick.

So, go ahead and give one of them a try – you might just find a new favorite.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Salmon

Out of salmon but still craving that delicious, flaky texture? Check out our recommendations for the 5 best substitutes that will satisfy your seafood cravings and elevate your meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Pollack
  • Hake
  • Halibut
  • Steelhead Trout
  • Arctic Char


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Salmon
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