Is Alaska Copper River salmon really that good?

Craig Medred

There's no doubt Copper River king and red salmon are pricey -- and after a long, hard winter, they're  much anticipated by fish aficionados.

Some go so far as to claim they're Alaska's tastiest fish. Others say they're simply the best marketed, and point to other Alaska fish that can stake a claim as the tastiest.

Among them: Yukon River kings packed with high levels of fish oil to help them navigate a 2,000-mile swim to their spawning grounds; white feeder king salmon; ocean-bright kings; halibut cheeks; red salmon; yelloweye rockfish; lingcod and black cod/sablefish. Of course, a fresh, well-bled fish is the prime ingredient. Here's a simple salmon recipe that often turns out well:   

• Half stick of softened butter, five cloves of garlic, juice from one lime and fresh dill. Let it firm up in the freezer.

• Spread it on top of your salmon.

• Cook atop aluminum foil on a grill -- but not too long. As the flesh is firming up, get it off the heat.

  1. 1 Alaska Copper River kings: If salmon fat equals taste, why aren't flabby farmed salmon tops?

    Salmon hype amped up this week as Alaska's Copper River salmon hit the market. But where exactly does hype end and taste begin for some of Alaska's tastiest fish?

  2. 2 Photos: First Copper River salmon lands in Anchorage and Seattle

    Alaska's most renown salmon -- the Copper River king salmon -- hit the market this week. On Friday morning, Anchorage got its first taste, with a 33-pound king salmon delivered to Chef Patrick Hoogerhyde at The Bridge restaurant, which opens tonight.

  3. 3 How Alaska's Copper River salmon gained worldwide fame

    Alaska's Copper River king salmon is the "best fish in the world,” says seafood consultant Jon Rowley. But is it worth $60 for a small fillet?

  4. 4 Photos: Great Alaska Seafood Cook Off

    The first-ever Great Alaska Seafood Cook Off brought top chefs from across the state together to compete for top honors in a contest judged by award-winning chefs from as far away as Boston.

  5. 5 Alaska fresh salmon surge starts on Copper River Thursday

    Both commercial fishermen and diners are anxious to start the season of fresh fish. Eventually, more than a million Copper River salmon will be harvested