Salmon recipes range from hours-long preparation time to simple standbys with only a couple ingredients that at-home chefs have perfected over time to everything in between.
Early Wednesday morning dipnetters on the north Kenai beach from Palmer, Fairbanks and Anchorage shared their favorite recipes.
Marianne Tiedeman, of Palmer, makes smoked Kippered Salmon annually when her family gets its full catch for the year. The recipe is from her mother-in-law Viola Tiedeman.
Smoked Kippered Salmon
This recipe is for a large amount of raw salmon. Amounts can be adjusted. A large, wheeled-type of cooler. This size works well for about 20 pounds of salmon.
Mix in clean cooler:
1 box canning/pickling salt or rock salt if you cant find the canning kind
1 bag brown sugar
2 cups soy sauce
Add water to halfway up the cooler. Stir well until salt is dissolved. Add salmon sliced about 1-inch wide and 5-inches long for pint jars. Leave in brine for approximately one hour.
Clear a large table or countertop and cover it with clean garbage bags to contain the juices release and brine. Pull out strips and place on countertop/table to dry overnight. The strips need to develop a tacky coating by drying.
The following morning use pliers to pull out bones. Rack the strips with the thinnest pieces going on the top rack and so on with the thickest pieces on the bottom shelf of your smoker. For a smaller smoker, you’ll smoke for six to eight hours. For a larger propane or electric smoker, smoke for three hours on the lowest heat. For a smokehouse, smoke overnight.
Pull the smoked fish off into a bowl or tray. Sterilize jars and rings, but not the lids. By placing them in your canner with about an inch of water until it starts boiling, place lid on sand steam them for 10 minutes. Fill your jars to approximately 1/2 inches to 3/4 inches form the top of your jar.
Optional — add 2 tablepsoons olive oil for pint jar. Place filled jars into your canner without rings or lids, put lid on and steam for seven minutes. Take warmed jars out and using damp paper towels or cloths clean the top edges of your jars. There must be no grease or slivers of salmon on the top or your jars will not seal.
Place lids on and rings just lightly tightened.
Place lidded ringed jars into canner, upon filling your first row add enough water to come up halfway of the first row of jars. About 2 1/2 to 3 inches for pints. Fill the rest of the rows. Stretching out the rubber seal manually at this point ensures a good seal.
Lid on, high heat until steam is vented. Vent for seven minutes. Add 10-pounds of weight or choose 10-pounds of pressure on a newer pressure cooker. Once the weight begins to jiggle rapidly, set your timer for 90 minutes and turn heat down to medium/high. The weight should jiggle about every 15 seconds.
When 90 minutes is up take the weight off and vent until it stops venting. Running cold water over the lid will hasten the process. Take your jars out with a canning grabber. You will start hearing pops as the vacuum is formed in the jars.
After about 10 minutes out of the canner has passed, check your jars for sealing. This is done by tapping lightly on the lid. If it’s sealed, it will not spring up. Unsealed jars can be re-cleaned, a new lid added and put into the next batch to seal.
Kim Luper, of Fairbanks, has perfected baked salmon with onions and garlic.
“My secret is cooking those onions until they’re dead,” she said.
Baked Salmon with Caramelized Onions
Sauté one to two sliced or chopped onions on medium-low heat until they’re caramelized.
Add minced garlic to taste at the last minute.
Sprinkle the mixture over a raw fillet.
Tent the salmon with foil.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the fish flakes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
“Everything is better with onions and garlic,” Luper said.
For Julie Earp, of Anchorage, the best salmon recipe has a cedar planked standby that she makes multiple throughout the year.
Cedar Planked Salmon with Maple Ginger Glaze
1 salmon fillet
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 2-inch peeled piece of ginger
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Soak large cedar plank in water for two hours. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle salt and pepper on salmon and let stand for about 15 minutes.
In a sauce pan heat maple syrup, ginger, lemon zest and butter over medium heat until thickened. Stir in lemon juice.
Pat cedar plank dry. Place on oven rack for about 15 minutes. Remove and place fish, skin down, on plank. Brush fish with half of glaze. Cook until salmon is just turning golden on top.
Remove fish and change setting to broil. Brush rest of glaze on the salmon. Broil until golden. Remove and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
“It’s a sweeter way to eat salmon,” she said.
Kaylee Osowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.