This year several U.S. states and Canada suspended salmon fishing and are having major trade talks over fishing quotas. There is generally a wild salmon crisis in the Pacific Northwest, the world's richest salmon fishery. For more, read the Seattle PI story: "U.S., Canada agree to cuts in 2 major salmon fisheries: Pact hopes to end tailspin of wild Puget Sound chinook."
So where does that leave the consumer? I don't know about you, but I feel torn over which salmon to eat, if any at all. I absolutely LOVE cooking and eating salmon and doctors tell us that we should have it in our diets. But, the wild salmon are facing extinction in some areas and are seriously overfished in most. Then we have farmed salmon, which is the subject of much debate, both from health and environmental perspectives.
I have yet to figure out what's best, but one thing I do know is that if you do eat salmon, you should treat it as a precious resource and really enjoy it! This brings me to my cooking tip for today. I love grilled salmon steaks, but hate dealing with the bones. Some years ago a salmon fisherman taught me a super-easy trick to make boneless salmon steaks out of fillets....it's so good it almost seems like magic.
I've demonstrated with a series of photos below, but the basic approach is as follows:
- Use salmon fillet with skin on
- Slice off a piece 3-5 inches long
- Slice the center of the flesh side down to the skin, being careful not to cut the skin
- Fold in half, the skin will create a hinge and stick to itself creating an "inside-out steak"
- Season and grill as you would a normal salmon steak.
If you like thicker steaks, cut a longer piece...for thinner cut shorter. One of the best things about this preparation is that meat stays more moist...overcooked salmon is a real waste of this resrource! See the slideshow below for the steps I took doing the above, starting with a whole Copper River salmon. Give it a try, I'm sure you'll enjoy!