How to Cure the Salmon You Catch on Your Fishing Trips in Alaska

Alaska fishing trips

Of all the types of fish anglers look forward to pulling out of the deep, nature’s variety of salmon must be said to be the most treasured. A beautiful fish that likes to fight on the line, there are few sights more pleasing to a fisherman than pulling a sockeye or chinook from the water, knowing full well that in a few hours time that fish will be on the plate.

Salmon are so well loved that they help drive the famous Alaskan fishing trips industry. According to Alaska: History and Cultural Studies, fishing trips to Alaska account for a significant portion of the $1.5 billion the Last Frontier generates through tourism each year. If you’re looking to experience salmon fishing in Alaska, you’ll need to know how to treat the fish right once you’ve pulled it up in order to maximize flavor and preserve the healthy nature of the fish.

Salmon Are Said to Be Among the Healthiest Types of Seafood
One of the most important things to consider when preparing your prized fish from salmon fishing in Alaska is how to preserve the healthy qualities of the fish. As the BBC’s Good Food writes, salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that is said to increase brain health, improve brain function, and help in the recovery of joints after an injury.

Unfortunately, many of the popular cooking methods for salmon, from frying to baking with a stick of butter and boat-load of breadcrumbs, serve only to cut out the natural flavor of this fish, while making it a junk food that will expand the waistline. Preserving the flavor of this perfect fish and keeping its health properties intact is all about one preparation method: curing.

How to Prepare Salmon Caught on Fishing Trips in Alaska, without Making It Unhealthy
Curing has been used for centuries by people in the colder regions of the world, from Norway to Alaska, as a way to preserve salmon. Gravlax, for example, is a type of Norwegian cured salmon using salt and sugar to preserve the flesh. Luckily, making your own version of gravlax is not too hard, as this recipe adapted from Men’s Health demonstrates.


  • The filet of wild caught salmon
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 package of fresh dill from the supermarket
  • 1 ounce of your favorite vodka

Putting It Together:

  1. Place all ingredients, minus the salmon, into a food processor. Pulse the processor until a paste is formed.
  2. After patting the filet dry, cover the flesh side of the filet in the salt mixture, and tightly wrap the salmon in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of parchment paper.
  3. Place the wrapped filet on a cooling wrack placed inside of a hotel pan. Lay a brick or other heavy weight on top of the filet, and place it in your refrigerator to cure for 72 hours.

After 72 hours, you may slice the fish thinly, serving with a bagel and cream cheese, or atop your favorite egg white omelette. Just remember, the fish should always be the star of the show.

Do you regularly go salmon fishing in Alaska? How do you prepare the fish after your trip? Give us your tips in the comments below! See this reference for more. More on this.

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