What’s the Best Eating Fish in Alaska?
Here are a few coho salmon I caught one afternoon last summer. Coho salmon are one of the best eating fish in Alaska, but not THE best.
Eating is fun. It’s also quite serious. When it comes to eating fish, Alaskans have opinions. Who better than Alaskans to decide the best eating fish in Alaska? Nobody. Because I am an Alaskan, I am going to answer this question once and for all, on behalf of every single person in the state. What a nice person I am!
When people ask me, “What is the best eating fish in Alaska?” I always try to offer the correct answer. I have eating every single fish you catch in these parts, and I am ready to bestow my wisdom on you, dear reader. Away we go!
What’s the best eating fish in Alaska? You’re about to find out
For the purpose of this very important blog, I am going to list each fish and tell you about its culinary properties. Each entry will have a rating and the winner will be crowned The Best Eating Fish in Alaska for all time.
Sockeye Salmon – Sockeye salmon is the salmon with the dark red flesh, kind of like what happens to your eye if someone socks you in it. Sockeye salmon are terrific smoked and barbequed. My only gripe with sockeye salmon is that they’re kind of small, which makes the fillets pretty thin. Still, a sockeye salmon sandwich is terrific, so this fish scores pretty high. Rating – 94.5
Coho Salmon – This is the most versatile of all the salmon. It can be prepared countless ways because it has half the fat content of any other Alaskan salmon. Coho can also grow to be pretty large – four times the size of sockeye. However, I don’t think that coho tastes quite as good as some other Alaskan fish. Rating – 91.3
King Salmon – The largest of all Alaskan Salmon, king salmon are rich, succulent, and arguably the best tasting of all salmon species. Fresh-caught king salmon is one of the best tasting foods in the world but most people never get a chance to eat a king salmon within 24 hours after being caught. Unfortunately, king salmon don’t freeze very well because of their high-fat content. They are also becoming quite scarce. Rating – 95.1
Halibut – Many people claim that halibut is the best fish in Alaska but they are wrong. Halibut is a white-flesh bottom feeder with firm flesh that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, halibut doesn’t taste like anything. It’s a culinary clean slate that takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. This makes halibut a great protein for dishes with sauces but cooked by itself, it’s pretty bland. Rating – 85.0
Lake Trout – This is the first freshwater fish and it’s a tasty one. Lake trout can be prepared in a variety of ways. They are hard to beat on an open fire or barbecue. In my correct opinion, no Alaskan fish tastes better smoked than lake trout. They are also delicious when fried but so is everything else so that means nothing. Rating – 93.8
Sablefish – Also called black cod, this is a sweet, delicate fish that is often found in Alaskan restaurants. Sablefish is damn good. If I see sablefish on a menu, I order it because it’s not a fish you can catch on your own unless you own a big boat that can fish in very deep water. Rating – 92.4
Lingcod – What can I tell you about lingcod other than it’s ridiculously good. Flavorful and firm, lingcod’s white flesh can be cooked in just about any way. It’s also hard to screw up lingcod because it somehow stays moist even when it’s slightly overcooked. I can eat lingcod all day and you should too. Lingcod is like halibut that actually tastes good. Rating – 103.9
Rockfish – This one is confusing. Yelloweye rockfish are delicious. Many other rockfish are not delicious and can taste a little “fishy.” Plenty of restaurants in Alaska will tell you they’re serving yelloweye (also called red snapper) but they’re just passing off inferior rockfish as quality fish. For this reason, rockfish doesn’t score as high. Rating – 80.0
Northern Pike – This is another freshwater fish. In Alaska, northern pike are a delicious white flesh fish that can be cooked in countless ways. In fact, it is arguably the most versatile fish in the state. However, you have to catch pike because they aren’t served in restaurants and you have to know how to clean them properly or you’ll end up with fillets full of nasty bones. Rating – 83.2
And the best eating fish in Alaska is…..
Drumroll…. The best eating fish in Alaska is lingcod! If you travel to Alaska, be sure to eat some lingcod and thank me later.