Looking for the best salmon recipes? Well you’re in luck! The Pacific Salmon Foundation’s staff, board and supporters have put their salmon-lovin’ brains together to compile a list of favorite recipes for your culinary pleasure. The recipes represent a cross-section of all five species including Coho, Chinook, Pink, Sockeye and even the often underrated Chum. So you can enjoy salmon all year-round!
Even though they are all genetically considered salmon, each species has its own diet and life history, which affects their flavour and characteristics. Pinks only live for two years and are the smallest and most bountiful of the species. As a result, they are cheap to buy, but can be a wonderful fish to cook with if done correctly. The key to Pinks is to either buy them fresh or frozen. Unlike Sockeye, which can be kept on ice for about 12 – 14 days, Pinks have a three-day limit. Also, don’t overcook or overseason! Pinks have a mild light flavor, and due to their thin skin, they cook very quickly. Thinking of trying some Pink? Here’s a fan favorite donated by executive chef Robert Clarke Wild BC Pink Salmon Baked with Tartar Sauce.
Affectionately known as ‘dog’ salmon by fishermen, Chum salmon rank the lowest in oil content and flavor. Because of the low oil content Chum is best to use in recipes that retain moisture such as casseroles, and they make great salmon patties. If you decide to go with a grilling or broiling technique, make sure to marinate your Chum first and continue basting them as you cook. For a Chum recipe try Wild BC Chum Salmon with Soy Wasabi Glaze donated by Karen Barnaby, executive chef for the Fish House at Stanley Park.
Often the most sought after, Sockeye salmon are very full-flavored. Their flavour can be attributed to a diet of small crustaceans such as krill. This is also the reason they are called "reds” and turn bright red during their spawning phase. Due to their strong flavour, many cooks advise avoiding complex sauces and letting the flesh speak for itself. If cooking indoors try poaching, searing or broiling. Be careful! This species is also easy to overcook! For a great winter Sockeye recipe, try Yoosah or Sockeye Mulligan Stew donated by Flora Sewid.
Coho salmon are usually between 8-12 pounds. They also like to feed on krill, causing their meat to be a rich orange. Coho’s tend to have less fat than Sockeyes and Chinook, but more than Pinks and Chum. Coho benefit from gentle cooking and moisture, so perfect for poaching or oven cooking after marinating. For a different twist on Coho, try Citrus and Tarragon Cured Wild BC Coho Salmon with Fennel, Bean and Potato Salad donated by Michael Allemeier, Winery Chef for Mission Hill Family Estate Winery
Chinook are the largest, and commonly referred to as tyees when weighing more than 30 pounds. They vary in size from 20 pounds to more than 100 pounds. The ocean-caught ones taste the best, but they can still be palatable when caught in rivers. But once the fish begins to turn dark or, even worse, red, they rapidly become watery, mushy and tasteless. Chinook are great for grilling, slow barbequing and even smoking. But their high-fat content means they go rancid fast. So try to use within three months of putting in the freezer. For a great barbeque recipe try that will work for other species, but likely best with Chinook, try The Only BBQ Salmon recipe donated by David Veljacic.
If these recipes don’t tickle your fancy here’s 10 more.
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