Seasonal Inspiration:
Eight Things to Do with Salmon

Salmon Bites ChefSteps

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re just a wee bit obsessed with salmon—particularly at this time of year. When you buy it fresh at a trusty fish counter, there’s no end to what you can do with a gorgeous hunk of sockeye or chinook. In the warm months, grilled salmon makes for a lovely light dinner. But if you’re burnt out on the cedar plank, we’ve got ideas to inspire you all year long.

Unsure about how to select the best fish? Consult our video for tips on seafood shopping, then move on to our handy salmon butchering tutorial. After that, it’s time to get cooking. Oh, and should questions arise, please pose them in the comments. We’re always here to help—and, (you may have already noticed), we do love talking about salmon.

1. Pass it around

Cancel the caterer. Your guests will be über-impressed to learn you made these elegant Salmon Bites all by your lonesome. Brined, cooked at a low temperature, then chilled overnight, the fish takes on a dense, rich texture. Augment with watercress purée, pickled onion, and Horseradish Cream and serve as an amuse-bouche before brunch or a passed snack at your next garden party.


2. Roll on

Master our technique for Fish Roulade, and you’ll use it time and time again when you need a fancy, yet foolproof, seafood preparation. Our favorite way to serve salmon roulade? Quickly seared and dressed in Piccata Sauce.

3. Discover the cure

Loving curing meats? You must see how expediently this Quick-Cured Salmon method turns raw fish into something toothsome and full of flavor.

4. Chop it up

Topped with fresh chervil and a few orbs of ikura roe, our handsome Salmon Tartare classes up an outdoor dinner and showcases the awesome fresh fish available this time of year.


5. Perfect your plating

Looking to bone up on your plating skills? Use our lemon oil–enhanced Salmon Crudo recipe to help you master the basics of composing the sort of sexy dish you find in fine-dining restaurants.

6. Have a smoke

To make Salmon Pastrami, brine your fish in our signature brine, give it a good rub, then smoke it to bring out that savory-sweet flavor. Mmmm…salmon candy.


7. Wait it out

Our PNW Salmon requires some planning—you’ll need to make the Salmon Katsuobushi months in advance—but it is So. Very. Worth it.

8. Explore modern cooking techniques

The dish that launched ChefSteps, our Salmon 104 °F is a great way to begin exploring modernist techniques and walks you through the steps of creating one of our all-time prettiest plates.

final_dish_salmon 104Click here to check out other salmon recipes, or upload your own by clicking “Add Recipe.”


2 thoughts on “Seasonal Inspiration:
Eight Things to Do with Salmon

  1. I would truly appreciate a primer on which kind of Salmon to use for what. What are the pros and cons, for instance of chinook over sockeye. How about when to choose Norwegian over Scottish, etc.? There are son many different kinds to choose from and I never know which to use?

  2. Grant Lee Crilly

    Ok, here is how I think of salmon. I have been fishing for it(spear, line and commercial) all my life and have been cooking just as long. I can give the run down on what the qualities are but really you want was is in season and most fresh every time, that means sometimes its not salmon that you want.

    These are the largest breeds of salmon that used to get up to 100lbs. but now the average is really like 30lb with the occasion 50lb from Alaska. These are deep water salmon that swim along the bottom of the coast for the most part. They fight pretty hard when caught which can cause problem with the meat later of not cared fro properly. When fishing for them anglers often know they have a King on because of the way they dive down on runs how hard they pull, they fishy like a shark but dive like a tuna. They are the fattiest just behind to the farmed stuff(ON AVERAGE) which makes them a pretty great eating fish. I often only want salmon that are about 18-25lbs, for me that is the best size for eating, even for halibut. Winter run Kings are often even more fatty but are harder to come by, they just call them black mouth in the winter and can run a lot larger too. Kings are really good for almost anything though, sous vide, grilling, canning, smoking, curing etc.

    These are the most fun to fish for and in my opinion the best fish you can get to eat. They are a high energy fast swimming and surface roamer like mackerel. They are cheap, eat like a King salmon and have a decent amount of fat to them. On average they are about albs id say but I have caught them up to 15lbs and I think the record is around 26lbs. These are great for everything like the king salmon but you are more likely to get mush when you cook them sous vide because of the way they are caught and fight. I like them grilled and or smoked.

    I will add more to this as soon as I can Meredith, getting pulled away at the moment.

    Overall though I’d say consider these things
    you sort your cooking techniques by what fish you have
    or you sort your fish by what cooking techniques you can pull off

    Fattier fish will be more forgiving and more difficult to pull of in sous vide at times. Leaner fish, which are cheaper, certainly benefit more form sous vide as they don’t need all the extra fat when cooked properly.

    Buy fish that are caught well, fresh and handled well.

    Smoking fish that are fattier/oilier are way tastier;)

    I don’t but a lot of farmed stuff, I buy aquaculture fish but not a lot of penned in wild stuff.


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