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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!
Greetings, Readers! Once again, I took a fall trip to Alaska to fish for silver salmon. I was greeted at the Anchorage airport on Friday by our newest Seasoned Cooking writer, Deana McAuley, her friends Jesse and Artie, and Jesse's American Bulldog Xanth. After spending a little time at the market, we headed south the the Kenai peninsula where we had booked a cabin for the weekend.
Saturday, we drove from the cabin to the coastal community of Homer to fish the Homer Spit Fishing hole. This saltwater pond is considered a terminal fishery by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. This is due to the fact that salmon are planted into the pond, and due to their homing insticts, return to the pond as adults. However, there is no river in which the fish can spawn. Consequently, the fish enter the pond with the tide and swim in circles. Anglers are allowed to catch and keep 3 silver salmon per day.
After fishing for about 3 hours with lures and having no luck, I convinced Artie to put some yarn on his jig, and I added a drop of sardine oil for scent. On his first cast with this new bait, I watched a salmon follow his lure right up to the bank before it grabbed his offering! At this point, I decided to retire my lure and put on some yarn also. Within 5 minutes, I had hooked and lost 2 fish! However, within another 5 minutes, I hooked into a very large silver salmon, fought it for about 15 or 20 minutes, and landed the fish with great satisfaction. We estimated the size to be around 15 to 16 pounds.
We were fortunate to have favorable weather. Although this was the only fish we caught that day, we all had a great time in pursuit of these beautiful and good eating fish.
On Sunday, Deana and I went fishing on the Kenai River with Mark Glassmaker, a renouned fishing guide and esteemed officer of the Kenai Peninsula Guided Fishing Association. I kept my first fish of the day, a bright silver of about 6 pounds. Deana caught one fish that weighed about 10 pounds, while I caught and released about 7 more fish. Finally, I ended my fishing day with a large silver that weighed about 14 lbs. The weather was cloudy and we had a little bit of light rain during our fishing expedition. However, we did get to see some bald eagles, trumpeter swans, ducks and loons.
At one point, while drifting near shore, Mark pointed out a foul smell that was like a combination of wet dog hair and rotting salmon. It turned out that this smell was from a bear nearby that remained unseen. I was hoping for a picture of the beast, but as fate would have it, the bear remained hidden in the brush. Perhaps next year I'll get a picture of a grizzly bear.
I highly recommend Mark (Mark Glassmaker Fishing) as a fishing guide should you choose to visit Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula. His integrity and professionalism is beyond reproach. One of Mark's clients was the proud recipient of the largest salmon caught on the Kenai this year, a 78 pound king salmon! If there are fish in the river, Mark will find them. Mark arranged the accomodations for our party and I must say that he selects the best in the area for his clients.
Now, on to the recipe for this month!
The recipe presented this month are from my yet to be published cookbook, Phil's Family and Friends Cookbook. Feel free to email me at with your comments and requests.
Mix the teriyaki sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar and sweet rice wine to make a marinade. Spoon this over the salmon fillets and let marinate for 1 hour at room temperature, turning once or twice. The salmon fillets may now be grilled or broiled for about 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Turn once. Test with a fork. When the fish easily flakes, it is done.
Reserve the marinade and simmer in a sauce pan and reduce over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Stir the sauce frequently and remove the garlic and ginger as the sauce begins to thicken. You may add a little corn starch (1 tsp.) dissolved in some additional rice wine to hasten thickening.
Once the fish is cooked, arrange on a serving platter and spoon the thickened marinade over the fish. Serve hot and enjoy! This is best served with steamed rice and vegetables and salad of your choice.