Cooking North of Seattle - Archives

What's For Dinner? Late Spring 2011

The Copper River salmon have arrived. Air-lifted into Seattle in late May, their arrival is a much heralded event here in the Northwest, with local restaurants vying for the title of first to acquire and serve the fish. The Copper River in Alaska is cold and wild running. The salmon that return each year to spawn swim 300 miles upstream. Consequently they must bulk up before the trip as spawning salmon don't eat once they start up their rivers.

The result of this bulking up is an amazingly fatty, rich, deep red meat with the best salmon flavor you may ever have. It is worth the premium price that these beautiful fish usually command. If you have never tried this superior fish, put off by the expensive price tag, this is the year for you! Because this year there is a larger number of the fish hitting the rivers and, therefore, the markets.

These flavorful salmon stand up well to strong flavors. Where normally I would cook salmon with just a bit of butter, salt, pepper, and teriyaki sauce, I go all out with the Copper River fish. They are also a wonderful fish to smoke. Enjoy this springtime treat while you can. The season lasts for about 6 weeks. Try this Steamed Moroccan-style Salmon recipe. The spicing is bold but the fish is up it. Use the leftovers in this salmon chowder. It will leave you wanting more!

The Recipes

Steamed Moroccan-style Salmon

Salmon Chowder