Thursday, July 21, 2016

Slow Roasted Ivory King Salmon - More Gifts from the Sea

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Ivory salmon is a white fleshed King salmon native to waters of the Pacific Northwest. Most salmon get their color from carotene in the food they eat, but white or ivory Kings are genetically predisposed to process carotene rather than collect it in their flesh. Ivory salmon tends to be milder, silkier and more buttery in taste than regular Kings. They are rare and will cost a king's ransom when they can be found. We were gifted the fillets I'm sharing with you tonight. This is the first, and probably the last, time we have had this delicacy. Fifteen years ago, consumer demand was for wild red salmon, so when Kings with white flesh were found, they were tossed into piles heading to canneries or smokehouses. Ivory salmon cannot be identified until the Kings are filleted and their white flesh is exposed. Chances are they'd have remained in the cannery heap, save for the fact that segments of the food community began to demand novelty in their cuisine, and, as a result, the fish gradually found its way to some of the finest restaurants in the United States. Its color was the attraction, but its taste and texture kept it there. Pigmentless salmon has a softer, buttery flesh that is less fishy and more like that of a freshwater fish. I decided to slow roast the fish we had been given using a can't fail method that had been perfected by Charlie Trotter. Slow roasting produces a fish with a unique texture that will melt in your mouth. The appearance of the fish changes only marginally and it actually looks undone when you take it from the oven. Rest assured it's done and delicious. Should you have the good fortune to stumble on ivory King salmon, I hope you have a wallet that can take the beating this fish will give it. Here is how I prepared our fish.

Slow Roasted Ivory King Salmon... from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Charlie Trotter

4 6-ounce Ivory King salmon fillets, skin on
Kosher salt and white pepper, to taste
4 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch long strips
1 medium yellow onion, cut into thin slices
Lemon slices for garnish


1) Bring salmon fillets to room temperature. Adjust a rack to middle third of oven. Mist an 8 x 11 x 2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. for 20 minutes before roasting salmon.
2) Season salmon with salt and pepper. Place celery strips and onion in an ovenproof roasting pan, creating a rack on which to place salmon.for the salmon. Place salmon on top of celery/onion mixture. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3) Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until fillets can easily be pierced with tip of a sharp knife. Carefully transfer to a serving platter. Remove topping and garnish with a lemon twist if desired. Yield: 4 servings.

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David said...

Mary, Good luck finding Ivory King Salmon anywhere here in East Tennessee! My favorite salmon to date has been Copper River Salmon and its hard to find...and only for a very short time each year. Looks lovely though and we'd love to give Ivory King Salmon a try. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Big Dude said...

I've never heard of Ivory Kings, but you've made them sound so good I want one.

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