The sockeye salmon is one of the smaller Pacific salmon averaging 3 to 5 pounds and 2 feet in length although they have been known to reach 15 pounds. They live in the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Alaska and are most abundant in the waters off the coast of Washington. It is the third most common salmon after the chum and the pink salmon.
The sockeye salmon has a blue gray back, fine black spots on its side and a silver belly. Like the other Pacific salmon, it enters freshwater streams to spawn. When the fish return to their spawning area their color changes to a red body and a green head and they develop a humped back and hooked jaws. After spawning, the fish die within a few weeks. The young fish remain in freshwater until they are ready to migrate to the ocean. This normally takes 3 years. This is longer than other salmon. Their are also landlocked sockeyes in lakes and these are commonly called kokanee. Also known as nerka, blueback, redfish or red salmon, the sockeye has a color that ranges from deep salmon to deep red. Be careful when cooking sockeye. Because of its thinner fillets it is easy to overcook.
It has a firm flaky meat that is rich in flavor and quite oily and remains moist after cooking. The best way to is to Broil, Bake, Steam, Poach or grill.
Click on one of the links to see easy ways to prepare sockeye.
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For information on other fish and how to cook them go to http://tocookafish.com/fish-index
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