Coho, also known as “silver” salmon for its bright silver sides, offers a lighter, more distinctly flavored fish than king or sockeye. Coho’s orange-red flesh is moderately fatty and flakes well.
“For fresh, it’s great to just think about what’s coming out of the garden,” says Laura Cole, owner and executive chef at 229 Parks in Alaska’s Denali National Park, who often grills her coho and crisps the skin. “Because it has a firmer flesh and brighter flavor because of lack of fat, you can pair it with fresh olive tapenade, or because the basil and arugula are coming in strong, do pesto.” Lo suggests slowly poaching coho in olive oil for a softer textured fish.
Recommended preparations: grilled, broiled, sauteed, poached in oil or butter, and smoked.
Often found: Often smoked; in sushi as crispy salmon skin roll; as steaks, filets and whole at fish counters.
Availability: Year-round frozen;fresh mid-June through late October.
Grilled Coho with Sesame Celery Relish
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 to remove.
Start to finish: 20 minutes
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, plus extra for brushing
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 pounds coho salmon, skin on
Toasted sesame seeds
Heat the grill to medium-high.
In a medium bowl, stir together the celery, scallions, garlic, lime zest and juice, and the toasted sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
Brush the salmon on both sides with additional sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on the grill for 3 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Serve with the celery relish and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.