Fresh Alaskan sockeye salmon is good, especially Copper River salmon. The whole gutted fish can be cut as salmon steak slices, fillets, or a combination. The salmon season is short and fresh wild salmon can be hard to find.

An alternative is canned wild red salmon. Canned salmon is usually good, and great value for tasty nutrition. Look for 14.5 oz. (418 g) canned Wild Red Alaskan of various brands; most are about the same. This is not the same as pink salmon, it's wild red salmon.

Canned salmon may be used in the same ways one uses canned tuna. Salmon has more fat content (the good kind, omega-3 fatty acids fish oil). That's one reason why salmon is so tasty. Canned salmon is usually already cooked, and can be eaten right from the can. There are many easy things to make with it, such as salmon salad sandwiches or salmon patties. Recipes follow.

SALMON SALAD SANDWICHES (4 servings take about 10 minutes)

    14 oz. (about 400 g.) Can of red sockeye salmon
    1/8 cup (2 oz. / 400 g. or so) Minced onion
    2 or 3 Tbsp. Low fat mayonnaise
    1 tsp. Dill relish or sweet pickle relish
    1 tsp. Dijon mustard
    1 tsp. Dill weed, 1/4 tsp. Mrs. Dash
    1 Lemon, or some Lemon juice
    8 slices Rye bread or Pumpernickel

Set aside rye bread. Drain salmon-- It's OK to use the skin, bones, and liquid. The bones are cooked and soft, crunch them up with a fork if you like. Add the remaining ingredients, mix thoroughly. This makes plenty for 4 large sandwiches. Using canned salmon as a base, sandwich variations include: Using pita bread or filo shells, adding yogurt, sour cream or cream cheese, black olives, tomato, or maybe a half slice Swiss cheese. This might be a good sandwich idea for a picnic party, maybe at the river or beach. Or, try cooking:

SALMON PATTIES (4 servings take about 30 minutes)

    14 oz. can red sockeye salmon
    1 or 2 eggs
    2 slices rye bread
    1 small onion
    1 tsp. dill, 1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash, 1/4 cup or so flour
    1 Tbsp. olive oil, a squirt of lemon juice

Set aside flour, olive oil and lemon. Toast bread for bread crumbs (blender or food processor makes quick crumbs). Dice onion finely. Beat egg lightly. Drain salmon, leaving a small amount of liquid. Mix salmon with eggs, 1/8 cup diced onion, 1 tsp. dill and 1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash. Add bread crumbs until mixture sticks together well. Sprinkle cutting board or plate with flour (a sieve or flour sprinkler is handy). Divide the salmon mixture into 4 parts, form into patties and place on a floured surface. Sprinkle the top of patties with flour using a sieve or flour sifter. The prepared patties can be refrigerated now and cooked later.

Heat the pan to medium high heat, Coat the pan lightly with olive oil. Place salmon patties in the heated pan. Flip the salmon patties after 2 minutes. Flip again after another minute or so, then reduce to medium heat. Flip once more. The outside should be brown on both sides now. Serve with lemon wedges. You can vary the batter ingredients. Slour and liquids are a starting point. With many fish dishes a tartar sauce is nice. It's easy to do your own, maybe better and cheaper than what you might buy in a jar.

TARTAR SAUCE

    2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
    2 Tbsp. dill pickle relish (or use sweet pickle relish with a sprinkle of dill)
    1/8 tsp. Mrs. Dash or pepper

Mix equal amounts of mayo and pickle relish. Add some dill weed and a little Mrs. Dash. If using sweet pickle relish instead of dill add more dill weed. Add a little lemon juice if you have it.

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