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Alaska sockeye salmon season is here!

July 2, 2013
By Katy Wilhelmi , The Journal

These days, everywhere you turn, you hear health professionals encouraging consumption of "fatty fish," like salmon, due to their omega-3 fats and associated health benefits. Fatty fish are a rich source of DHA and EPA omega-3 fats which are associated with a lower risk of heart disease and may be beneficial in conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, eczema, asthma, depression and bipolar disorder. Additionally, omega-3 fats are critical in the formation of the brain and eyes of developing fetuses.

It's easy to understand why we'd all benefit from regularly (at least twice per week) consuming fatty fish. Fatty fish, like salmon, are an excellent source of high-quality protein, and are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. A serving of salmon contains more Vitamin D than a glass of milk, another nutrient many of us are lacking in. There is no better time to start eating salmon than right now because it's Alaska salmon season!

Alaska sockeye salmon are considered the best and are prized by high-end restaurants for their succulent, rich, flavorful and silky flesh. Why are these salmon so spectacular? All wild salmon are born in freshwater and migrate to the salty seas to mature. Eventually, they return to their home streams to spawn - and because they stop eating prior to and during the trip, they must store extra fat to fuel egg production and provide energy during the trip.

Article Photos

Katy Wilhelmi

Cooking salmon can be very simple and there are a number of ways to prepare it. Alaska sockeye salmon is so delicious you'll want to let the flavor shine in all its glory. Roasting is the perfect method to bring out the best of the fish's natural flavor. At our house, the most common way to prepare salmon is on the grill. The recipe below is my family's favorite way to enjoy salmon. For all you foodies out there who want something less simple, try a few of the flavor combos listed as variations, in place of the glaze.

Katy Wilhelmi, RD, LD is a registered dietitian at the New Ulm Hy-Vee Food Store.

Fact Box

Sesame Salmon

Makes 4 servings.

All you need:

4 (4 ounce) fresh salmon


Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons brown


1 teaspoon mustard (any

type you have)

2 teaspoons lite soy sauce

(lower sodium)

teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

All you do:

1. Season salmon on both sides with salt and pepper. Place on grill or in pan over medium heat. Cook approximately 4 minutes on one side, then flip.

2. Meanwhile, stir together brown sugar, mustard, soy sauce and ginger. When salmon is flipped, evenly spread glaze over the four fillets as the underside cooks. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Oven-Roasted Salmon with Avocado, Tomato & Mango Salsa: Combine 1 diced avocado, 2/3 cup chopped mango, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro and teaspoon salt. Top roasted salmon with mango salsa and serve.

Salsa recipe adapted from:

Oven-Roasted Salmon with Horseradish, Walnut and Herbs: Combine 5 tablespoons creamy horseradish, 2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as chives, parsley, dill and/or tarragon) and 2 tablespoons softened Promise or Smart Balance spread. Prepare salmon as directed above, through step 3. Roast salmon for 5 minutes, remove from oven and spread mixture evenly over salmon fillets. Return to oven and continue roasting for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, until fish flakes apart when gently prodded with a paring knife. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Horseradish topping adapted from:



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