What's In Season: Copper River King Salmon
In Alaska, the Copper River's glacier-fed pristine waters, famous for their aggressive rapids, rush into Prince William Sound. Every late spring and early summer, with a season that officially begins on May 15, it's time to catch the wild and wonderful King salmon that swim this rugged river. Their large bodies are filled with fat and healthy Omega-3 oils and these fish are prized for their sweet and complex flavor.
Dan Kim of Alaskan Feast Seafood at The Bronx Fulton Fish Market explained why these salmon stand out: "First, these are King salmon, the premier eating salmon. Second, in spawning season, nature prepares these fish to swim thousands of miles. But since the Copper River is only 300 miles long, these King salmon get to their destination still robust and full of fats and healthy oils, making them an excellent choice."
This year's season has opened and the catch is now arriving in fish stores but supplies are precious, small and expensive. You can find this fresh fish at our best fishmongers but be prepared to pay $20 to $40 a pound for a thick, deep red fillet. Okay -- this may not be a fish for every day eating, but if you're a fish lover, instead of going out to dinner, buy a pound of Copper River King Salmon. Leave the skin on and dust lightly with a little salt and fresh ground pepper. Heat to blazing your best cast iron skillet and cook about 3 minutes a side, skin side first.
Add nothing else but perhaps a meticulously made green salad or a few roasted little Yukon Gold potatoes.
In New York, you can find Copper River King Salmon at Dorian's Seafood on Manhattan's Upper East Side and in Brooklyn at Fish Tales in Cobble Hill. The Lobster Place in the Chelsea Market and Whole Foods sometimes also may have it but call first.