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29 responses to “Salmon Chowder”

  1. Sarah | The Cyclist's Wife

    Can I just use extra salmon meat to make the broth? My husband caught a bunch of salmon over the summer, but he filleted it all and we have it sealed and frozen….so no heads, fins or bones. If not, is there somewhere to purchase salmon broth, or is there a good substitute? Thanks!

  2. Celeste

    Your revulsion in re: too thick chowder mirrors my own feelings about too-thick gumbos. It’s soup, dammit!

  3. Erika

    Why is it so important to ensure that the gills are removed from the heads for stock? Cloudy stock? Funky taste? Thanks!

  4. Amanda

    This looks much, much better than those other gloppy chowders you describe. Have to try this with some of the citrus salts I’ve got halfway mixed in place of the dill. Oh, and thanks for the fish stock technique. I’ve never ventured there…

  5. Sara Thompson

    I know this is slightly off topic but I don’t know where else to ask. When making seafood soups – how do you not make the seafood rubbery? We make a mixed seafood bits soup and it almost always is difficult to chew. The mix comes frozen so it might be the product but it has scallops, clams, squid/octopus, and other “bits”. We’ve tried adding the fish at the very end of the cooking so they are just cooked but they are still like hitting bits of rubber.

  6. Robert

    Hank – for those of us who are landlocked in the south – when you say “any fish” (other than the few you mention) – does that transalate to our readily available game fish? Largemouth bass? crappie? Thanks.

  7. Anthony Pickering

    When you say it can be reheated the next day slowly. Would you leave the heavy cream and dill out if you plan to reheat the next day?

  8. Sarah | The Cyclist's Wife

    Thanks Hank!

  9. Maria

    How excited am I right now? My husband is always catching trout and now I have a use for the parts he dumps. So much better to use it for stock and have less waste. I’m more grateful with every post of yours to have found your site a few months back b/c I’ve found so many great recipes. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Dan

    I’m definitely trying this and will inevitably try some other fish concoctions. I have to say, I think I am the ONLY person in New England who enjoys both thinner and thicker chowders. I have never had a chowder so thick you could stand a spoon in it, but chowder is chowder, not soup (in reply to whoever wrote that it is soup). I like it to be somewhat like bisque or even possibly a little thicker, but this looks perfect for a thinner chowder. I also don’t think I’d ever order chowder in the mid-west.. I think of that as being a more German/Scandinavian cuisine part of the country.

  11. Russell

    Bacon, wine, cream, but not thick. Yep, that’s how we roll in Seattle! (Except Ivar’s, gloppy and thick… ugh.) And now I am craving chowder, thanks Hank. I usually wing together something like this with razor clams and oysters when we come back from a dig, but it works fantastically with salmon scraps during the summer runs (I like to use the leftover meat on the spine after filleting, plus a few tail-end chunks of fillet). Not boiling the head is key, I put a thermometer in it and keep it at about 190.

    Time to go defrost some clam feet…

  12. Ron Lentz

    Made this recipe tonight. It was fantastic. My girlfriend crumbled crackers into hers but I liked the chowder straight on. A little bread, salad and some Gewürztraminer and it was a little seafood heaven! Thanks again, Hank, for such a great recipe!

  13. Shannon

    Thanks for posting this recipe. My husband and I live in Michigan and salmon fish all summer long. I’m always looking for a new way to cook salmon/ steelhead/ trout. Your chowder recipe is very close to one that I came up with, except I use sweet potatoes in mine because my husband is allergic to regular potatoes. They work well as long as you don’t cook them too long….

  14. Bee Girl

    This looks amazing. The end.

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  16. Mike Walthers

    I had a few pieces of salmon that were sealed and frozen that I was unsure of what to do with. I really did not want to BBQ them and a buddy turned me on to this recipe. A couple months ago I had a half dozen lobsters and I made a stock out of the remainders after the meal:

    Needless to say, this is the best soup that I have ever made. Easy to follow directions and was quick and very tasty. I have no doubt that the stock recipe given in this Salmon Chowder recipe would be great, but the extra flavor of the lobster nailed it. Thanks, I will be making this again real soon.

  17. Bret

    Great recipe. It definitely is not a thick chowder, but very good nonetheless. I actually used lake trout caught from Keuka Lake NY. I will use this again….thanks

  18. Terry Van Kirk

    I saved this recipe a few months ago and I’ve really been looking forward to trying it. Today is the day! But halfway through the recipe I came across this instruction:

    “Let the wine boil for a minute or two, then add the remaining ingredients”

    However, the only remaining ingredients listed are the ones used to make the chowder once the stock is finished.

    Should I just disregard that instruction and just add water and the salmon bits?

  19. maren

    Any subs for the cream? Trying to make a lactose-intolerant friendly version. Maybe cashew cream??

  20. Paul


    Do you have any advice about using smoked salmon. Since cooking with smoked salmon sometimes accentuates the smoke flavor….I’m thinking 1/2 smoked salmon and 1/2 unsmoked.

    I’m in Alaska and we normally eat our salmon fresh in the summer months and smoke and freeze our winter supply. So, I don’t have any unsmoked salmon. Would it be an abomination to substitute canned salmon? If yes, I may be able to find some frozen salmon in a neighbor’s freezer but it will probably be filleted.


  21. Mike

    So, if I really prefer thick chowder do I just add more heavy cream? I really prefer the thick ones myself and have never made chowder. I have a bunch of salmon in the freezer and want to try new things. Thanks!

  22. Chad Low

    So my wife made this yesterday, and it was dynamite. Hadn’t ever made fish broth before so I was admittedly nervous about how “fishy” it would be. As I learned a few years back, just place your faith in the man, and follow his directions, and he never lets you down.

    We ended up with enough extra broth to make another batch.

    Will this broth keep if pressure canned?

    As is usually the case, this would be a piece of cake if you had the broth ready to go….

  23. Susan

    As someone originally from Minnesota, I have to say that eating gloppy chowder is not the what people in the Midwest necessarily like. It is simply what is served in so many places. I have had gloppy chowder in all parts of the country, including on the East Coast and here in the great NW (most recently Astoria)! I have always made my own non-gloppy version both in Minnesota and in Oregon.

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