Alaska is famous for wild salmon. And we all know how delicious this king fish is smoked and grilled. If your Copper River expedition is overly successful, try one of these innovative ways for you and your guests to enjoy fresh, wild salmon:
The Japanese recognized long ago that good fish needs little if any embellishment. Drape a slice of salmon over a small mound of sushi rice and season with salt and citrus for a classic nigiri. Or play with the form and make a cake (pictured above) or something entirely new.
The raw pink flesh of the salmon is so beautiful and pliable. Why not twist and turn it into a rose? It will look perfect on bagels or place several in a bed of fresh pasta. Bonus points if you create your own new shape.
Carpaccio or Tartare
However you slice it, both of these terms refer to raw salmon with seasonings. Carpaccio salmon is sliced thinly and covered with the seasoning whereas tartare is chopped and mixed with seasoning. There are hundreds of tasty and pretty ways to present either. Try pairing with pineapple and avocado for a fresh summer salad.
Encrusting salmon with nuts is a great way to change up the texture and flavor of the fish. Pat the flesh dry then use mustard, olive oil or another spread for best adhesion. Pistachios, walnuts, almonds, and pecans all work well and the nuts roast during baking.
This is a classic Russian dish that is rarely seen in the US. For an easy version, layer crepes with crème fraiche. Then spread the top with salmon roe and sprinkle with dill to garnish. The flavors are perfect and the presentation will awe.
Technically any small plate can be called tapas as long as it is served with a drink. That’s where the fun comes in. Slice salmon on crusty bread or create your own sensation with tomatoes and red onions.
Hors d’oeuvres are similar to tapas, but are usually more formal and precede a meal. Skewer salmon bites with slices of ginger, prepare salmon mini quiches, or top deviled eggs with roe. There’s so many ways to go right with this one.
Slice salmon thin over a homemade crust with your favorite vegetables and pop it into the oven for a quick treat. Asparagus and spinach are both delicious accompaniments to an olive oil base. Try grilling the pizza for a smoky flavor. And don’t forget the herbs!
A great way to update the beloved crab cake. Use olive oil and egg to bind salmon with breadcrumbs. Then bake or fry until golden. Put your stamp on this classic by making your own seasoning mix.
Get creative. The best part of cooking with salmon is how flexible it is. Ask your Alaska tour guide when salmon is in season. Then experiment with your fresh catch to find your own favorite recipes. Ingredients that will enhance the natural deliciousness of your salmon include:
- Seasonings: salt and pepper, peppercorns, mustard, wasabi
- Acid: Lemon, lime, orange, pineapple
- Herbs: Dill, basil, oregano
- Vegetables: Spinach, asparagus
- Dairy: Cream cheese, sour cream, crème fraiche
What’s your salmon success story?