The red meat of a wild Alaska king salmon is truly a site to behold. This vivid red color is a result of the salmon’s diet of crustaceans. However, some king salmon – about one in every 20 – have a white color due to their inability to visibly express these pigments present in their food. Although extremely popular in Alaska, these white king salmon would command lower price from fish buyers and was considered generally less desirable. However, recently that trend has changed.
King salmon, both white and red are exactly the same species, Onchorhynchus tshawytscha. Furthermore, nutritional research has proven both the white kings and the red kings identical in the amount of lipids, moisture, protein and omega -3 fatty acids. Both fish even travel together! However, due to the white king’s color, it can be served with a variety of different vegetables in this transition period between Winter and Spring. It would go just as well with Fall harvest vegetables – squashes, carrots, etc. and also the various green vegetables that are currently popping up at your local farmers’ market. Also, due to it’s color, we see it as an acceptable substitute for Halibut, which is only now open for harvest and will be arriving withing the three weeks.
Although genetically identical, many people who eat the white king salmon describe it as having a milder flavor than it’s red king salmon counterpart. It has a softer texture and is buttery and sweet. Additionally, there are various ways to cook white king, the preferred method is grilling. With the weather warming up, what would be better than grilling up some of this fine fish cuisine and pairing it with some high quality orange fall vegetables AND some greens from the Spring harvest?