There’s just something about a meal of wild Alaksan seafood that is so utterly satisfying when you’re dining al fresco, in the ease of your backyard or precariously perched on an urban fire escape, steps from the grill or kitchen in which it was prepared.
Sure you can simply coat your seasoned protein of choice in a bit of oil and grill it til just done, to serve with a wedge of lemon. That’s a perfect meal right there. But there are some days that you’ll want to make the most of the gorgeous weather by putting in some time and thought into your next afternoon or evening with wild Alaskan seafood. Most of the following recipes are grilled, and can be prepared either on an outdoor grill or on a cast-iron grill pan indoors.
Here are 10 recipes made with wild-caught Alaskan seafood that are perfect for dining outdoors:
Tori Avey’s recipe for halibut skewers, dressed in a mildly-spiced mix inspired by the flavors of Sephardic cuisine, needs about a half hour to marinate. They’ll take about 10 minutes to grill up. Serve with a fresh squeeze of lemon or a side of tzatziki.
Cod Skewers with Chimichurri
Making the most of summer harvests, this recipe from Melissa d’Arabian loads up skewers with cod and zucchini, marinated in a simple lemon, garlic, and onion marinade. A fresh basil chimichurri finishes off the dish.
Cedar Plank Salmon
This sweet and citrusy cedar plank salmon from Billy Parisi needs about 30 minutes to marinate in its coating of sugar and citrus zest; you can soak the cedar planks while you’re waiting. Keep in mind that this recipe was written for wild king salmon, so if you’re using a leaner fillet like sockeye or coho, check on its doneness around the 18-minute mark to ensure that you’re not overcooking it. If you’re cooking indoors, you can mimic this particular preparation in an oven by making a few adjustments per some of the suggestions from Wildwood Grilling, and checking its doneness at the 12-minute mark.
Jerked Cedar Plank Halibut
This Caribbean-spiced halibut fillet from Fine Cooking takes to the fire like a dream. Adjust the spice as you like — if you don’t have habanero or scotch bonnet peppers, or simply aren’t crazy about the heat they bring, use your favorite chili powder. As for the banana leaves, it’s good to have them, as they’ll help to protect the halibut from the heat; you can usually pick them up at a grocer who carries ingredients for Latino or South Asian cuisine.
Wild Cod Ceviche*
Wild cod is a blank palette for an uncomplicated ceviche in this recipe from Melissa Clark. You’ll just need to plan ahead to account for some low-maintenance preparation: If you get your cod fillet into its acidic lime juice marinade first thing in the morning, it’ll be a ready little meal to enjoy in the warmth of the afternoon. If you’re taking it to-go, pack it in a cooler so that it stays refreshingly cold for you until you’re ready to dig in.
Thai Fish Burgers
For this recipe from Saveur, fillets of white fish — we suggest cod, pollock, or rockfish — are pureed with a Thai curry paste, kaffir lime leaves, and cilantro to create spiced patties that you can throw on the grill. If you don’t have access to kaffir lime leaves, you can improvise with some lemon and lime zest to mimic their aromatic citrus flavor.
Grilled Spot Prawns with Early Summer Salad
Leave the shells on your spot prawns for this recipe from Food & Wine Magazine, because they’re going straight onto the grill. Simply seasoned with salt and pepper, the prawns take three minutes per side to cook up. Serve alongside a salad of thinly-shaved, ice-cold summer veggies.
Skewered Spot Prawns with Saffron-Garlic Butter
Though this luxurious recipe for Edible San Diego calls for head-on spot prawns, it’ll still work just fine without them. Just leave the shells on when you skewer the prawns. Enjoy hot off the grill with a drizzle of saffron-garlic butter and wedge of lemon.
Miso-Mirin Glazed Grilled Scallops
Mark Bittman’s recipe for grilled scallops is foolproof — just make sure not to leave the grill, because no one likes an overcooked scallop! Load the scallops on skewers with a coating of vegetable oil, and grill no more than two or three minutes per side. When they’re nearly done, brush on the miso-mirin glaze to finish, garnishing with toasted sesame seeds.
Grilled Scallions and Scallops with Lemon-Herb Sauce
The Washington Post’s recipe for grilled scallops and scallions has a Mediterranean flair with a fresh herb and lemon sauce to drizzle on at the end. Again, with fresh scallops, you only need to leave them on the grill for two to three minutes per side.
* Though the fish in ceviche is “cooked” by acid, it is still considered a raw form of seafood. Officially, we cannot recommend that you eat our salmon raw; and are required to inform you that consuming raw or undercooked seafood and shellfish may increase your risk of foodborne illness. There's a physiological change that wild salmon experience when they move from fresh water to salt water (and back again), which makes them more susceptible to parasites found in fresh water. While we follow modern flash-freezing processes that help to kill off the parasites, we definitely recommend cooking our salmon before eating it. Here's an article with a few more details on our thoughts behind this.