Alaska Salmon Season Has Begun
The celebrated wild Alaska summer salmon harvest season began May 18, signaling the natural return of the region’s most iconic fish through a thriving annual migration cycle that is ensured by Alaska’s Constitutional pledge to sustain wild populations for generations to come. This year’s harvest is forecasted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at more than 204 million salmon – making this summer the perfect time to menu all five species.
“Every year, hundreds of million Alaska salmon complete their homeward journey from the icy ocean waters of the North Pacific to Alaska’s vast grid of rich rivers and streams,” says Karl Uri, foodservice manager, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). “Alaska fishermen follow the best sustainability practices in the world, responsibly harvesting the fish for the world to enjoy and ensuring that Alaska salmon will always remain wild and sustainable. Later this summer, we will also celebrate the official Alaska Wild Salmon Day on August 10.”
Wild Alaska sockeye, king, pink, keta and coho salmon supply nearly 95 percent of the wild salmon harvested in the U.S., meaning plenty of rich and succulent wild salmon on restaurant menus nationwide. The cold water and natural environment help give wild Alaska salmon unmatched taste, nutrition and versatility that appeal to all palates and budgets, and can be enjoyed in a variety of menu items and dishes including:
Sockeye—With its rich, traditional flavor and firm texture, sockeye salmon is one of the most popular species and is perfect for almost all preparation techniques.
Recipe suggestion: Alaska Salmon and White Bean Salad
King—The largest of the five species, king salmon has a rich red flesh with high oil content lending itself to most cooking techniques. Chefs can enhance King salmon’s succulent flavor easily with seafood seasonings and marinades.
Recipe suggestion: Alaska King Salmon Filet "Oscar"
Pink—The most abundant and affordable of the five Alaska species, pink salmon is known for its mild flavor and tender texture making it an excellent vehicle for sauces. Decreased cooking temperatures are recommended because of its naturally lower oil content.
Recipe suggestion: Alaska Salmon Hushpuppies
Keta—With a firmer texture and mild flavor, keta salmon is great for summer grilled menu items. Like pink salmon, it is best to prepare keta at decreased cooking temperatures.
Recipe suggestion: Alaska Seafood Charcuterie Platter
Coho—The second largest Alaska salmon species after king, coho is known for its orange-red flesh, delicate flavor and firm texture. Many consider coho the best salmon for grilling.
Recipe suggestion: Planked Alaska Coho Salmon with Asian Glaze
In addition to fresh during the harvest season, Alaska salmon is available year-round frozen, canned and smoked. For more foodservice recipe ideas, including the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s SWAP Meat collection that puts a healthy twist on classic recipes visit www.wildalaskaseafood.com and follow Alaska Seafood on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Additional information on each Alaska salmon species, nutritional values, harvesting methods and full recipes from Alaska Seafood can be found online in the Ultimate Guide to Wild Alaska Salmon. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) maintains a resource library including point-of-sale materials, training tools, cooking tips, recipes and market research to make seafood an easy addition to any menu.