5 salmon recipes from Seattle chefs

5 chefs from the heart of salmon country share their secrets for cooking the West's favorite fish

Pancetta wrapped salmon kebabs

Photo by Leigh Beisch; styling by Dan Becker

Pancetta Salmon Kebabs with Parsley Vinaigrette

This mouth-watering recipe comes from Christine Keff, chef at Seattle's Flying Fish. She wraps salmon in pancetta for a smoky flavor, then accents its richness with top-quality olive oil and vinegar.

You’ll need 8 (10-in.) skewers; soak wooden ones in water 4 hours to prevent burning.

Recipe: Pancetta Salmon Kebabs with Parsley Vinaigrette



Japanese salt grilled salmon

Photo by Leigh Beisch; styling by Dan Becker

Salmon Shioyaki

Chef Taichi Kitamura of Kappo Tamura recommends adding shioyaki—Japanese for “salt-grilled”—to your repertoire. This technique, also the name of the dish, creates salmon with an umami-flavored crust and a crispy skin.

Recipe: Salmon Shioyaki


Grilled king salmon with vegetables

Photo by Leigh Beisch; styling by Dan Becker

Grilled King Salmon with Asparagus, Morels, and Leeks

Indulge! Chef Kevin Davis of Steelhead Diner and Blueacre Seafood cooks fat-rich king with cream and splurge-worthy vegetables.

Recipe: Grilled King Salmon with Asparagus, Morels, and Leeks

Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Dill Salad

Photo by Leigh Beisch; styling by Dan Becker

Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Salad

Chef Maria Hines of Tilth suggests pairing hot with cool. Top fish just off the grill with a refreshing salad.

Recipe: Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Salad



Pickled salmon salad

Photo by Leigh Beisch; styling by Dan Becker

Seattle Pickled Salmon Salad

“King is so intense, you feel like a bear, gorging on your fish," says Lark chef John Sundstrom. "But sockeye is a bit leaner, and has a really fresh taste—I could eat a ton of it.” Try this preparation as an appetizer with just bread and radishes, as the chef does.

Recipe: Seattle Pickled Salmon Salad

salmon guide

Photo by Leigh Beisch; styling by Dan Becker

A cook's guide to salmon

5 species to enjoy (we all love king, but it’s only 1 percent of the catch):

  • Coho (silver): A king lookalike, with delicate flavor, orangered flesh, and larger fillet size. Buy it frozen, or thawed in the fish case; $10 to $17 per lb.
  • Sockeye: A rich, complex flavor; high oil content; and deep red color. The second most abundant species, after pink. Widely available frozen; $10 to $12 per lb.
  • King (chinook): The Kobe beef of the sea, with the highest oil content, rich flavor, and firm, succulent texture. Fresh or frozen; $15 to $32 per lb.
  • Keta (chum): Mildflavored with low oil content, a firm texture, and pink flesh. Try keta any way you’d cook a mild white fish. Increasingly available frozen (we even found it at Target); $5 to $6 per lb.
  • Pink: Rosy pink color, with the least fat of any salmon; texture similar to trout. A plus for people who like mild fish. Most gets canned. Try it in salmon cakes. $2.29 for a 15oz. can.

sustainable salmon

Photo by Leigh Beisch; styling by Emma Star Jensen

7 tips to sustain our salmon supply

Amy Grondin, a Northwest sustainable fisheries consultant, shares ideas to help salmon thrive:

  • 1. Eat all five species (previous page).
  • 2. Buy frozen or locally caught in season—they often have a smaller carbon footprint than fresh, shipped fish.
  • 3. Choose wild, especially from Alaska, over farmed. Alaska has the healthiest salmon habitat.
  • 4. Buy organic foods The residue from pesticides and fertilizers pollutes streams.
  • 5. Conserve water and electricity Using less water for lawns and hydropower frees up more water for fish.
  • 6. Look for the Salmon-Safe label on Northwest produce and wine (salmonsafe.org).
  • 7. Join a cause Restore habitat West-wide: Trout Unlimited. Restore Northwest habitat: Save Our Wild Salmon; Long Live the Kings. Protect Bristol Bay, Alaska, site of a proposed open-pit mine and home to one-third of the world’s salmon: save​bristolbay.org

Printed from: