Coho Salmon vs. Sockeye Salmon: What’s Tastier, Healthier, and Better for You?

Coho Salmon vs Sockeye Salmon

Coho Salmon vs. Sockeye Salmon: What’s Tastier, Healthier, and Better for You?

Are you thinking of eating Alaskan salmon? Before you do, you'll have to decide between the different kinds of Alaskan salmon: coho vs. sockeye salmon. They are notable for their red-pink color and abundant nutritional benefits. But what's the better option, nutritionally or for cooking?

Answering that question depends on your taste and the benefits you want from these fish. For example, coho fish has the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, sockeye fish has a distinct salmon flavor, while coho has a milder taste. These are just some of the unique differences among these fish that tell what the better fish is.

In this article, we'll look at the nutritional differences and meal options that help you decide what kind of fish is best for you: coho salmon vs. sockeye salmon.

Coho Salmon vs Sockeye Salmon
Coho and sockeye salmon have a lot of similarities and differences.


Uncovering the Nutritional Difference Between Coho and Sockeye Salmon

Coho salmon are most commonly found in the North Pacific Ocean. They are also found in California and Alaska around streams and rivers. You may also find them around the coast of central Oregon.

One of the unique things about coho salmon is that they have a relatively short lifespan of three to four years. They tend to develop and feed around freshwater streams and wetlands. They are also unique in that they forage in the ocean and eventually return to the streams where they were born.

When it comes to sockeye salmon, they are found around Alaska and parts of Washington. They are also sometimes, although not as abundantly, in Oregon. An interesting fact about sockeye fish is that more sockeye salmon is sold fresh, not frozen or canned. Additionally, sockeye fish will live around six to seven years compared to coho. They also have a diet of zooplankton and are often hunted by bears.

In regards to nutrition, coho salmon has lower calories than sockeye salmon. For protein, coho salmon is higher, which helps if you're looking for more of a protein-rich diet. However, if you're looking to get an abundance of B12, you should consider sockeye salmon since it's higher in B12 and selenium, which helps reduce the risk of cancer. Yet sockeye fish does lack vitamin D, while coho salmon offers an abundance of that nutritional value.

If you're looking specifically at omega-3 fatty acids, coho salmon is a clear winner. It has more omega-3 fatty acids, more than 50% more in that nutritional category than coho fish. However, coho fish still reigns in other types of nutrition. For instance, coho also has an abundance of folate, potassium, iron, and magnesium. Coho salmon is also known for its anti-inflammatory fats.

When it comes to taste, sockeye has a robust salmon taste, while coho salmon tends to lean on the milder side of taste. They both have a firm texture and are considered delicious for grilling. You'll see how each can be prepared differently when grilling or baking.

Coho Salmon vs Sockeye Salmon Nutritional Facts
Coho and sockeye salmon have similar nutritional values.


What Can You Cook With Either Coho or Sockeye?

Coho and sockeye salmon can be prepared similarly, and both have a unique yet delicious distinct taste. In fact, coho fish is considered the best-tasting salmon. How you eat either fish ultimately depends on how you cook the fish. You can have either fish complement different dishes, or you can prepare coho or sockeye fish independently.

Here are some of the most popular meals you can cook with either fish.

  • Baked coho with herb butter
  • Coho salmon filets
  • Grilled coho salmon

You can also make delicious meals with coho:

  • Honey mustard sockeye salmon
  • Baked sockeye salmon
  • Lemon garlic baked sockeye salmon

Each of these meals offers a variety of ways to cook coho or sockeye fish. Depending on what you're looking for in a meal, you'll find that each fish delivers nutrition and exceptional taste.

Raw headless coho salmon with lemons and vegetables
The two most common cuts from a salmon is the salmon steak and fillet.


What Should You Choose?

What's the best fish to eat when it comes to coho or sockeye? There's no wrong choice because both are delicious and offer exceptional nutrition. You'll discover that each fish has abundant nutritional value, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Choosing one over the other depends on your taste and what you want to prepare with each fish. Trying both kinds of fish can give you insight into the unique and distinct flavors of these kinds of fish.

While both are nutritious in their own right, they do have subtle differences. Let's review how these two differ:

  • When it comes to lifespan, coho salmon lives a much shorter life than that of sockeye salmon.
  • Coho is known to be slightly more nutritious than sockeye salmon.
  • While coho has a much milder taste, sockeye salmon has a more distinct flavor.

An Amazing Salmon Recipe to Try

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Delicious Salmon with Crust of Herbs-4

Herb Crusted Salmon

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  • Author: Moms Who Think



1½ cups soft bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
½ teaspoon paprika
4 salmon filets (6 ounces each)
Refrigerated butter flavored spray


1. In a large bowl, combine everything but the salmon and set aside.

2. Pat salmon dry. Place skin side down, in a 13×9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Evenly spray salmon with butter flavored spray. Cover salmon with crumb mixture.

4. Evenly spray crumbs with butter flavored spray.

5. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

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