It's that time of year again―the Pacific salmon run. Thousands of seafaring fish traverse freshwater streams as they head inland to spawn in the exact place from which they hatched. The cycle begins at sea, where the salmon live for two to six years, feeding on shrimp, herring, and other marine life. Fasting as they make their journey inland through freshwater streams, the salmon derive all the energy used during their trek from fat stores. These nutritious fats add rich flavor to the fish.
The salmon play a role in sustaining Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest. They also support the fishing and restaurant industries while keeping the ecosystem balanced. In 1990, the Alaska legislature prohibited salmon farming, so the harvest consists of only wild fish from these waters, mainly in late spring and early summer.
Whether you buy salmon fresh, frozen, or smoked, the abundance and reasonable prices of this natural resource this time of year makes it a perfect addition to casual lunches or elegant parties.
Here are a few easy recipes using various types of wild salmon: