Pink salmon has a lower fat content and milder taste than most sub-species of salmon. Along with a short two-year life cycle that’s correlated to lower mercury levels, this type of wild salmon is popular with people who like to eat salmon on a near daily basis. Fortunately, there’s no bad way to cook pink salmon. Get ideas and cooking tips to enjoy it baked, grilled, broiled, or poached.
How to Bake and Grill Pink Salmon
The smaller, thinner fillets of pink salmon make it easier to cook all the way through without overcooking. If don’t like seafood with an especially strong fishy taste but still want a healthy protein, then pink salmon can be a great choice. With its softer texture, pink salmon is a perfect choice for stews, chowders, pasta—or when paired with a second complimentary protein.
Like any salmon, pinks can be baked, grilled, broiled, or pan-seared. The lower fat content of pink salmon means there’s less protection for the meat against the heat of the cooking element and thus less room for error. For this reason, we recommend leaving the skin on when baking or grilling pink salmon fillets to help protect the meat. That said, pink salmon is known for putting its best foot forward when steamed or poached. We’ve heard local chefs at a Pink Salmon Festival event say that, when it comes to cooking, pink salmon shares more in common with trout than other types of salmon.
The Best Recipes for Cooking with Pink Salmon
If you know what you like, there is no wrong way to prepare pink salmon. If you’re looking for tips for cooking pink salmon, here are some recipes that we know work well with this species.
Poached Salmon with Tarragon Sauce
Roasted Pink Salmon (garlic, onion, and lime)
Buying, Storing and Cooking Pink Salmon
Because pink salmon is by far the most abundant type of wild Alaskan salmon, it’s often easier to find bulk pricing and steeper discounts, especially when contacting multiple salmon companies far ahead of time. Even a large family with a regular seafood habit may struggle to consume more than 50-75 pounds of salmon a year. Check out our resource page on pink salmon prices to learn more why the abundant supply of pink salmon doesn’t always translate to the lowest prices and best choices.
Along with restaurants and commercial food producers, large-scale event planning is another circumstance in which pink salmon may offer the best price and the best choice at the same time. By using a recipe that pairs well with the mild taste and soft texture of pink salmon, you can serve hundreds or even thousands of guests a delectable meal of wild Alaskan salmon for a very reasonable price.
Another thing that helps is that frozen pink salmon has a relatively long storage time. You can place a larger order and feel confident that the frozen salmon will last for at least 6 months and often more like 9 months if not longer. Smoking and canning pink salmon is another great way to preserve and enjoy salmon, while getting a better price with a larger order.
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