Coho Salmon or “Silver” Salmon are the smaller, less fatty variety of Alaskan Salmon – typically weighing in at 6 to 12 pounds at capture. They are easily identifiable by the thinly skinned silver side panels and the dark bluish fins and top. They will spend between 2 to 3 years feasting on the ocean bounty before returning to the Copper River area to spawn.
And, once the hormones start kicking in and they enter fresh water, they transform to look like
The mouth becomes decidedly hooked and the color flushes brilliant reds….
I know some guys like that…. c r e e p y…
But we’re dealing with the silver guys…
As I’ve said, Coho Salmon are somewhat less fatty then Sockeye or King, which in turn gives them a much milder salmon-y flavor – and have been marketed as the “Salmon for people that don’t like salmon.” And like their bigger, behemoth cousins, the skin is entirely edible and somewhat less tough then the fattier fish.
A little about salads…
I love a good salad. And while I may dabble in deconstructed, post modern, vintage, organic, micro greens with balsamic foam – my taste in salad is decidedly 1980’s. Give me a perfectly executed Chop Salad, and I’m a happy camper. An iceberg wedge, bacon bits and some blue cheese crumbles make me weak at the knees. I want hot bacon dressing on my spinach salad, and slices of precisely charred, piping hot sir loin on my steak salad.
I’ve been making myself miserable these past few days trying to come up with something different to do with this latest shipment of Coho Salmon I received from Copper River Salmon*, and my brain kept circling around to “make a salad“, but thoughts of a rice salad with chunk-ed salmon, or something affected and high handed just wasn’t gel’n in my head. then I had an epiphany…
Render Unto Caesar…
Okay, its not that Caesar, but it evokes a much better image than some skinny guy with a bad comb-over working alive in a wooden bowl.
I decided to play around with the salad thought and came up with a Salmon Caesar Salad.
A couple of things about it…
No, I didn’t make my own dressing from scratch.
Is it too hard? No, not at all. But, my goal in what I do here is to try and get someone with maybe less skills than I have to try some of the things I come up with. If I start out with “Make a Caesar Dressing”, 60% of you would pass on to the next guy in line.
So, if you’re a purist, go ahead and make your own… from scratch… there are plenty of recipes floating around out there for that. (I doubt you’d be putting fried fish on a salad anyway….)
Right then, the salad…
1 – 10 Ounce Fillet Coho Salmon
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
2 Tablespoons Rice Flour
1/4 Cup Buttermilk
1 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds – Crushed
1 Tablespoon Coarse Mustard
Salt and Pepper
2 Ounces Oil
2 Cups Chopped Romaine
1/4 Cup Bottled Caesar Dressing
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 Egg Yolk – Raw
1 Scallion – Minced
1 Medium Skillet
Make the Dressing – in a small bowl, mix together the dressing, mayonnaise and egg yolk, beat until thick and homogeneous – set aside to chill
Make the batter – mix together the starch, flour, egg, buttermilk, fennel, and mustard until smooth
On medium heat, heat the oil in the skillet
Pat dry the fillet and divide into 2 pieces between the center line
Submerge the fillets in the batter and coat thoroughly
Fry skin side down for 3 to 4 minutes (or until the batter is golden brown)
Carefully turn over and cook the other side another 3 minutes
Place 1/2 the greens on each place and retrieve the dressing from the fridge
Drain the salmon briefly and place on the bed of greens
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the dressing over each fillet and top with the scallion and freshly grated Parmesan cheese
*For legal purposes, I am disclosing that for my participation in this year’s Fresh Catch Crew, Copper River Wild Salmon is supplying me with fresh fish for use in the recipes posted.