Jenn’s Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Salad

September 15, 2014

It’s only fitting that we kick off #5days5ways with a recipe from Jenn and Steve Kurian, the indomitable fishermen behind Wild For Salmon. But first, let me introduce you to Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon.

Emma Frisch Jenn’s Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Salad Recipe

This week we have an extraordinary lineup of chefs from around the country who have generously offered to share a recipe, including Tom Douglas, Kyle Mendenhall, Barton SeaverRob Kinneen, Michael Leviton and Nicole Gaffney. Each of these chefs celebrates the most flavorful and sustainably produced ingredients through their restaurants, books, blogs, appearances and participation in national networks like Chefs Collaborative. Apart from cooking, they share another special thing in common: a love affair with Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon. I’ll be unraveling that story here at Frisch Kitchen for the next 10 days. That’s right, this ingredient is getting the spotlight for #10days10ways!

Emma Frisch Jenn’s Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Salad Ingredient

Here’s why. Bristol Bay is home to one of the largest commercial sockeye salmon fisheries in the world. It’s where the most nutrient-rich, coral-bright salmon comes from, and represents a way of life for hundreds of generations of Native Alaskan families. This centuries-old food-shed and one of the most stunning natural regions in the the country is at stake because of a new development, the proposed Pebble Mine. This development would be one of the largest mines in the world, with dams and pollution at the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers, two of the eight major rivers that feed Bristol Bay. The results would be devastating, and I for one, would be an unhappy eater (not to mention the hundreds of thousands of fishermen and families that depend on this habitat for sustenance). But there’s good news!

We can Save Bristol Bay. We hope this campaign will make your taste buds so Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon-crazy that you’ll be motivated to leave a comment with the Environmental Protection Agency. They want to hear from you before September 19th! Our #10days10ways will lead up to the end of the public commenting period, just in time for the Chefs Collaborative National Summit. Many of these great chefs will merge minds and cooking chops in Boulder, CO to continue building a healthier and more vibrant food system. And there will be salmon!

So without further adieu, let me introduce Jenn and Steve Kurian, who take us back to the source: Bristol Bay. Jenn and Steve are fishermen(women), and spend every summer pulling in the catch. When my friend Elizabeth Herendeen introduced their Community Supported Fishery (CSF) to me, it changed my seafood-life in landlocked Ithaca. Twice a year, their truck rolls into town with a bounty of catch from their summers on the boat in Bristol Bay. They freeze a wide variety of fish upon harvest to preserve the quality and flavor for delivery. Their seafood is by far the best I’ve had. In fact, I don’t think I truly appreciated salmon before sampling the astonishing array of Wild Alaskan Salmon products they offer. They shared a few words with me to kick off this campaign and introduce their recipe:

As fishermen of Bristol Bay, AK we are of a select few who are lucky enough to experience one of nature’s greatest phenomenons.  Bristol Bay is home to not only 40+ million salmon; it supports hundreds of species of animals, it’s the livelihood of Alaska’s communities, and it’s a renewable food source for millions of people (and animals too)!

This ecosystem is the lifeline for the sockeye salmon especially, because of the sockeye’s unique life cycle between lakes, rivers, and the ocean.

Being part of this age old tradition is truly an honor.  We respect and appreciate all Bristol Bay has to offer…even while fishing with winds reaching 50+ knots 🙂

This sockeye salmon salad recipe was created one the boat many summers ago.  It continues to be one of our favorites, on and off the boat.


Jenn’s Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Salad

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This recipe is a staple for us during the busy fishing season. It’s fast, healthy and delicious!


  • Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon – 1 lbs
  • Olive oil – 1 tablespoons
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Freshly ground black pepper – 1 teaspoon
  • Red or white onion – 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • Mayonnaise – 1 cup
  • Apple – 1 tart apple, diced
  • Raisins – 1/2 cup, substitute with cranberries
  • Chopped nuts – 1/2 cup, walnuts and pecans work great!


  1. Season the salmon to taste with olive oil, pepper and salt.
  2. Broil the salmon – skin side down – for 8 minutes (or until cooked to desired doneness). Remove salmon from the oven and let cool. While salmon is cooling mix the other ingredients (onion through nuts) together in a bowl.
  3. Once the salmon is cooled, flake the salmon into a large mixing bowl and add in the other ingredients.
  4. Serve on a bed of greens or in a wrap or sandwich. It’s great on crackers too!

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