Chum Salmon
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Chum salmon

Chum Salmon Recipes

The WDFW Chum Salmon Web Page has generated many comments, but one of the most intriguing was a challenge from one visitor to provide "a recipe that would make chum taste half as good as king and coho salmon."

Chum salmon are generally considered to have the lowest flesh quality of the five Pacific salmon species. Commercial and sport fisheries operating in marine water frequently catch chum salmon that are in ocean bright condition. These fish are the highest quality chum salmon and are the best choice for table fare.

Many recreational fishing locations for chum salmon are in freshwater or in saltwater near the mouths of spawning streams, which may be a reason why many sport caught chum are not of the same quality as ocean fish. Chum salmon mature very rapidly, and the fish in these locations are usually close to spawning and their table quality has substantially deteriorated. Because of this, smoke curing and kippering are often a preferred choice for preparing sport caught chum salmon. However, for the best table quality, ocean bright chum should be obtained for both cooking fresh or smoke curing.

WDFW is asking web page visitors to share their favorite salmon recipes to help chum salmon take their place as a popular Northwest seafood. We will post appropriate recipes on this page, and will credit contributors. (Note -- We all know about the recipe that calls for "cooking the fish on a cedar plank, throwing away the fish, and eating the plank." While that is a certainly clever way to poke fun at cooking fish, we are looking for real recipes for the web page).

To submit a recipe, e-mail the recipe along with your name and home town to:

Bette Stankewich, Washington
Chum Salmon Ginger
Printable version

1 -2 lb.salmon fillets
Half cup low sodium soy
Quarter cup chopped vidella onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
Black pepper to taste

Preparation: Mix all ingredients except salmon. Spray pan large enough to bake salmon. Put salmon in pan, spoon onion mixture over top of salmon pieces.

Cooking: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake 20 minutes. Turn off oven and let sit 5 more minutes.

Serve salmon, spooning any remaining liquid from baking pan over salmon. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice and vegetable.

Dick Regan of Hoquiam, Washington
Fried Chum Steak Fillets

Printable version

white flour,
Kellogg's corn flake crumbs

Preparation: One chum salmon, fileted and skinned. This is very
important to remove the skin completely. Cut rib bones away from the flesh. Cut into two or three inch wide steaks.

Mix Kellog's corn flake crumbs and white flour with equal parts. 50%
crumbs and 50% flour. Put into a large plastic bag. Depending on the amount of fish to be cooked I usually start with one cup of each. Additional season can be added if desired but certainly not needed.

Prepare a pan on medium heat with plenty of margarine (not butter). Rinse salmon steaks under cold water and shake off excess. Put three or four pieces of fish into bag and shake to coat the fish completely.

Place fish into hot margarine and cook until the meat turns color halfway up the fish and then turn, cooking until done. Usually 4-5 minutes each side, depending on heat. Continue to add margarine as the fish soaks it up. The outside should be brown and crisp. Truly a mild flavor.

One note: I once cooked up a silver, a chinook and a chum prepared exactly the same way and most people preferred the chum.

Rich Wimpy of Everett, Washington
Grilled Chum Fillets

Printable version

Full chum fillets-brighter the better
minced garlic
brown sugar
rosemary-fresh is better
teriyaki sauce
two strips of bacon

1/4 cup cooking oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp soya sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Preparation: Rinse the fillets, then pat dry with a towel. With a sharp knife, cut thru the flesh creating serving size portions. Do not cut thru the skin.
brush on the teriyaki sauce and lightly salt. Heavily pepper if you are like taste otherwise. Evenly top fillet with minced garlic...more is better!
Sprinkle fillet with brown sugar...not too heavy. Sprinkle fillet with cinnamon....lightly, but evenly. Top with rosemary, again lightly.
Place a pat of butter on each serving portion.

Cooking: Lay the fillet skin side down onto the heated grill. NO MORE THAN MEDIUM HEAT. Lay the bacon onto the grill...not the fillet. Allow the bacon to sizzle, cook, and smoke...It will add great flavors. Fillets are done when the flesh flakes with a fork. Do not over cook.

Before serving: Try to remove the rosemary. The flavor will remain.

Remove fillet from skillet with a spatula...get under flesh at serving portion cuts you made. The skin will remain on serving platter.
Serve it now!

