Each spring we eagerly await the opening of wild Alaska salmon season, and by the time May rolls around we’re salivating for our favorite fish. The season kicked off this week with the first of the kings and sockeyes; the season for pink, kept and coho salmon will open in late May and run through October. This means we all get to enjoy the most flavorful and sustainable salmon in the world all summer long! And, each type of salmon has its own unique flavor profile, so read on for recipes and cooking tips - there’s a salmon for every budget, too!
Give all 5 species a try! Check out these 5 great salmon recipes
Sockeye – Also known as red salmon, Alaska sockeye is one of the most popular salmon species due to its deep red color and rich salmon flavor. The firm texture of sockeye makes it perfect for almost all preparation techniques, including grilling, broiling, sautéing, roasting, poaching, steaming and smoking. Alaska sockeye salmon is available fresh from mid-May through mid-September and frozen year-round.
King – Championed for its size and succulent flavor, king salmon (also known as chinook) is the largest of the five Alaska salmon species and also bears the highest fat content. Similar to sockeye, king salmon features a rich red flesh and lends itself well to most cooking techniques. Although mostly caught in the summer, some Alaska king salmon is harvested year round for fresh and frozen availability.
Pink – True to its name, Alaska pink salmon has rosy pink-colored flesh. The most abundant and affordable of the five Alaska salmon species, pink salmon is known for its delicate flavor and tender texture. This species is often available canned but is also great for smoking. Decreased cooking temperatures are recommended when preparing pink salmon because of its lower oil content. Wild Alaska pink salmon is available June through September and frozen year-round.
Keta – Keta (also known as silverbrite or chum) features a mild flavor and tempting pink color. This extremely versatile species is good for smoking, and due to its firm texture, it is a great choice for grilling or roasting. Like pink salmon, it is best to prepare keta at decreased cooking temperatures due to its lower oil content. Wild Alaska keta is available June through September and frozen year-round.
Coho – Also known as silver, Alaska coho lends itself to a host of preparation styles. Coho salmon is the second largest Alaska salmon species and is known for its orange-red flesh, delicate flavor and firm texture. Wild Alaska coho is available mid-June through late October and frozen year round.
Try the Alaska Salmon Marsala
Recipes are courtesy of Wild Alaska Seafood. For more recipes, cooking tips and methods, as well as information about each Alaska salmon species, nutritional information and harvesting methods be sure to check out the Ultimate Guide to Wild Alaska Salmon.