This March 16, 2015 photo shows seared king salmon with lemongrass porcini jus in Concord, NH. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

This March 16, 2015 photo shows seared king salmon with lemongrass porcini jus in Concord, NH. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

A salmon primer: king salmon

King salmon, also known as “chinook,” earns the title. The largest of the Pacific salmon, a single king can weigh more than 100 pounds, though typically they’re landed at 20 to 30 pounds. King salmon is prized for its silky red flesh, buttery texture and for a high oil content that gives it a luxurious flavor.

“The kings are definitely special,” says Laura Cole, owner and executive chef at 229 Parks in Alaska’s Denali National Park. “They’re just more rich and wonderful. But you have to pay more homage to the fish than to the flavors on the plate.”

King salmon from Copper River in south-central Alaska are among the first salmon commercially harvested in the state each year, and among the first to show up fresh in stores. King salmon run for three or four weeks from mid-May to mid-June.

Recommended preparations: The king’s high oil content makes it tolerant of any preparation from grilling to poaching. Regardless of how it’s cooked, chefs say to go easy on the seasonings; let the fish speak for itself.

Often found: You’ll see it most often in sushi; at the center of a restaurant plate; and as steaks, fillets and whole fish at fish counters.

Availability: Can be found fresh and frozen throughout the year, but fresh peaks mid-May to July.

Seared King Salmon
With Lemongrass Porcini Jus

Always check salmon for bones. To do this, gently rub your hand over the flesh, going against the grain. The bones should be in a line running the length of the fish. Use tweezers or needle pliers to remove.

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Servings: 6

6-inch piece lemon grass

2 cloves garlic

1-inch chunk fresh ginger

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

1 small yellow onion, quartered

4 cups water

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds king salmon, cut into 6 pieces

Fresh cilantro leaves

Flaked sea salt and ground black pepper

Use the back of a large knife or a meat mallet to mash the lemon grass to break up the fibers. Lightly smash the garlic cloves and the ginger.

In a large saucepan over medium-high, combine the lemon grass, garlic, ginger, dried mushrooms, onion and water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.

Pour the mixture through a mesh strainer and discard the solids. Stir in the soy sauce. Set aside.

Heat a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over high heat. Add the oil and turn to coat the bottom of the pan. Sear the salmon for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Ladle the jus into shallow bowls, placing a piece of salmon in the center of each. Top with fresh cilantro, then season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving: 340 calories; 200 calories from fat (59 percent of total calories); 22 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 90 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 32 g protein; 270 mg sodium.

More in Life

Robert C. Lewis photo courtesy of the Alaska Digital Archives 
Ready to go fishing, a pair of guests pose in front of the Russian River Rendezvous in the early 1940s.
The Disappearing Lodge, Part 1

By the spring of 1931, a new two-story log building — the lodge’s third iteration — stood on the old site, ready for business

Viola Davis stars in “The Woman King.” (Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.)
On the screen: Women reign in latest action flick

‘The Woman King’ is a standout that breaks new ground

Artwork donated for the Harvest Auction hangs at the Kenai Art Center on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Auction, juried show to showcase local talent

Kenai Art Center will host its annual Harvest Auction this weekend, juried art show next month

Sweet and tart cranberry pecan oat bars are photographed. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Cranberries to match the bright colors of fall

Delicious cranberry pecan oat bars are sweet and tart

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Take a chance

The fact of the matter is, you can find a way to hurt yourself in just about any athletic endeavor.

Alaska Digital Archives
George W. Palmer (left), the namesake for the city in the Matanuska Valley and the creek near Hope, poses here with his family in 1898 in the Knik area. Palmer became a business partner of Bill Dawson in Kenai in the last years of Dawson’s life.
Bill Dawson: The Price of Success, Part 5

Thus ended the sometimes tumultuous Alaska tenure of William N. Dawson.

File
Minister’s Message: Plenty

The Bible story of Joseph in Egypt preparing the harvest in the seven years of plenty teaches us some vital lessons

From left: Lacey Jane Brewster, Terri Zopf-Schoessler, Donna Shirnberg, Tracie Sanborn and Bill Taylor (center) rehearse “Menopause Made Me Do It” on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Applause for menopause

Kenai Performers’ new play takes aim at ‘not the most glorious part of womanhood’

A still from “Jazzfest.” (Photo provided)
DocFest could be the golden year of documentaries — again

Homer Documentary Film Festival returns for 18th year with solid mix

Most Read