Last month we led off our two-part “Best Alaska Salmon Recipes” blog with delicious blackened salmon tacos and a healthy BBQ salmon salad, both of which were created by our talented Executive Chef Christopher Lee. Because the team here at Nushagak River Adventures uses some of the best packaging equipment in the world, you’ll be returning home with several boxes of perfectly-filleted frozen salmon. And as we stated last month, Lee’s been kind enough to share five of his best salmon recipes. Remember to try each recipe after next year’s unforgettable trip to Fish the Nush! Without further ado, here are three more spectacular Alaska salmon recipes.
Honey Bourbon Glazed Salmon
Just reading the phrase “honey bourbon glazed” makes us salivate a tad. Executive Chef Christopher Lee has outdone himself with this masterpiece. Each bite of glazed salmon will send your taste buds down a delectable Alaskan culinary journey.
Line two sheet pans with foil for easy cleanup. Spray both pans with cooking spray or rub lightly with oil.
Combine ⅓ cup honey, ⅓ cup bourbon whiskey, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 ½ tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp whole grain mustard, 1 tbsp finely-minced ginger, 1 finely-minced medium garlic clove, and ½ tsp crush red pepper in a small pan.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring continuously.
Reduce the heat to medium, and maintain a steady boil for about five minutes, stirring frequently. You’ll need to take the pan off of the burner, and let the bubbling settle down to check it. The mixture should be syrupy and reduced to about one half. It will get a bit thicker as it cools. You may need to boil it for another minute or two to achieve the syrupy consistency.
Add 1 tbsp of fresh lime juice to the mixture and stir well. Pour half of this mixture into a small bowl, leave the rest in the pan.
Preheat the oven to high broil. Position an oven rack about seven inches from the broiling element.
Season four six-ounce salmon fillets lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides. Brush with sauce on the top and sides.
Place the filets on a prepared sheet pan, and place the pan under the broiler. Broil for five minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the fillets to another pan, flipping each fillet to the opposite side. This will prevent smoking when you return the pan to oven. Brush the second side with the remaining sauce.
Return it to the broiler for four minutes. If the top is not nicely browned and slightly charred in places, move the rack up one level and cook for another 15 seconds to a minute. Watch carefully at this point so that the salmon doesn’t burn.
Serve with fresh lime wedges.
Salmon BLT with Citrus Mayo
It doesn’t get much easier than a BLT, yet Executive Chef Christopher Lee’s clever addition of perfectly-seasoned salmon and a to-die-for citrus mayo makes this sandwich one of the best Alaska salmon recipes around.
In a mixing bowl, whisk ½ cup mayo, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, ½ tsp chopped chives, ½ tsp chopped fresh dill, and salt and pepper to taste.
Zest a lemon, lime, and orange, and add the zest to the mayo.
Squeeze the juice from the lemon, lime, and orange. Add a tsp of each juice to the mayo mixture and set aside.
Separately, whisk 1 tsp honey, 2 tbsp olive oil, the remaining citrus juices, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.
Add 2 salmon fillets to the bowl and marinate for 2 hours.
After two hours, grill or broil the salmon.
Assemble the BLTs with the citrus mayo, butter lettuce, and bacon on toasted bread. Each BLT should include the citrus mayo, one piece of butter lettuce, two strips of bacon, and a salmon fillet on two slices of toasted multi-grain bread.
Smoked Salmon “Candy”
Smoked salmon candy is a delicacy that most folks from the lower 48 states will never have the privilege of eating. We still dream about slowly biting into that first fleck of smoked salmon, perfectly seasoned and slathered in maple syrup. Our visiting anglers are always blown away by Lee’s “candy,” one of the best Alaska salmon recipes within 100 miles.
Find a lidded container large enough to hold 5 lbs of skin-on salmon collars, bellies, or fillets cut into 2-inch thick strips. Tupperware works well.
Lay down a layer of the mixture about 1/4 inch deep. Put a layer of salmon down on this, skin side up.
Cover the salmon with more of the mixture. If you need a second layer of salmon, make sure the layer of the mixture between them is thick enough so that the pieces of salmon are not touching. Basically, you are burying the salmon in the mixture.
Cover and let cure in the fridge overnight.
Remove the salmon from the cure, which will get wet, and briefly rinse the fish under cold water.
Pat dry with a paper towel and set the salmon on a drying rack, skin side down. Let them dry in a breezy place for 2 hours, or in the fridge, uncovered, overnight. You are doing this to form a pellicle on the salmon, which helps it smoke properly, this is a crucial step.
Traditionally, salmon candy is cold-smoked for several days, which is ideal. However, smoking at 180 degrees for at least 3 hours, and up to 8 hours, if you like your salmon candy harder and smokier, is a great alternative.
Every 90 minutes to 2 hours, paint the salmon with maple or birch syrup. This also helps to remove any albumen (the icky white stuff) that can form between the fish flakes if your smoker gets too hot too fast.
When the salmon looks good and lacquered, typically about 4 hours, remove it to the drying racks again and paint it one last time with maple or birch syrup. Allow it to cool to room temperature before storing. Salmon candy will last a week in the fridge, longer if vacuum sealed. It freezes well, too.
Nushagak River Adventures
Now that you have a taste of what Executive Chef Christopher Lee and his talented culinary team are serving here at Nushagak River Adventures Lodge, we hope that you give us a call at 1-877-876-NUSH (6874) to learn more about one of the premier Alaska salmon fishing lodges. Check out these other great salmon recipes.