Beyond Bagels: Creative Ways to Enjoy Your Smoked Sockeye Salmon

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Cooking + Recipes


How to Make the Most of Your Cold-Smoked Fish

Having a package of wild Alaksan smoked sockeye salmon in your fridge might have you instinctively reaching for a tub of cream cheese and an everything bagel. We won’t ever try to dissuade you from going with this tried-and-true trio of ingredients, but we do want to encourage you to expand your culinary repertoire. Wild Alaskan smoked sockeye salmon is a versatile protein to have in your kitchen, packed with flavor, pretty to look at, and ready to use.

Here are some creative ways to enjoy your wild Alaskan smoked sockeye salmon:

For a Fusion of Asian Flavors

While smoked salmon didn’t originate from South or East Asian cuisine, it’s found a happy home in the modern culinary tradition of Asian fusion. 

This Food Network recipe for a salmon and avocado poke bowl calls for raw salmon, but you can make quicker work of the dish by substituting smoked salmon, skipping the two-hour soy marinade altogether. Simply sprinkle a bit of soy sauce on at the end as a condiment, and, if you like, some minced pickled ginger. 

Fusing the unmistakable flavors of a Jewish delicatessen with a Vietnamese favorite, these smoked salmon summer rolls from Mind Over Munch make for a gluten-free breakfast, portable picnic, or light afternoon nosh. 

A noodle salad, spiked with flecks of smoked salmon, is a match made in fusion heaven. This recipe from The Kitchn is completely customizable: Add in whatever herbs or veg you like, whether that be scallions, shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers, or thin coins of quick-pickled radish. If you have another favorite cold noodle dish — perhaps take-out style sesame noodles — you can also add in smoked salmon as you like, adjusting the recipe a little to account for the extra dose of saltiness. 

Get a Little Fancy

The rich jewel-tones of smoked wild salmon are a beautiful addition to everyday favorites. But the flavor, really, is what can transform regular recipes into seriously special meals. 

Smoked salmon is an unexpected protein choice for a pasta dish, but BBC Good Food’s smoked salmon carbonara recipe hits all the right notes, matching the flavorful pops of salty salmon with the luxurious egg-cream-parm sauce that we expect in this decadent dish. It’s in UK measurements, so you’ll just need to make a few simple conversions to get the ingredients right. 

Elevate a humble side dish with Jamie Oliver’s potato salad with smoked salmon and horseradish-spiced crème fraîche, flavored with whatever fresh, green herbs you have on hand. Actually, with the addition of smoked salmon, this dish could even be a satisfying option for a rustic, packable lunch. 

Dress up your avocado toast with salty ribbons of smoked salmon. The creaminess of a mashed-up avocado balances the meaty flavor of the salmon, supercharging what’s already a favorite dish among healthy gourmands. Serious Eats makes a decadent version of this, swapping out cream cheese with tangy goat cheese and garnishing the dish with capers.

Sounds Like a Treat

Michael Symon’s recipe for a smoked salmon cheesecake — yes, cheesecake — does suggest serving it alongside bagels, but feel free to substitute crackers or even sliced cucumbers as vehicles to get slivers of this savory cake into your mouth. 

All it takes is one look at Food & Wine’s photo of their smoked salmon bread pudding to know that you must make this dish as soon as humanly possible. With big cubes of rye bed and a crème fraîche batter, finished off with curls of smoked salmon, the savory bread pudding will feel as sinful as dessert. 

The most adventurous of smoked salmon lovers may feel emboldened to integrate this salty catch into a cocktail. After all, people enjoy oyster shooters, put bacon and shrimp into their bloody Marys, and sometimes even use caviar to garnish their martinis, right? There was once even a distillery in Alaska that produced smoked salmon-infused vodka. We think VICE’s recipe for a bloody Caesar is a good place to start.


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