Wild & Chunky Salmon Chowder

This satisfying chowder is one of the most scrumptious ways to get your omega-3s, and it’s a great way to warm up a chilly evening. Made with coconut milk instead of cream, this recipe is Paleo, free of gluten, grains, dairy, sugar, nightshades, and processed foods. I made it for a trip, took it frozen on the plane,  then re-heated it in my mini rice cooker for a yummy taste of home on the road. I used Japanese white sweet potato to give it the look and flavor of traditional chowder without white potato, which is a nightshade. You can use any kind of sweet potato. Make it a day ahead for company, reheating gently to boiling, but do not allow it to go to a rolling boil or the coconut milk may separate. Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze in serving size containers up to 3 months. Serves 8

Wild & Chunky Salmon Chowder



  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 yellow or white onions, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced,
  • 1/2 teaspoon unprocessed salt to taste, and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups fish or chicken stock, or filtered water
  • 2 Japanese white sweet potatoes, in small bite-size chunks
  • 1 turnip, in small bite-size chunks
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh wild Alaskan salmon
  • 2 1/2 cans full-fat coconut milk (13.5 ounce each) I prefer Organic Native Forest Classic.
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot flour to thicken
  • 2 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas, optional
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped, or a sprinkle of dill for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon cod liver oil, add to each bowl after serving, as a high-Omega-3 garnish, optional


  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large soup pot.
  2. Add the garlic and onion, and sauté 3-5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add celery and continue to sauté. Add mushrooms, salt, and pepper as you continue to sauté.
  3. Add the stock or water, potatoes, and turnip. Bring to boiling, but do not allow to go to a rolling boil. Turn heat down to barely simmer.
  4. In a separate pan, gently steam the salmon fillets 2-3 minutes with 1/4-inch water, covered. When the salmon turns lighter colored, remove to a cutting board, allow to cool, cut away the skin, cut into bite size chunks, and add to the chowder.
  5. Stir the arrowroot into the coconut milk before adding. If your ambient temperature is cold, the coconut milk may be partly solid and you may need to stir or blend the coconut milk to make it smooth. Add it to the soup and heat to boiling, but do not allow to fully boil or the coconut milk may separate. Add cilantro (or dill) and fish sauce. Season to taste.
  6. Serve into bowls and add a teaspoon of cod liver oil in each bowl, if desired, for a healthy dose of omega-3's and rich flavor. This is best added after cooking to protect the delicate omega-3's. Enjoy.

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