Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Slow Roasted Salmon Recipe

Copper River King Salmon
Go get yourself some Copper River King salmon. RIGHT NOW. I am not kidding. I don't believe there is a more delicious salmon than Copper River King also known as Chinook and the time to enjoy it is right now. The season begins in the middle of May when the fish are gorgeous orange, rich with healthy fats, including the highest level of prized omega 3 fatty acids. It has a delicate flavor and velvet texture that cannot be beat. The quality of the fish declines as the season progresses so get some at the peak of deliciousness. Like right now.

When cooking Copper River King you really want the fish to be the star. It doesn't need much fussing over. I prepared some this past week in various ways and here is what I would suggest, cook it either very quickly under the broiler or very slowly in a low oven. The slow cooking method yields a very creamy almost custardy texture that is super moist and succulent. I first learned about this style of cooking from a Jacques Pepin recipe but many other takes on this recipe exist. I like crispy salmon skin so I sear the fish first, then gently cook it in the oven set at only 200 degrees. It's important to check it often to make sure it doesn't overcook. A light dusting of smoky spices and a little salt and brown sugar lends a lovely color but doesn't obliterate the natural clean flavor of the fish. When making the spice rub, use the freshest ground spices, if they are over six months old, toss 'em out!

Smoky Slow Roasted Salmon

Copper River King salmon from Alaska is expensive, but a little goes a long way, just 4 ounces makes a satisfying serving. It's like the seafood equivalent of chocolate--luscious, creamy and melts in your mouth. I'd rather have a little high quality chocolate than all I can eat of the cheap stuff. Wild-caught Copper River King from Alaska is high in protein and low in saturated fat and is certified as sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council. Alaskan salmon are among the most intensively managed species, considered a "best choice" by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch. Delicious, healthy and sustainable! It doesn't get much better than that.

Slow Roasted Salmon


1 lb Copper River King salmon
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted and ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 mango, pitted, peeled and diced, a firm variety such as Tommy Atkins


In a small bowl combine the smoked paprika, garam masala, cumin, salt and sugar. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Coat the top of the salmon with a heaping teaspoon of spice rub. Rub it into the surface of the fish and shake off any extra. Cut into 4 portions.

Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat. When the pan is very hot, sear the salmon, skin side down for 2 minutes. Transfer to oven and bake until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 125 degrees, the temperature will continue to rise after you remove the fish from the oven. The total cooking time will depend on how thick the fish is, the rule of thumb is 10 minutes per inch. Top with a spoonful of mango and serve immediately.


More slow cooked salmon recipes:
Slow Cooked Salmon with Salsa Verde
Slow Roasted Salmon with Green Curry Paste
Slow Cooked Salmon with Creamy Leeks and Red Wine Butter
Slow Cooked Salmon with seasoning variations

My sincere thanks to the Copper River/PWS Marketing Association for providing me with a generous shipment of Copper River King Salmon!