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Huge Bristol Bay Sockeye Harvest

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 09:30
Bristol Bay salmon fleet Bristol Bay salmon fleet Photo by Bob Waldrop

TASTE News Service, September 13, 2017 -- Bristol Bay, Alaska, which is home to the largest wild sockeye salmon fishery in the world, yielded a harvest of over 37 million sockeye salmon this year.

The projected harvest was 27 million sockeye. This allowable harvest of salmon ranks as one of the largest Bristol Bay sockeye harvests on record and is the third largest harvest in over forty years. Bristol Bay sockeye represents nearly 75% of all sockeye salmon harvested in Alaska this year.

The immense size of Bristol Bay's healthy wild salmon stocks is a testament to sustainable fisheries management practices that stretch back for generations. Bristol Bay sockeye salmon (also known as red salmon) are prized for their signature deep red flesh, firm texture and authentic wild taste. The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association is a fisherman-funded group with the mission to increase the value of the Bristol Bay fishery through education, quality outreach, and marketing. They have provided the following salmon burger recipe to TASTE readers and suggest you visit their website (https://bristolbaysockeye.org) where you can find other ideas such as creating a salmon poke bowl by cubeing fillets or by grilling hearty sockeye salmon citrus veggie skewers with herbed yogurt dipping sauce.

About the source

Bristol Bay sockeye salmon are hand-harvested by independent small boat fishermen to ensure quality. The Bristol Bay commercial driftnet fishery is made up of 1,800 permit holders. Each boat represents a small business, employing an additional 3-4 crew members, supporting over 14,000 jobs in this rural region of Alaska.


salmon whole fillet with herbs and lemon Picmonkey


sockeye salmon burgers with rhubarb chutney

Serves 4

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cooking Time 35 minutes



rhubarb chutney:

1 lb. rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)

1 cup dried dark red cherries

1/2 large red onion, peeled and diced (about 3/4 cup)

3/4 cup dried blueberries

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

1 cup light brown sugar, not packed

1/2 cup tart red cherry juice

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons honey


salmon burgers:

1 lb. wild Alaska sockeye salmon, boneless, skinless and divided

2 Tablespoons fresh minced cilantro

2 Tablespoons thinly sliced green onion

1 clove garlic, minced

juice of half a lime

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

cooking spray

4 favorite burger buns


garnishes, as desired:  red onion, lettuce, pickles



rhubarb chutney:

Combine rhubarb and all chutney ingredients except wine vinegar and honey in a large saucepan.  Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat about 20 minutes.  Stir in vinegar and honey.  Continue to cook and stir over medium-low heat another 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Reserve half of chutney for burgers; refrigerate remainder for another use.  (See chef’s comment below.)

salmon burgers:

Dice half of the salmon in 1/4-inch cubes; set aside in a medium bowl.  Pulse the other half in a mini food processor until smooth; stir into the diced salmon.

In a separate bowl, combine cilantro, green onion, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil and smoked paprika.  Add cilantro mixture to salmon, stirring gently just to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.

Shape salmon mixture into 4 patties, about 3/4 inch thick; chill until ready to cook.  Grill or sauté salmon patties (in a non-stick spray-coated pan) about 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Place on buns and top with a dollop of Rhubarb Chutney and desired garnishes.  Try it cubed into a refreshing sockeye salmon poke bowl, grilled into sockeye salmon burgers with rhubarb chutney, or with hearty grilled sockeye salmon citrus veggie skewers with herbed yogurt dipping sauce.

Last modified on Wednesday, 13 September 2017 09:30


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