Sockeye is the favorite species of many Alaskans, thanks to its bold but non-fishy flavor.
For the same reason, sockeye is more than a match for strong flavors like garlic and herbs.
Alaskans also call it “red” salmon, thanks to its uniquely deep red color, acquired from dining on tiny crustaceans such as krill.
That red hue comes from the highly healthful carotenoid antioxidant called astaxanthin, which is produced by the algae that crustaceans like krill and shrimp eat.
Sockeye abounds in omega-3s, providing 1,500-2,000mg (mostly EPA and DHA) per 6-oz serving. This is 6 to 8 times the minimum recommended daily EPA+DHA intake (250mg).
And, thanks to their diet — which differs from that of other wild salmon — sockeye is also the richest known food source of vitamin D. Each 6-oz serving averages a whopping 1,110 IU (in the optimal D3 form), or almost double the adult RDA of 600 IU.
Grilled (or Roasted) Sockeye with Herbs & Garlic
Prep time 15 minutes; Cook time 13 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
- 1-1/2 pounds wild Alaskan sockeye salmon (skin-on), thawed
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil
- Organic extra virgin olive oil or cooking spray
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons finely minced fresh garlic
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs* (or 1 Tablespoon dried herbs)
*Use whatever herbs you like or have on hand, such as dill, basil, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, cilantro, oregano or thyme.
- Remove pre-thawed salmon from refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking.
- Heat grill (or roasting oven) to 375°F.
- Cut 2 pieces of wide, heavy-duty aluminum foil about 6 inches longer than the salmon side.
Stack the foil pieces (shiny side down) on a baking sheet and brush (or spray) generously with cooking oil, preferably extra-virgin olive oil.
- Place the salmon, skin side down, in the middle of the foil. Fold the foil sides and ends up (1 to 2 inches) to make a shallow pan around the salmon, leaving at least a 1-inch margin around the fish. Season salmon with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, mix together the wine, butter, garlic and herbs. Spoon the mixture over the top of the salmon, drizzling with any remaining liquid.
- Carefully transfer the foil pan to the center of the preheated grill or roasting oven. Do not cover the salmon with foil or close the foil over the salmon.
- Close grill cover and cook for 8 to 12 minutes (check after 10 minutes), cooking just until fish is lightly translucent in the center — do not cook to well done, because it will finish cooking from retained heat. (Variation: Roast in an oven preheated to 375°F, cooking 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly translucent in the center.)
- Remove from the grill or oven and let rest a few minutes before serving.
Recommended wine pairing: Chateau Ste Michelle, Columbia Valley Chardonnay or Riesling