Weather: 63 degrees, blue skies, no breeze
What I’m listening to: Down, Jason Walker
I was sitting at a rummage sale fundraiser as folks from the community steadily wandered in and out. Conversations consisted of niceties like, Good morning. Lovely day out. And inevitably, we always landed upon that one prevalent topic that informed all other topics: FISHING. Specifically, salmon fishing.
Every year, in our small community, particularly in the month of July, salmon is just about all we talk about. Red salmon, pink salmon, silver salmon, king salmon. Commercial fishing, sport fishing, subsistence fishing. Lines or nets. Various fishing limits according to methods and species. We read the weather according to what it might indicate about the day’s fishing conditions. We look at the tides, examine the wind speed in knots rather than miles per hour, and consider 4 foot, 6 foot and 8 foot seas. We battle traffic on the streets, on the shore, and in the water. The newspapers and local media outlets fill with fishing stories, fishing politics, fishing photos… salmon fishing all day long.
In our home, and in the homes of most of the Alaskans I know, wild local salmon is beloved – a prized, distinguished resource. Salmon feeds our history, our culture, our economy, and our stomachs. Salmon run to our shores year in and year out and these marvelous fish have helped shape who we are as a community, as a state.
We bring them home – clean them, cook them, smoke them, can them, freeze them, eat them. Then next year, we will do it all over again. When company comes to visit, we pull out our prized salmon. We share it with others, not just a delicious and healthy meal of wild-caught local salmon, but we also share the experience of it all. When we put salmon on a plate and serve it to others, we always serve it up with a large portion of fishing stories paired what it means to live in this unique and beautiful place. Salmon is more than a meal, it’s a way of life.
So, in honor of all things salmon, I’ve prepared for you a roundup of all of my favorite go-to salmon recipes. Please enjoy and eat lots of wild Alaska salmon!
1. Salmon Burgers with Cilantro Mayo – our family’s favorite and a crowd-pleaser among guests.
2. Sugar Crusted Salmon with Avocado Peach Salsa – make a smoky homemade spice rub and top your salmon with a seasonal, spicy fruit salsa, like this avocado and peach version.
3. Honey Glazed Salmon with Brown Butter Lime Sauce – an elegant way to jazz up your salmon with acidity, richness, and a little sweetness, while still showcasing the natural flavors of the fish.
4. Salmon Jerky – transform an abundance of salmon into a hearty trail-worthy, backpacking and camping friendly homemade snack.
5. Superfood Salad with Pan-Seared Salmon – kale, avocado, pomegranate, and quinoa topped with a pan-seared salmon fillet and drizzled with honey mustard vinaigrette. So healthy, so good.
6. Salmon Bisque – salmon makes a stunning and flavorful soup, like this creamy bisque with smoked paprika.
8. Apricot-Jalapeno Glazed Cedar Plank Salmon – spicy-sweet, succulent, and restaurant quality.
You may also like:
Salmon Skewers with Rosemary Birch Syrup