While many are celebrating the first-of-the season Copper River kings, there’s still time to make the most of what’s lurking in the freezer. With a quick marinade and one sheet pan, this recipe is quick and easy and full of flavor. If you’re not a fan of coconut, substitute with panko or other breadcrumbs very lightly toasted in butter. If you don’t have time to thaw your fish before getting into the kitchen, try the Cook it Frozen! technique from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. It’s a time-saver and the site also has videos and other recipes that can help you through the fishing season. — Kim Sunée
Roasted salmon with lime and coconut
1 to 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or 1/2 cup canned thick unsweetened coconut cream or coconut milk
Juice and zest of 2 limes (or 2 lemons or 1 orange)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar or wine/balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger or garlic
1 to 2 teaspoons gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) or other hot chile paste, such as harissa or garlic-chili crisp (optional)
1 to 1 1/2 pounds wild salmon fillet, cut into 2 to 4 pieces, skin-on is fine
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, such as Bob’s Red Mill
Salt, such as Sitka flake sea salt or Maldon sea salt flakes
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
Garnish: green onions; pea shoots; fresh herbs
• Zest citrus — reserve citrus after removing zest — and stir into mayonnaise or coconut cream/milk; set aside. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place tomatoes on a heavy-duty sheet pan, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place pan in cool oven while it heats to 450 degrees. Note: ovens vary so keep an eye on tomatoes; they should take about 12 to 15 minutes to roast while oven is preheating. Remove pan from oven if tomatoes start to brown too quickly.
• Juice zested citrus and place in a glass or non-reactive metal bowl. Add soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, remaining one teaspoon oil and, if using, gochujang or other hot paste. Crush gochujang with back of spoon and stir to combine; add a teaspoon of hot water if needed to help dilute gochujang paste. Remove any pin bones from salmon fillets and, using tip of sharp knife point, make a few shallow slashes into flesh and skin; turn fillets to coat. Let marinate 30 minutes and up to one hour.
• When oven is ready, move tomatoes in pan to make room for salmon. Add salmon, skin-side down, to hot pan. Reserve marinade. Pat salmon lightly dry with paper towels and spread half of lime-mayo or lime-coconut milk over salmon and place pan back in oven. Let cook five or six minutes, depending on thickness. Remove pan from oven and carefully turn salmon over. Top with remaining lime-mayo or coconut milk. Top with coconut, pressing gently into salmon so coconut adheres; sprinkle with salt. Cook another two to three minutes or until coconut is golden and salmon is cooked to desired degree of doneness. While salmon is roasting, pour marinade into a small saucepan and add honey. Bring to a gentle boil and let sauce simmer one to two minutes until thick and syrupy. Serve salmon and tomatoes with extra sauce. Garnish, if desired, with green onion or herbs, and serve with coconut rice, pasta or vegetables.