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Most cooks sear salmon in a sizzling skillet — chef Tom Douglas shows how to get a crispy skin in this video — or char it on a hot grill. Here are a few cool alternatives to cooking this good-for-you fish.

1) Hot Smoked

Northwest Indian tribes have long cooked salmon on stakes in a pit near coals from native woods like alder. This works on the same principle as low-and-slow barbecue, though the cooking times are far shorter than something like ribs or brisket. The result is a fish fillet that's unbelievably succulent and a subtle smoky flavor that complements the rich wild fish. At the recent Auction of Washington Wines picnic, the awesome culinary team from Tulalip Resort Casino wowed the crowd with this dramatic preparation, which uses stakes carved by tribe members and blessed by the chief. If you don't have a fire pit, try Alder Plank Smoked Salmon.

edited Tulalip tribe salmon on stakes
Photo by Leslie Kelly

2) Kombu-wrapped Gravlax

Kombu is sheets of dried kelp, which Seattle-based Revel chef Seif Chirchi uses to wrap salted and seasoned pieces of salmon for an Asian take on the traditional Scandinavian gravlax. During the quick-curing process -- typically done overnight -- the salmon becomes silky, almost buttery and absorbs the herbs and spices. It's cut into bite-sized pieces and served on mixed greens with slivers of the kombu tossed in.

edited Revel salmon salad
Photo by Leslie Kelly

3) Pickled

I regularly preserve leftover salmon bits by tossing them in a Mason jar and dousing them with vinegar and oil. At the renowned Saltry Restaurant in Halibut Cove, Alaska, the beautiful salmon is pickled from its pristine raw state, much like a ceviche, and served as a crowd-pleasing first course. Chunks of pickled salmon are also used as a garnish in the signature martini. In other words, it's pickled twice. What a brilliant idea!