Chum salmon, also known as keta, can be very difficult to tell apart from sockeye when ocean caught. The flesh of a chum can vary from red to pink and has a smooth, delicate flavour with a bit less oil than other salmon species.

Its lower fat content and milder flavour means chum is well-suited for those who may not like the intense flavour of sockeye and for recipes that retain moisture such as curries and chowders. Not only does chum give bountiful returns on the central coast, chum can also make a mean burger and is fantastic grilled or broiled, especially when marinated. Add some chum to your next order and try out some of these scrumptious meals!

1. Pan Seared Wild Chum Salmon Fillet with Seasonal Salad

Chef Ned Bell’s pan-seared chum salmon fillet makes an easy, delicious, nutritious meal anytime. Here’s how to make a simple meal using wild chum salmon that your family will love!

Pan Seared Wild Chum Salmon Fillets
  • Two 5 oz chum salmon fillets
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • Half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp Canola oil
  • Knob of butter
Seasonal Salad (from the video example)

The great thing about salads is that you can make them any way you want – with whatever veggies you have on-hand. The ingredients listed below were what Chef Ned used in the video recipe. A lemon vinaigrette is a nice compliment to the citrus-glazed salmon.

  • Butter lettuce
  • Canned chickpeas, rinsed
  • Roasted red pepper hummus
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Black olive tapenade
  • Baby tomatoes (Chef Ned used Windset Farms heirloom style tomatoes in the video)
  • Lemon vinaigrette
  • Dried olives for garnish

Bring a cast iron or stainless steel pan to high heat, add the oil. Sprinkle the salt over the salmon fillets on both sides. Lay the salmon fillets in the pan – be careful not to splatter yourself. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on the first side. Flip the fillets and add the knob of butter. Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan and continue cooking for about 2 minutes. Tilt pan and using a big spoon to glaze the salmon with the lemon and butter… mmm, you’ll be salivating at this point. Put together a seasonal salad using the veggies and ingredients your family enjoys. Add the vinaigrette. Serve the wild chum salmon fillets over a bed of the salad you made, and finish with your favourite garnish.


2. Salmon BLTs

Chum Recipes - Salmon BLTs

Consider upgrading your BLTs by adding thin fillets of wild salmon. In this recipe, the salmon goes into the pan after the bacon’s been crisped, so it picks up the meaty and smoky flavours in the rendered fat. Use lemon basil mayonnaise to complement the sandwich nicely and serve with potato chips or sweet potato wedges on the side.

  • 4 slices applewood-smoked bacon
  • 8 slices whole-grain or country-style sourdough bread
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 large leaves fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise, preferably canola
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more as needed
  • Four 6-ounce thin-cut salmon fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Leaves from 1/4 head lettuce OR 1 packed cup baby arugula leaves

Preheat the oven or your toaster oven to 375 degrees. Line a large plate with paper towels. Cut each bacon slice crosswise in half. Place in a large skillet; cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, turning the slices over once, just until crisped. (You will probably have to do this in two batches.) Transfer them to a plate to drain, leaving the rendered bacon fat in the pan, and the pan still over medium heat. Brush the bread slices lightly with oil (or you can use a little of the rendered bacon fat); toast directly on the middle oven rack, just until lightly browned. Cut 4 evenly thick slices from the tomato and season them lightly with salt, letting them drain on paper towels. Meanwhile, zest 1 teaspoon’s worth from the lemon half (no white pith), letting it fall into a medium bowl. Chop enough basil to yield 2 tablespoons and add it, along with the mayo and a generous few grinds of pepper, then whisk until well incorporated.

Season fillets with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Gently lay the fillets in the hot-oil skillet (so each one lands with a splash away from you), skinned sides up. Cook for about 5 minutes total, or until barely translucent in the center, turning them over halfway through the cooking. Spread one side of all the toasted bread slices with the lemon-basil mayo. Next, build the sandwiches on four of spread sides, using ingredients in the following order: the lettuce or arugula, the tomato, salmon and a crisscross of 2 bacon pieces. Top with remaining toasted bread slices, spread sides down. Cut each sandwich in half — toothpicks might come in handy to keep the halves neat and tidy, but warn your guests! — and serve right away.


3. Salmon Cakes with Chive and Garlic Sauce

Chum Recipes - Salmon Cakes with Chives

Because of its low fat and oil content, chum salmon makes great burger patties. When it comes to looking for a great recipe, salmon cakes are the perfect match for chum salmon—a light but flavourful dish!

  • 4 to 5 medium potatoes or 3 cups of mashed potatoes
  • Canned or fresh salmon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp of flour, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • For the sauce (optional)
  • ½ cup of greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 tsp of chopped chives
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Skin and bone the salmon. In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed potatoes, salmon and egg.

Zest and juice the lemon before adding both to the mixture with the chopped parsley and flour. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and mix everything well. Scoop out mixture into even sized balls, roll in flour mixture and flatten slightly. Can refrigerate to prevent crumbling. Fry salmon cakes in hot olive oil until golden brown and crunchy on the outside. For the sauce, mix yogurt, lemon juice, chopped chives and minced garlic in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving, allowing the flavours to blend.


4. Basil Salmon

Basil Salmon

This salmon recipe with fresh pesto is so simple yet extremely delicious. It is sure to be a family favourite and is a perfect meal for busy weeknights.

  • 1-1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)

For pesto, combine the basil, oil, garlic, pepper, lemon juice, salt and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese in a food processor; cover and process until finely chopped. Place the salmon in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Spread 2 tablespoons pesto over fillets. (Cover and refrigerate remaining pesto for another use.) Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20-22 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 2-3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.


5. Smoky Keta Salmon and Tomato Chowder

Smoky Keta Salmon

The firm, meaty texture and pronounced flavour of keta salmon makes it a favourite for chowders and curries. Try making this simple, hearty, and healthy chowder for your family!

  • 2 cups water
  • 6 bags oolong tea
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon aleppo pepper flakes (or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
  • 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 pound keta salmon, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Bring the water to a simmer, then add the tea bags and remove from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and squeeze to extract any liquid. Meanwhile, in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high, cook the bacon until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, leaving the fat in the pot. Add the onion, paprika, cumin and pepper flakes, then cook until the onion is tender and beginning to brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the potatoes, tomatoes and tea. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the salmon and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through. Stir in the heavy cream and continue cooking just until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with the crisp bacon crumbles.


6. Chum Lox Bagels

Skipper Otto Cold Smoked Chum Salmon is a delectable treat. Thaw in your the fridge overnight and serve on bagels with cream cheese.

  • 3 plain bagels, split, toasted
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • Skipper Otto’s Cold Smoked Chum Salmon
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • Optional: 2 tbsp. capers, drained
  • Garnish: lemon wedges

Spread the toasted bagel bottom halves with cream cheese. Sprinkle half the capers over the cream cheese, if desired. Top with Smoked Chum Salmon. Garnish the bagel tops with the rest of the capers, onion, and black pepper. Serve right away with lemon wedges.


Don’t forget to add some delicious chum to your next order! What are your favourite chum recipes? Share them with us on our Facebook page!

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Allison Hepworth - January 14, 2020

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6 Best Chum Recipes to Try Today!

Allison Hepworth - January 14, 2020

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