It’s common knowledge that in Portland, Salmon is King. When spring rolls around, salmon lovers begin to salivate. May is typically the start of the wild salmon season, which lasts roughly until November, depending on the variety. Wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest swim in waters from Alaska to northern California. After being born in fresh water, young salmon journey to the ocean where they’ll spend one to five years before returning to their birthplace to spawn.
The Columbia River on the border of Oregon and Washington is world-famous for its salmon fishing. Consequently, the fishing season spans from spring through fall. Chinook salmon (called “springers”) caught in May in the waters of the Oregon’s Willamette River. In addition, they are considered some of the most delicious, owing to their high oil content.
Wild salmon can be prepared many ways: baked, broiled, grilled, pan-seared, hot or cold smoked, and salt-cured. Unlike on the East Coast, where the majority of salmon are farm-raised, some 80% of Pacific salmon are wild-caught. Salmon may be one of the fattier fish. However, it contains high levels of good omega-3 fatty acids plus vitamins D and B12. Consequently, salmon is actually really healthy for you.
Look for wild salmon, when it’s in season, on the menus of downtown Portland restaurants. Restaurants such as Noisette (at the corner of Vaughn St. and NW 23rd Pl.). Their Oregon Chinook (aka King) salmon is served with chard, morels, local asparagus and parsley-mussel jus. Higgins restaurant on SW Broadway partners with Seafood Producers Cooperative, a group of hook-and-line fishermen in Sitka, Alaska. This means that the menu nets frequent seasonal additions of wild Coho and King salmon. Priding itself on its kitchen’s commitment to sustainable seafood, is Bamboo Sushi on NW 23rd Avenue. They feature wild Alaskan Coho and King salmon on its list of nigiri and sashimi. If you’re a lover of Salmon, come to Portland. Find out for yourself why our Salmon is the King of the Pacific Northwest.