This March 16 2015 photo shows sockeye salmon in Concord, NH. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead

This March 16 2015 photo shows sockeye salmon in Concord, NH. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead

A salmon primer: sockeye salmon

Sockeye, also called red salmon, is known for its distinct, bright red flesh that retains its color even once cooked. It is prized for its firm, fatty meat, and its pronounced, yet versatile flavor. Though less buttery than king, many chefs say sockeye stars on the plate just as easily.

“It’s gorgeous. It’s beautiful,” says Anita Lo, owner and executive chef of New York’s Annisa restaurant. “And it’s meatier.”

Sockeye takes well to added butter and other fats, chefs say, as well as to flavorful seasonings.

Sockeye is eaten for both its meat and for its roe, which is used as salmon caviar for sushi. Nearly all of the country’s sockeye comes from Alaska, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with the world’s largest harvest landing at Bristol Bay in the southwestern part of the state. Sockeye’s color and texture make it ideal for canning, but today more than half of the annual catch is sold fresh or frozen.

Like king salmon, the first sockeyes of the season usually come from Copper River and hit fish counters mid-May through mid-June.

Recommended preparations: Like king salmon, sockeye works with any preparation.

Often found: Most often see as lox; as the sushi salmon roe called “ikura;”at the center of the restaurant plate; and as steaks, fillets and whole fish at fish counters.

Availability: Year-round in cans, pouches and frozen; fresh from mid-May through mid-September.

Broiled Sockeye Salmon Salad With Blueberries And Sweet Potatoes

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: 30 minutes

Servings: 6

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1 teaspoon hot sauce

2 pounds sockeye salmon, cut into 6 pieces

3/4 cup blueberries

6 cups mixed greens

Balsamic glaze, to serve

Feta cheese, to serve

Fresh dill, to serve

Heat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

In a medium bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on the prepared baking sheet and bake until tender and browned, turning occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes.

Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, remove them from the oven and heat the oven to broil. Spray another baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, mustard, hot sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Arrange the salmon pieces on the prepared pan and spread the brown sugar mixture over the top of each piece. Cook the salmon 4 inches from the broiler for 2 minutes, or until browned and cooked to the desired level.

Arrange 1 cup of greens on each serving plate. Top with a piece of salmon. Divide the roasted sweet potatoes among the plates, along with the blueberries. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with feta and fresh dill.

Nutrition information per serving: 360 calories; 150 calories from fat (42 percent of total calories); 17 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 100 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 36 g protein; 400 mg sodium.

More in Life

Homer writer Richard Chiappone. (Photo by Joshua Veldstra)
‘Hunger of Crows’ perfect for winter reading

Chiappone’s first novel is set in Homer, Anchor Point.

Fresh dinner rolls made without the addition of dairy. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Baking for everyone

Dinner rolls skip the dairy, but not the flavor

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: ‘Tis the Season

The Kenai Community Library has always been one of the stars in the crown of the community.

Homer News Ben Mitchell, left, serves spaghetti to helper Pat Wells in the kitchen at a past Share the Spirit spaghetti feed. (Michael Armstrong/Homer News file)
Looking to share some holiday spirit? Here’s how

Share the Spirit serves the Homer community by donating food, essential needs and Christmas presents.

Appease your child’s picky palate with these tasty Tater Tots. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Tots to be thankful for

Two years ago, I spent the entirety of Thanksgiving Day in my green rocking chair, cradling my newborn son.

File
Minister’s Message: Keep in step

Sometimes it takes going half way around the world to learn how to “keep in step” as I journey.

Shelli and Mike Gordon pose in October 2011 at their Halibut Cove, Alaska, home in an Alaska Gothic version of Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” painting. (Photo courtesy of Mike Gordon)
‘Dagnabit’ features tales of ’80s wild Alaska

Gordon’s second book also tells of Ruben Gaines, creator of Chilkoot Charlie.

Before boiling, this handmade pasta is rolled, cut and tossed in flour to keep from sticking. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Pasta by hand

Learning one of the most important task of the Italian kitchen: making the pasta.

Will Morrow (courtesy)
The Great Thanksgiving dessert debate

Our holiday gathering is going to be smaller than it sometimes is, and it was argued that we didn’t need two desserts.

Dianne Spence-Chorman’s “Fig Study” is one of the works showing in the Homer Council on the Arts “Fun wtih 5x7” show through Dec. 22, 2021, at the gallery in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
‘Fun with 5×7’ offers affordable art

HCOA annual art show presents art in a variety of media, all in 5x7 format.

Make pumpkin chocolate chip with cinnamon buttercream cupcakes for a decadent fall treat. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: In honor of ‘Cupcake Mondays’

Pumpkin chocolate chip with cinnamon buttercream cupcakes brighten up the dreariest of work.

Nick Varney
Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Back off, Zeus

If this wet-n-warm, freeze, then start again, continues much longer, Kachemak Drive will need a complete redo.