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Thread: Chums and Pinks

  1. #1
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    Default Chums and Pinks

    I thought about asking this in the "favorite salmon recipes" thread, then decided to start a new one. I'm not sure how much discussion this will generate. My question is:

    Although I am sure that pinks and chums are edible, are they good to eat? and if so, what is the best way cut them up, and prepare them? I have heard of people eating them, and I was told that smoked chum is actually tasty, but I have never tried it.

    Thanks for your responses!

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    A friend of mine has an excellent way of preparing pinks that make them not only palatable, but excellent tasting. He just guts and heads the fish, then freezes the body whole without filleting. (Note - freezing isn't necessary if prepared fresh.) He then embeds the entire fish in salt that has been soaked in some form of liquid - maybe just water? - and then bakes it in the oven. When it is finished you break away the hardened salt and serve the fish. The salt locks in all moisture and flavor, giving you a fish that is excellent tasting and very moist. I can't recall the details of the recipe, but I'll send him an e-mail and ask him to post it here. I used to turn loose all of the pinks that I caught, but I think I'll be keeping a couple this summer.

  3. #3
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    i always prepared pinks like you would a trout. they don't have the firm mass of other salmon .. they are also good canned for spreads and salads..

    chums are best smoked and or canned in my op though fresh from the salt ones are tasty about equivalent of a silver. they stay firm long into the river as well..
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    Pinks are excellent smoked but also baking them turns out wonderfully as well. The key is to get bright ones, once the get upriver they degrade rather quickly. I just bake them with some butter and garlic salt or make a horseraddish sauce and spread it over them and bake, its great!

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    Thanks for the input guys! I have a smoker, so I will probably try smoking a chum this summer. I'll play around with the pinks and use your suggestions. I'm really interested in the salt crust that Brian was talking about. I have seen that method of baking used on other fish, and I think it could work out really well. I caught a large number of pinks and chums the summer before last, so hopefully this summer will be the same if not better.

    Thanks again for the replies!

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    We generally catch one or two chums when we are gillnetting silvers. Grilled up fresh there is really no difference between them and a silver. Both are quite good. So are fresh, ocean bright pinks. As Vince said they are similar to trout or dollies. Speaking of dollies we usually we get a couple of nice 3-4 pounders in the net when fishing for sockeye and they are great on the grill with just olive oil, salt & pepper, stuffed with fresh herbs and served with lemon and a salad.

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    Thanks for the input everyone. I'll make sure that any pinks I keep are still nice and bright, and not decomposing as they swim. I just read the thread listing about 50 smoked salmon recipes, and I can't wait to try to come up with my own! It seems like if I am not out fishing this summer, I am probably going to be cooking. Can't wait!

  8. #8
    Member garnede's Avatar
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    Default salmon patties

    Take a fresh pink and lightly boil the meat. As soon as it begins to flake take it off of the heat and rinse in cool water. Mix the meat with egg, bread crumbs, and spices. pan fry till golden brown.

    It goes well with biscuits, gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans.
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  9. #9

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    What Vince said.

    And I'll add that pinks do not freeze well - the worst of all salmon - again, similar to trout or Dollies. Try to eat em fresh or canned, or if you do freeze them, don't leave them in the freezer for long.

    That said, bright pinks are fine table fare. When I worked on commercial troll boats, we ate a lot of fresh fish of all types, and we'd frequently eat pink salmon just because they were something different - and good.

  10. #10

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    the liquid he's mixing with the salt to form a crust is probably egg whites. Also the salt used is probably kosher salt...don't try it with normal table salt or it will be terrible. You mix enough egg whites with the kosher salt so that it's workable, then form a shell with it over the fish.

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    Salt crust roasting is excellent for snapper or bass. Never tried it with salmon, but the results should be just as good.

    Here is a link that explains the process:

    http://gourmetcookingtechniques.suit...crust_roasting

    Fresh pinks are good fried or baked. We usually limit out at Hope each year and have quiet the feast. Just keep the bright silver ones and you are good to go. Lemon pepper, garlic and butter are all I use.

    Try roasting over a campfire for an added treat.
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  12. #12
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    Chum salmon, especially Yukon River chums, can be 'stripped' just like YR kings, and cold-smoked via the traditional (no sugar, salt only) cold-smoke method.

    Who ever (interchangably) named the chum salmon a dog salmon must've been thinking of pinks, and in a moment of confusion, named the wrong fish. That's what I've figured must've occurred since my first couple of encounters with the two fish.

    When someone gives me a nice chum, I typically say "Thanks for the fish!" When someone gives me a pink, I sometimes wonder what I did to offend them.

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