Swimming in Salmon

It’s not really a bad problem to have; too much salmon.  I mean, 99% of the world would love to have that problem.  Especially since it is wild Alaskan salmon, the best in the world.  It’s like saying “I have too many mangos” or “I have too much ice cream.”  Only better because salmon is one of the worlds healthiest foods, full of omega-3 fats, vitamin B12, protein, and other great stuff that helps prevent cancer, while supporting cardiovascular health, improving mood and cognition, and benefiting our joints and eyes.

Yet somehow every spring when the snow starts melting and fishing season seems right around the corner, there is a panic to get rid of what is in the freezer to make room for fresh fish.

Salmon Pie

“Hey, you guys need any salmon?”  Matt asks a friend who is over for dinner.

“No, I was about to ask you the same question,” he answers.

Someone across the room pipes in, “I’ve got extra fish, who needs some?”  Uh, nobody, apparently.

“Yeah, I’m getting pretty sick of salmon.” someone else says.

Do I break it to them now that we are having salmon for dinner or wait?

It’s not that the salmon tastes bad.  We have found that with proper care, the fish holds up in the freezer fantastically, and there is absolutely no freezer burn.  My mother told me the other day that she just ate some salmon from 2010 and it was still perfect. Our care regime is this:

  1. Salmon Sausage

    Bleed the fish right after you kill it.

  2. Gut it as soon as possible, within 6 hours.
  3. Filet the fish without getting water on the flesh.  Water should never touch the filets.  This is key in preventing freezer burn.
  4. Wrap the filets in plastic wrap, place in food saver bag and seal.
  5. Freeze fast by turning freezer down, placing fish in bottom of freezer and not putting in too much at once.

We stocked up extra last summer because we were sure we would need it.  But then Matt got a caribou and we bought half a pig, and we butchered some chickens… so now we have to eat 2.5 filets of salmon a week before fishing season rolls around again.  That is about 2.5 pounds per week, each, or one serving a day.

Salmon Bacon

Somehow we keep coming up with new ways to eat it.  In the last month alone we’ve eaten salmon tacos, salmon enchiladas, salmon pie, salmon curry, salmon burgers, salmon cakes, salmon chowder, salmon sausage, salmon bacon for breakfast, salmon salad sandwiches for lunch, smoked salmon for appetizers, followed by mustard-crusted salmon.  I think I’m starting to grow scales!  But it is always tasty and I have to remind myself how lucky I am to have such an amazing food in abundance!



5 thoughts on “Swimming in Salmon

  1. Michelle Martin

    Saskiya, thanks for coming down to the KP to share your insights & experiences! And reminding you to post the recipes for salmon sausage & bacon when you get a chance. My husband gets sick of salmon pretty quickly, but I’m pretty sure he’d eat those!

  2. debbie

    Canned salmon tastes lots better then freezer salmon and it lasts for years. And I saw Sams Club has their cases of 1/2 pints jars down to just $7.5 a case last week! I already have a about 150 jars of salmon from previous years. We plan to jar even more this summer. I am eating 2008 salmon and it is delicious in a sandwich.

  3. thomas cappiello

    I can (jars) salmon too, to balance the issue of older salmon still in the freezer. By canning it, I can still enjoy it and make it last for at least a couple of years. I take as good as care as possible with my salmon, and even after 8 mos. the quality does deteriorate. I only keep my own dip-net fish or buy it directly from set netters on the Kenai or Cordova, rarely do it put up salmon caught angling, those are eaten as soon as possible. Never let a dead salmon sit in water for any amount of time, or try to keep it alive on a stringer. I bleed them immediately, put on ice and take to a processor within hours where it is blast frozen and vac packed. It can’t be handled any better. Although the quality is ok within one year, just not as enjoyable. My suggestion to the world is to reduce the gluttony of over stocking salmon every summer. I do this too, its hard not to, and enevitably end up with stuff I just don’t want to eat.


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