Ocean to Table: Alaskan Salmon
Okay, so that's a slight exaggeration. This 16-pound King salmon went from the Juneau, Alaska ocean, to fishing boat, to packaging company, to FedEx and ended up arriving at my New Jersey apartment two weeks after I caught it, filleted and frozen in perfectly-portioned packets. But, "ocean to table" or not, this was an amazing way to get salmon and the highlight of my recent Alaskan vacation.
I even ate some of the roe while my fishing guide cleaned the salmon dock-side! Freshly plucked from my catch, the bright, bulbous eggs burst in my mouth, strange and salt-less. I think I'll stick to gourmet grocery stores for my future salmon roe needs.
From what I saw, the Gulf of Alaska seems to be flipping with happy salmon, but I checked the Seafood Watch list when I got home (better late then never!). Luckily, wild-caught Alaskan salmon is identified as the best choice for the environment. Score! For more information check out the complete 126-page Pacific Salmon Seafood Watch Report. If, like me, you're used to buying farmed salmon from your local fish market, check out the Farmed Salmon Fact Card for a quick overview of some of the problems associated with farming salmon, including parasites and disease.
- Chinook or King Salmon: Almost everyone agrees that this species, with its fatty, tender flesh, is the best tasting. I was thrilled when I caught one!
- Coho or Silver Salmon: Also high in fat, this species has firm, pink to red-orange flesh.
- Sockeye or Red Salmon: This species is most often used for canning. It has firm red flesh.
Alaskan salmon bakes are popular stops for tourists, celebratory, summer feasts catering to bussed-in and cruising crowds. And the salmon tastes amazing cooked over a huge grill!
Browsing recipes to use my treasured salmon stash, I've found that preparation options are endless for this versatile, meaty fish. Here are some recipes from Cooking Channel chefs that made it onto my "to-make" list.
Have you been fishing this summer? Tell us about your most amazing catch and how you cooked it!