Brian Bell of White Rock, British Columbia
Chum Steaks Teriyaki

Printable version

My wife has used this marinade on most salmon species and trout as well. Last week I brought home a fresh river caught chum. We cut two steaks, marinated them and put them on the BBQ as a taste test. We really enjoyed them. Chum are not highly regarded as table fare in BC and yet I would not hesitate serving this fish to guests.

4 Chum Steaks

1/4 cup cooking oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp soya sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Preparation: Combine oil, lemon juice, soya, dry mustard, ginger
and garlic powder. Pour over steaks and let stand at room temperture for 1 hour, turning once. (or leave in a sealed bag overnight)

Cooking: Drain, broil or barbecue. This is also a good marinade
for prawns etc..

Doug Milward of Olympia, Washington
Chum Salmon Teriyaki Kabobs

Printable version

1 bright chum salmon
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
Chopped green onions
Toasted sesame seeds

1 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp honey

Preparation: Fillet and skin salmon, cut into 1½ x 1½ inch chunks, and remove bones. Mix the marinade ingredients together (soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, and honey) and marinate fish in the mixture for at least ½ hour, turning occasionally.

Cooking: In a large non-stick pan heat 2 tbsp sesame oil and add 1 tbsp minced garlic and marinated salmon chunks. Turn after 3 minutes and add chopped green onion and toasted sesame seeds. Cook until done and serve over rice.

Chris Gih of West Seattle, Washington
Asian Way Chum Salmon or Halibut

Printable version

Fish should be cooked with the slightest dash of seasoning as possible so as not to overwhelm the taste of freshness: 6 minutes prep time.

1 chum salmon fillet
Fresh ginger, sliced
Salt and pepper
Genuine sesame oil

Preparation: Place a salmon fillet on aluminum foil. Slit the meat (not deep) and insert slices of ginger. Salt and pepper to taste. Coat with genuine sesame oil.

Cooking: Oven bake it, and I like to brown the top in the broiler.

For Halibut: I add Japanese/Chinese cooking wine with green onion, a dash of salt/pepper and sesame oil. Not too much, however, because you don't want to kill the taste of the fish. Oven Bake enclosed in aluminum foil.

Rick Johnson of Tacoma, Washington
Salmon Pepper-steak

Printable version

This cooking method sears the fish and seals in the juices. Given the low fat content of chum, this is my favorite way of preparing it. The recipe earned third place in the News Tribune (Tacoma) contest a couple years ago.

2 servings of salmon fillet
2 tbs. olive oil
plenty of freshly ground black pepper
lemon pepper (optional)
dried dill weed (optional)


1. Season the flesh side of the fillets generously with black pepper.
2. Dust with lemon pepper and/or dill weed, if desired.
3. Heat the oil to near smoking temp.
4. Place salmon in pan, flesh side down. Cover.
5. Depending on thickness, turn in 3 to 5 minutes
6. Cover & cook skin side down for the same length of time.
7. Test for doneness (finished as soon as it loses it's translucency).


1.Cook it hot (setting 8.5 out of 10 on my stove) but never overcook the fish.

2. This dish is going to smoke up the kitchen, so fix your spouse a drink on the patio and turn the range hood fan on high.

Sam Ingram of Arlington, Washington
Chum Chowder

Printable version

We refer to this recipe as "Chum Chowder" due to the fact that it looks very similar to a thick clam chowder. Two variations that work well are to add a small amount of smoked chum to give it a little smoke flavor, or to add some bay scallops or fresh prawns to enhance the chum.

2 lbs chum salmon
6 slices bacon
1 medium onion (½ cup chopped)
2 shallots (1 tbsp, chopped)
1 ½ cups white wine
1 ½ cups water
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp dried thyme, crushed
1 stalk celery, quartered
2 cloves garlic halved
4 sprigs parsley
2 whole cloves
3 tbsp all purpose flour
3 tbsp butter or margarine, softened
½ cup light cream

Preparation: Clean, fillet, and remove skin. Cut fish into bite-sized pieces.

Cooking: Cook bacon in 4 ½ quart dutch oven. Drain, reserve 2 tbsp drippings. Crush bacon and set aside. Cook onion and shallots in reserved bacon drippings until tender. Remove from heat. Add wine, water, salt, and thyme. Tie celery, garlic, parsley, and whole cloves in a cheesecloth bag and add to pan. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove cheesecloth bag. Add fish to dutch oven. Cover and cook gently about 8-10 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with a fork. Blend flour and softened butter or margarine to a smooth paste. Stir into simmering liquid. Stir in cream. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Season to taste, and sprinkle bacon over top before serving.