April 2, 2006


We are equal-opportunity meat eaters and seafood falls into the “yes, please” category. We are fortunate to both live in Alaska where seafood is usually available for the plundering, and also to be serious about harvesting it with fly rods. Sadly though, it is that time of year when the preserved stocks left from last season are thin and freezer-burned: we are at the whim of the fishmonger. Oddly enough, in the place that has more wild salmon than the rest of the world combined, there is plenty of farmed salmon in the markets here for those willing to eat it. This time of year the fresh and wild stuff is trickling back into the markets – troll caught king salmon from Prince William Sound, netted sockeye from Kachemak. In anticipation of a warm and sunny summer spent chasing salmon and trout, we decided to serve one up. In a place where the salmon are pretty much ubiquitous, everyone has a favorite recipe. You need one – if you get a personal use dipnetting tag, you can keep 25 fish for yourself plus 10 for each member of your household – and that’s just the dipnet fisheries. You can also go out, and depending on the strength of the run and species, keep up to 6 fish per day. Folks here are serious about salmon.

I find that the simple recipes are the best since salmon is easily overcooked and has such good flavor to begin with. Getting home from a late night on the water it’s easy to just saute little bits of the trimmings as you clean them, sopping them in sea salt and olive with chunks of crusty bread. Lately I’ve been on a bit of an Asian kick, and that was the direction we took again last night.

1/2 pound salmon filet, trimmed, skin on
pinch of sea salt
bit of freshly ground pepper
juice of one lime
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
6 tbs of soy sauce
4 tbs olive oil
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
3 grated garlic cloves

Blend the last seven ingredients together in non-metallic bowl and allow to set for 20 minutes or so. Cut the salmon into two pieces and coat with the oil. Sprinkle a bit of salt and ground pepper over it and cook skin side up on med high for a minute or so. Turn them skin-side down in the hot pan and turn the heat to medium low. Cook for 2 minutes longer and remove the pan from the heat. Plate over rice (I like sushi type) and top with bean sprouts. Drizzle with the marinade.

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