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.
“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.
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.
Photo by Leigh Beisch; styling by Emma Star Jensen
7 of7Photo 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. Choosewild, 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).