Alaska life

Salmon in the City

I love eating salmon over the winter. My husband goes dipnetting on the Kenai or Kasilof River each summer, and we enjoy it all winter. We mostly fillet the salmon or make it into steaks, then freeze it. Maybe every other year, I  smoke some salmon. There are a variety of ways to cook the salmon. I still have a lot to learn.

Read a previous post about this topic:  Dipnetting on the Kenai Peninsula

I asked a few friends on Facebook why they enjoy salmon, and here is what they had to say.

I love salmon because…

“Is it brain food!” – The Winter Bear Project

“It’s something big from our childhood and tastes great! Also, yes, very healthy for us.” – Tanya Yatlin of Huslia

“The protein is essential for our health and sure tastes good when I fry it!” – Sarbelio Iglesias

Thank you for Planet Alaska for sharing it on their page. Here are their responses:

“It keeps you healthy…” – Peggy Kopkie

 “It is the best! It never gets old.” – Roman Rice

 “Its salmon that’s why.” – Stefan Taylor

Alaskans love their salmon and everyone has their own ways of preserving/preparing/cooking salmon.
I am not much of a cook, but I have learned how to prepare and cook traditional Alaskan foods. My mom and other family members taught me how to cook. Here is one recipe for baked salmon.

We dip-net for salmon on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers in July. I bake salmon with a mixture of ingredients, never the same. Photo by Angela Gonzalez
We dip-net for salmon on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers in July. I bake salmon with a mixture of ingredients, never the same. Photo by Angela Gonzalez


Baked Salmon in the City

2 slices – onion or 1 – lemon
1 tablespoon – butter
Salmon fillet or steaks (enough servings for the amount of people you are cooking for)
Seasoning (Examples: salt, pepper, dill seed, fish rub)

Defrost salmon (if needed). Defrost overnight in the refrigerator or place in microwave for eight minutes at 30% heat. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Soak up any fluids with a paper towel, then place salmon in an oven pan. Spread butter on top of fish. Season to taste with your choice of seasoning and spices. Add a few slices of onion or lemon on each piece of fish. If you use lemon, you can also squeeze some of the juice on top of the salmon.

Place fish in the oven (uncovered) for 20 minutes. If the fish is flaky (poke with a fork), then it is probably done. If it is still red and juicy, then you can put in for another five minutes. If they are thick steak size pieces, then you may need about 35 minutes to start with. Cook to the degree that you like to eat it, but be careful not to under cook it. It is ready to serve.


  • You can substitute other fish, like white fish or halibut. They may just need more time to cook.
  • You can improvise and use other ingredients you enjoy. Some people like to add salsa (like Tapatio or Lea & Perrins sauce) to season it.
  • You can also marinate the salmon for about 10-30 minutes before baking. In the picture above, I marinated the salmon in oil and some of the spices. It had a richer taste, so I am not sure if I will make it that way again.
Salmon with onions. Photo by Angela Gonzalez
Salmon with onions. Photo by Angela Gonzalez

It is a pretty fast meal to prepare with plenty of time to make side dishes. I mostly like to eat salmon with rice and vegetables. I grew up in the village, so I eat a lot of canned vegetables. There are plenty of fresh vegetables to choose from in the city. Enjoy your baked salmon in the city or wherever you may be!