Salmon Bellies

Belly Strips
They’re like salmon candy. Photo: Adam Kryder

Alaska West guide Adam Kryder is back today with a post about that particularly delicious part of a salmon – its belly!

Oh by the way, Adam’s a really talented guy who’s also half of the crew at Raw Water Productions.

Salmon Bellies

Innovation seems to be mandatory at Alaska West. As a guide you never know to what new level your colleagues may push you, or how the clients may benefit from it.

It was Jim Palmersheim’s birthday party and we had built a large bonfire in his honor. A fishing party had just come back and was filleting some Coho out on the gravel bar where we were having the fire. That’s where [veteran guide] Rob Russell comes in.

Rob walks up to the table, grabs a bunch of fresh salmon bellies, throws them in a quick marinade, then roasts them over the coals of the fire. Salmon smell fills the air, and Rob urges us to join in. Soon, everyone can’t get enough. J.E.B. jumps in and makes his own marinade and a salmon belly cook-off ensues. Soon we are all elated and happy, running around acting like children in a candy shop.

Rob says that the bellies won’t taste the same once frozen – that they must be enjoyed on the river, fresh. We try some frozen ones to see, and Rob is right.

The next day, I tell my clients that as I fillet their fish on the river,  I’ll also save the bellies and roast them for lunch or a late afternoon snack. Needless to say, the clients loved them too – all Coho season long!

I returned back to camp and told Rob what he started, that the clients loved the salmon bellies.  He wouldn’t take credit for it then, and probably still won’t.

More on Eating Salmon

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