Each May in the Pacific Northwest brings copper river salmon season. It only lasts for about 3-4 weeks, so the season is short but worth the wait! Unlike other Salmon, this premium wild fish are considered the best of the best. The river salmon is higher in fat content than regular salmon giving this fish its buttery texture and rich flavor.
It’s also very expensive because of it’s short availability so chose your fish wisely! It’s a great time of year for this delicious fish to become available because you can pair it with all the great spring ingredients available. I grilled the salmon but you could sear it if you like. Here’s what I did with the copper river king salmon I bought this year…
Copper River Salmon with Spring Fava Beans and Rhubarb
- 1 1/2 cups dry sherry
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 1/2 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut on a bias
- 1 pound spring onions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 2 T. chopped ginger
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound fava beans, shelled
- Vegetable oil
- 4 6-ounce Copper River salmon fillets, skin-on
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
About fava beans…
Fava beans are the king of all beans; their flavor is smoother, sweeter and richer than most other beans. Fava beans are expensive and labor intensive. It have to be peeled twice, which means you’ll have to buy a lot more beans than you might think. One pound of un-peeled beans will give you roughly 1/3 cup of favas. It is DELICIOUS!!
First, remove the beans from the pods. There are about 4 to 5 beans per pod.
You’ll notice that the bean has a thick white-ish skin around it which also needs to be peeled off.
The easy way to remove the second skin is using a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, blanch the fava beans for a minute or until tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to an ice bath. This step softens the second skin, making it easier to remove.
With your fingers, squeeze the bean out from its skin. I know it is not easy but it is worth it!! The flavor is AMAZING!!
Drain the favas and add them to the onions.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the onions, cover, and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened (about 15 minutes). Add the chicken stock and thyme and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat until the onions are tender, about 8 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sherry with the sugar and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the rhubarb and ginger and cook until just tender, about 1 minute. Strain the cooking liquid in a colander set over a bowl, and reserve the rhubarb. Return the cooking liquid to the saucepan and boil over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes.
Light a grill or heat a grill pan. Lightly oil the salmon fillets and season with salt and pepper. Grill the salmon over a medium hot fire, skin side down, until the skin is very crisp, about 4 minutes. Turn the salmon and grill over a medium fire until barely cooked through, about 4 minutes more, depending on the thickness of the fish.
Rewarm the onions; add the lemon juice, rhubarb liquid and the cooked rhubarb. Cook over high heat, just until hot, about 1 minute.
Season to taste and spoon onto your plate, top with salmon…Yum!!
Beijos e tchau!!