As you know, despite wanting to get more essential fatty acids from oily fish in our diets, we don't like salmon. I've tried it all different ways and from different shops, paying a fortune from Whole Foods for the freshest I could find but we still can't abide that strong, fishy taste.
Enter wild sockeye salmon. It's obscenely expensive, upwards of $20 a pound, but I picked some up at Whole Foods when it was on sale. It was a revelation, our salmon-hating days are finally behind us. It's got a lovely almost sweet taste. I wouldn't call it mild but it is a million miles away from strong or fishy. The texture is really succulent and delicious.
Why buy wild fish vs. farm raised? The same reason why grass fed and pastured meat is healthier for our bodies than feedlot meat. Farm raised salmon doesn't have the same amounts of usable omega-3 fatty acids as wild caught. Like feedlot meat, farm raised salmon is given antibiotics and their feed is dyed salmon color so their flesh won't be gray! Wild salmon has lower fat, but more good fat and higher protein than farm raised.
Now on to the deliciousness... sockeye can have some pin bones, so just slide your clean hands up and down the surface of the fish to feel for any and pluck them out.
For this preparation, I mixed grainy mustard with some low sodium tamari and spread it over the fish.
Then I covered it with Thai basil from the garden and let it sit a few minutes.
Into a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. I checked it and it wasn't quite cooked through so I cooked it an additional 5 minutes. You want it juicy and just cooked through, but not overcooked. Look for opaque and flaky.
It turned out delicious. I served it with cucumber and cantaloupe salad with a dressing made from lime juice and zest and spicy red chiles. But that was before the cantaloupe listeria outbreak.
We enjoyed the sockeye so much that when I found it at Costco in the freezer section, I snapped it up. A 3 pound bag of individually vacuum sealed fillets for $27, a steal for wild Alaska sockeye!
This dish was from the other night. I rubbed the salmon with a mixture of BBQ spices and cooked it for 30 minutes at 400 as the fillets were a bit thicker. Absolutely marvelous with a crisp salad. Very satisfying, too.
Next summer, I'm going to invest in a cedar plank and try it on the grill.
Have you tried sockeye, did you love it? What is your favorite salmon preparation?