Living Large

This is Skyla digging into her favorite summer meal–grilled king salmon collar or kama, peas and beans from the garden, and a mix of wild and brown rice cooked in chicken stock. To raise the stakes even further, the collar is from the fish she and Weston teamed up to boat on my birthday. It takes a dedicated eater to pick through all the bones in this cut of fish, but the reward is the most flavorful, highest-fat content morsels.

Kama is the Japanese word for the collar, which comes from  right behind a fish’s gill plates. I like to cook it the way my grandmothers did: marinate overnight in sea salt, soy sauce and mirin, the sweet Japanese cooking wine. Or sometimes I substitute brown sugar for the mirin. Then I just put it on a hot grill for about 4 or 5 minutes a side until it’s caramelized and crisp on the outside and dripping melted fat from the inside. For some people, the collar is the least desirable part of the fish, often saved for crab bait. For us, though, it’s the prize.

Our local king season closed this week, so I’m thankful we were able to fill the freezer early this year. But of course, I’m already looking at reports from other parts of the state and trying to figure out if I can find time to fish the ocean or coastal bays where it’s still open. No matter how much king salmon we have, I know we’ll want to eat more.

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