Cooking Copper River Salmon: Easier Than You Think

Published June 6th, 2019 by Copper River Salmon

It’s Copper River Salmon season! Do you need a brief refresher on how to prepare fresh, wild Alaska salmon? Here is your guide to the most popular preparation methods along with some of our suggestions along the way.

The axiom rings very true when cooking salmon: practice makes perfect. Every time you do, you will get better at it!

The number one rule: DON'T OVER COOK IT.

#1 Sautéed & Pan-Seared: Crispy Skin & Hands On Approach

  • Pat fish dry
  • Brush both sides of the fish with oil or butter
  • Season generously with coarse salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Heat in a pan over medium high heat
  • Cook for 6-8 mins. until fish is opaque with a little translucency in the middle.  Salmon will continue to cook while resting.

#2 Baking: Complete Meal & Control

  • Preheat oven to 325-350 degrees F.
  • Brush with oil, butter or top with your favorite ingredients
    • we like to add fat or fresh toppings during this method
  • Optional: Place your favorite seasoned sides (asparagus, potatoes, etc. around the fish)
  • Cook for 20-25 mins, checking opacity with a sharp knife at 10 minutes

#3 Roasting & Broiling: Easy & Convenient

  • Pat fish dry
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  • Brush both sides of fish with oil or butter, season generously
  • Cook for 8-10 mins., salmon is cooked when flakes easily and will keep cooking while resting.

#4 Poaching: Liquid, Not Fat, Carries the Heat

  • Remove the skin from the salmon fillet. 
    • Better yet, ask your fishmonger to do this for you when you purchase your salmon.
  • Remove the bones.
  • Cut the fillet into the portions you’ll end up serving
  • Simmer water in a large pan
    • We suggest adding a little lemon juice, garlic, onions, herbs and spices or some dry white wine, vinegar or broth.
  • Turn off heat and add fish skinned side down
  • Liquid should cover the salmon completely
  • Cover the pan tightly with a lid and return to a light simmer
  • Cook 4-6 mins.

#5 Grilling: Layers of Flavor

  • Thoroughly clean and preheat grill
  • Oil both sides of the fish
  • Marinate or season fish
    • We like to add fresh herbs and a wood plank for additional layers of flavor
  • Grill until meat is just opaque at the thickest portion

Friendly Flavors

All of these flavors pair well with salmon. Use them to help build the layers in your dish.  

  • Cumin
  • Avocado
  • Garlic
  • Chile Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Miso
  • Cucumber
  • Ginger
  • Shallots
  • Chervil

Perfect Pairings

The rich flavor of Copper River Salmon pairs beautifully with dry red and white wines that have fruity notes such as Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.

We’re particularly fond of the Erath Winery Pinot Noir with its dark cherry notes!

IPAs and Pilsners with plenty of hops pair best for beers. Again, ask us which beer we prefer and it’s going to be something from Alaskan Brewing Company!

Want more?  Go to our recipe page for more inspiration!

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