Copper River Salmon

Copper River Salmon

Copper River Salmon

I stopped by the fish market last week to pick-up some ahi tuna for a Nicoise Salad. With one glance at the fresh fish board my entire menu for our dinner changed. Copper River salmon—do you know it? In the culinary world there are seasonal items that you just have to grab and enjoy when it’s available. Copper River salmon season is highly anticipated, especially in the Pacific Northwest, and worth the hype.

In general, salmon right now is really delicious. However, for the next few weeks it’s an opportunity to try something special. The Copper River is a 300-mile crazy ass river near Cordova Alaska. It makes for salmon that are Darwinian wonders, strong with a good storage for awesome omega-3 fats to face this tumultuous river.

On the plate Copper River salmon translates to gorgeous color, remarkable flavor and buttery texture. The less you do to it the better, which makes for easy and delicious entertaining.

copper river map

I was giddy about my find and of course, completely over ordered. Most markets and recipes recommend 6 ounces of fish per person, but if you are serving multiple courses just shoot for 4-5 ounces.  The over indulgent order didn’t go to waste. We ate salmon with just about everything for the next few days; on toasty ciabatta smeared with butter, stuffed in omelets and I put together a salmon salad that won my husband’s heart over.

I used my go-to slow roasting technique, but in lieu of the lemon zest and mixture of herbs, it was chopped parsley and shallots. I really wanted to let the delightful flavor of the salmon shine.  That’s why you pay the big bucks for it, right?

Right now, you can find Copper River salmon at most seafood markets and there are rumors of Costco carrying it as well. Let me know where you find it!