Copper River salmon has arrived! This is the first week of a limited season. We never know when the season will end, so if you want some, get it early. I found prices as low as $13/pound for the Copper River sockeye fillets....not too bad.
If you've never tried Copper River salmon, you are in for a Pacific Northwest treat. In my opinion, it's the best salmon that there is. When I first tried it, I couldn't believe how good it tasted. It has a rich, almost buttery flavor. And if you prepare and cook it properly, the fillet will break apart in "slices" that melt in your mouth.
I prepare it very simply. The flavor is so intense and rich, you don't want to add very many spices that might cover it up. What I do, is take a small amount of olive oil and spread it over the top (red) side of the fish. Then, I add sea salt and pepper, again just a little bit. Next, I make sure I have a clean barbeque and I place the fish on the grill, skin side on the bottom. Basic BBQ rules apply, make sure you have heated coals and not much of a flame before you put it on the grill. Then, I grill it between 8-12 minutes. I don't turn the fish over. The heat from the BBQ will heat the fish all the way through. The MOST important thing is to NOT overcook the salmon. You want the fish to be moist and the flesh of the salmon to be a reddish pink color. Usually, when it's done, I can use a spatula and the salmon will break away from the skin and I'll be able to lift it off the BBQ, leaving the skin there (which I clean up later). This is a very delicious way to prepare salmon and I highly recommend it. Enjoy!
My photo shows another method of cooking...using alder or cedar planks. This is a traditional Native American method of cooking which adds a smokey flavor.
[photo courtesy of Neeta Lind/flickr.com]