Filson Food: Pickled Wild Salmon

pickled salmon, carrots and red onions on cutting board

Pickled salmon is a tradition that runs deep in Alaska, preserving the summer’s harvest to last through the cold winter. It’s become a staple in my fridge, there is always a jar tucked back there – even in our tiny space on the fishing boat during the salmon season.

Wild salmon is an incredibly healthy protein and pickled fish makes for a nutritious bite anytime of day. The ocean provides the world with one of our last truly wild foods and and I encourage you to source wild salmon when finding fish to eat. Alaska carefully manages its fisheries for a future of sustainability and choosing wild Alaska salmon supports hundreds of hardworking small boat fishermen and coastal communities. Onboard our small boat, we take time and effort to handle the wild ocean’s harvest as carefully as we can to provide people with high quality, delicious wild salmon. It’s so rewarding to work out on the water and I’m very grateful for the wild salmon that provide me with a livelihood and a way of life.


1 ½ pounds of wild salmon, skin on and pin bones removed
Kosher Salt


  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ¼ cup pickling spice
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced


2 red onions, thinly sliced

salting the salmon filet
skinning a salmon filet on brown cutting board

1. Place fillet skin side down in a large dish and cover with kosher salt. Be sure to cover the fish completely. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

2. Remove the salmon from the salt and rinse well.

3. With a fillet knife, remove the skin off the fillet.

4. Cut the salmon into bite size pieces. Set aside.

5. To make the pickling brine, combine vinegar, water, olive oil, pickling spices, sugar, bay leaves, and garlic in a saucepan. Heat to a simmer and slowly dissolve the sugar into the vinegar. Once sugar has completely dissolved, remove from heat, take out the bay leaves, and let cool.

6. Once the brine has cooled, thinly slice the red onion.

the finished product salmon dish with red onion

7. Layer the cubes of salmon and sliced red onion into your jars and pour the chilled pickling brine on top to fill the jar up completely.

8. Store jars in the refrigerator, allow the flavors to blend for a day or two before opening up the jar to enjoy. Eat within 3 weeks