Guests expected: 6
“Having access to wild Alaskan salmon is amazing,” says best-selling cookbook author Kim Sunée, who moved to Anchorage seven years ago. She loves to serve salmon as an entire glorious fillet, with rice, lettuce, cilantro, and a crunchy topping like bean sprouts or cucumbers, so people can have them as sides or use them to make their own ssam(Korean-style wraps). “It’s pretty, fresh, and great for those who aren’t eating gluten. And because they make their own bites, it’s more convivial.”
But it all starts with the salmon. Right before fishing season begins in Anchorage, the locals clean out their freezers and give away armfuls of last season’s still-top-quality fish. “I’m always happy to take it. And I’m always looking for new ways to cook it,” says Sunée. That extends to freshly caught salmon too: She sears thick slices and seasons them with lemon, smoked salt, and good olive oil. Or tops them with jalapeño, lime, mint, parsley, and toasted pistachios. And, she adds, “Leftovers are excellent in breakfast tacos and midnight pastas, chowders, salads, and dips!”
This twist, flavored with the mellow Korean-style fermented red chile paste called gochujang, gives the fish an alluring spicy-sweet depth. It’s based on a recipe in Sunée’s most recent book, Everyday Korean: Fresh, Modern Recipes for Home Cooks, written with Seung Hee Lee.
Recipes: Grilled Crisp-Skinned Salmon with Gochujang Marinade
Fresh Bean Sprout Banchan