Wild Recipes

Blackened Coho Salmon with Purple Sweet Potatoes and Yellow Cauliflower Puree


Blackened Coho Salmon with Purple Sweet Potatoes and Yellow Cauliflower Puree

Recipe contributed by Editor in Chief J. Townsend

I was fortunate enough to be visited by Field Staff Writer J. McFarland a couple of weeks ago, and he was so kind as to bring me some wild fish and game from Alaska. My mother-in-law and father-in-law were also in town that week, so I took the opportunity to throw together a delicious meal with some of the Silver Salmon that Jason caught up in Alaska.

Coho Salmon in AlaskaSilver Salmon is more formerly known as Coho Salmon. Coho Salmon range mostly in the Northern Pacific from Japan across and into the Northern regions of the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. Like most other salmon, they travel from saltwater into freshwater to spawn. They change colors depending on their location in the salt or freshwater as well as when breeding. Jason landed this particular Coho while fishing from his stand-up paddle board in a saltwater bay.

I was also fortunate that week to have a meeting scheduled to pick up some fresh produce at The Vegetable Shop at Chino Farms in San Diego, CA. Chino Farms is a very reputable farm where many chefs and restaurants source their produce on a daily basis (Some drive from as far away as Northern Los Angeles). The Vegetable Shop is their storefront that holds all of their fresh produce which is handpicked each day. While browsing, I picked up some Yellow Cauliflower and Okinawan purple sweet potatoes.

The yellow cauliflower may seem a little intriguing but the purple sweet potatoes can certain raise some eye brows. Okinawan sweet potatoes have a purple interior with a light colored skin on the outside. They have been popular in Japan for several hundred years and can be found served in a variety of foods there. These tubers are flavorful, high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants.

I stayed very basic with this recipe because I wanted to embrace the natural flavors found in each ingredient, and I have to say that I was not disappointed. The Coho Salmon was definitely the freshest tasting salmon I have ever had.

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16oz Wild Coho Salmon fillet

2 tablespoon Cajun Seasonings

1 head of yellow cauliflower (about 1 lbs)

Water for steaming/blanch

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon cream

½ teaspoon ground white pepper

1 teaspoon salt

2 lbs of Okinawan purple sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into discs

Garlic powder, salt, and ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon oil (coconut, grape seed, olive)


  1. Bring one medium pot of water to boil
  2. Cut cauliflower down off of the stalk
  3. Blanch or steam the cauliflower until a fork can easily pierce the flesh of the cauliflower.
  4. Remove from the water and place into a food processor
  5. Add the butter, cream, ground white pepper, and salt
  6. Process until smooth. (Add an additional teaspoon at a time of cream until desired thickness is reached, if needed)
  7. Remove from processor and set aside
  8. Bring one large pan to medium-high heat and add 1.5 teaspoons of oil
  9. Season the purple sweet potatoes with garlic powder, salt, and ground black pepper
  10. Sautee the purple sweet potatoes for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally (You want these to remain slightly crunchy)
  11. Bring one large pan to high heat and add 1.5 teaspoons of oil
  12. Cut the salmon into four equal portions and season each side heavily with the Cajun seasonings
  13. Place the salmon skin side down in the pan and allow the skin to sear by gently pressing down on the fillet
  14. Cook for 3-5 minutes each side, depending on thickness. Allow the seasonings on each side to become crispy and blackened.
  15. Remove from heat and serve immediately

Justin Townsend

Justin (Choctaw) is an avid hunter, angler, and chef whose passion for the outdoors lead him to create Harvesting Nature in 2011. He continues to hunt, fish, and cook all while sharing his experiences with others through film, podcasts, print, and with recipes. He also proudly serves in the United States Coast Guard.

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