It may be hard to believe but there are some anglers out there who don’t particularly enjoy eating salmon. That’s fine, and we’re here to help!

Like other wild caught animals, the flavor of salmon can vary from place to place, season to season, and can also be dependent upon where a salmon is in their life cycle. Fortunately, at Becharof Lodge on The Egegik River, we’re able to catch some of Alaska’s best-tasting coho salmon right near our lodge. The silver salmon that make their way into Egegik Bay, and the Egegik River in which we fish for them, have a high oil content. Because these migrating coho have no obstacles to overcome in the Egegik River, and thanks to a relatively short river through which to travel, when we catch the salmon they are healthy, fat, and beaming with bright orange meat.

Taming wild fish and game is a fun challenge, and the same holds true when it comes to figuring out how to flavor silver salmon to make it palatable for the person who may not think they like fish. In this recipe, the tanginess of ginger, sweetness of apple, and savory flavor of sesame oil come together and neutralize stronger fish flavors resulting in a dish you won’t be able to get enough of.

1 fillet salmon
1/4 cup julienned apple
2 heaping tablespoons julienned ginger
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons ponzu or soy sauce
1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon butter

Remove skin from salmon to lessen the stronger fish flavors. Keep in mind this will cause the fish to cook faster and dry out quicker. Rinse fish in cold water and pat dry. Spread butter on the bottom a foil pouch or ovenproof dish, butter should be spread out the size of the fish fillet. Place fillet on top of the butter layer.

In a small bowl, combine apple, ginger, sesame oil, ponzu or soy sauce, sesame seeds, lemon juice and zest. Pack apple ginger topping on the salmon fillet. If using foil, bend foil up against the edges of the fish to keep the topping in place.

Bake in a preheated 350º oven or on a medium-hot grill 15-25 minutes or until internal temperature of the fish reaches 135º.