Corn and salmon chowder with sweet potatoes. Sweet Olathe corn from Colorado, king salmon from Alaska and white sweet potatoes make for an amazing, hearty and flavorful summertime chowder.
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I love grilled corn in summer and in my opinion the BEST corn comes from Olathe, Colorado. We were recently on a road trip to Colorado and Southern Utah for a few weeks visiting friends and family, getting to hike and fish and show our girls where we used to live.
We were treated to some amazing Olathe corn a few of our meals and we bought some off a farm stand in Durango before we headed to Utah. I knew the first thing I was going to do when I got home was make chowder with it.
This corn and salmon chowder was inspired by my New England Clam Chowder, as well as my Grilled Corn and Chicken Avocado Chowder recipe. I am a fan of any and all chowders, its my favorite hearty stew like soup. Grilled corn is almost always a must in any kind of chowder.
I had some gorgeous Alaskan king salmon in my freezer and knew I wanted to add that to this chowder. I am going to be going to Alaska soon with Copper River Salmon so this recipe is inspired by my travels this summer.
Corn and Salmon Chowder ingredients:
- Bacon - thick cut
- Shallots, yellow onion, celery, garlic
- Lemon juice - for a little brightness
- Flour - to help thicken the chowder
- Thyme - either fresh or dried
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Chicken or Vegetable stock
- Clam juice - adds a nice briny seafood flavor
- Japanese or white flesh sweet potatoes - I prefer to use white sweet potatoes with a chowder like this one but you can use Yukon golds instead if you can't find the sweet potatoes.
Shallots, yellow onion and celery diced and ready to go.
Peeled white sweet potatoes - can use white flesh or Japanese white sweet potatoes. These are a more firm, starchy sweet potato.
- Sweet corn - this gets grilled in the husk
- Wild Alaskan Salmon - I used King, you can also use Sockeye or Coho, skin removed
- Heavy cream or half and half
- Chives and hot sauce
Gorgeous wild Alaskan King Salmon. Either have the fishmonger at your store or fish market remove the skin for you or remove it with a very sharp filet knife.
Olathe sweet corn.
See recipe card for quantities.
Instructions to make the chowder:
The corn gets grilled in the husk while the bacon is cooking in the pot. They both take about the same time to get done so I cook them both at the same time.
Grilling corn in the husks gets the corn nice and plump and imparts a smoky flavor into the corn but keeps the actual corn from getting charred. If you like some char on the actual corn, remove some of the husks towards the last few minutes and get the corn a little charred.
The rest of the recipe is a pretty straight forward chowder recipe. Bacon cooked and removed, aromatics and vegetables softened, seasonings, sweet potatoes and broth added. Corn, salmon and cream or half and half in last.
Save the corn cobs after grilling and cutting off the kernels to impart even more of a corn flavor to the broth. You can simmer the broth and clam juice with the corn cobs for a bit before adding the potatoes. Remove the corn cobs before adding in the grilled kernels and salmon.
There is flour to thicken and dairy in the recipe. If you want to make it gluten or dairy free try these substitutions:
- Flour - you can either use a gluten free all purpose blend, make a corn starch slurry or leave out altogether, it wont be as thick of a chowder if omitted
- Dairy free - The only milk I would substitute with would be coconut milk. I wouldn't substitute with oat, almond or soy.
- Grill - We have a Weber gas grill that we love. You can use gas, charcoal or even a pellet grill.
- Large stock pot or at least a 7-8 quart cast iron or enamel cast iron pot. I love my Le Creuset enamel cast iron. The one I use the most is over 25 years old and still in perfect condition
- Corn peeler - I know people don't love single use appliances or gadgets but this is one I really love and it doesn't take up too much drawer space.
Salmon Chowder Storage:
Store the chowder in air tight containers - either glass or deli containers in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days.
You can also freeze the chowder. Thaw in refrigerator before reheating. Be warned the thawing and reheating may make the salmon and the potatoes a little more mushy than they should be.
You want to add the salmon at the last few minutes of the chowder cooking so it firms up but doesn't over cook. If you want to make the chowder ahead of time cook everything but the salmon. Add in the salmon to cook it the day you serve the chowder.
Chowders almost always start with bacon, aromatics and vegetables such as shallot, leek, onion, celery and carrot and potatoes.
It doesn't but it is sweeter and lens a smokier flavor to the chowder which pairs really nicely with the salmon and sweet potatoes.
Chowder is a mix of several different liquids one being a clear broth either poultry or vegetable bases, a seafood or clam broth and a dairy component of either milk, cream of half and half.
More chowder and corn recipes you might also enjoy:
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Serving a crowd? Make it a whole meal:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with this corn and salmon chowder:
Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder Recipe:
Corn and Salmon Chowder with Sweet Potatoes
- 1 grill gas, charcoal or pellet
- 1 7-8 quart stock pot, cast iron or cast iron enamel pot with lid
- 4 arge ears of corn still in the husk 500 g kernels after grilling the corn, reserve the cobs
- 230 g thick bacon sliced into half inch pieces (about 6 slices)
- 50 g shallots diced
- 150 g yellow onion diced (about half a medium onion)
- 150 grams celery diced, four cloves of garlic, minced (about 3 stalks)
- 4 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 30 g all purpose flour
- 680 g white flesh Japanese sweet potato peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme 1 tablespoon dried if using dried
- 946 ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 240 ml clam juice
- 680 g Wild salmon King, Sockeye, Coho etc, skin removed, cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
- 473 ml heavy cream or half and half
- Tabasco or Cholula
- Chives for garnish
- Heat your grill over medium heat carefully peel the husks of the corn down, but do not remove the husks. Remove the silks as best you can, then wrap the husks back up around the corn.
- Grill the corn for about 20 minutes in the husks turning occasionally, the husks will char and blackened, and that is OK. remove from the grill and set a side until cool enough to handle.
- While the corn is grilling, set a large pot over medium heat and cook the bacon.
- Stir the bacon occasionally and once it is crispy remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined dish strain the bacon fat out to remove the gritty bits.
- Once the corn is cool enough to handle , remove the husks, any remaining silks then cut the kernels off the cobs. Keep the cobs. I like to do this with the ear of corn upright in then I cut down the cob, so the kernels fall into the bowl and not all over my counter.
- Wipe out your pot and add back in 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add in the diced shallots, the diced yellow onion, and the celery and cook until softened, about five minutes.
- Next add in the garlic and stir for one minute, then add in the lemon juice and stir again next sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir until it starts to thicken.
- Next add in the sweet potato, seasonings, the chicken or vegetable stock, clam juice and reserved corn cobs. Bring the heat up to medium high to bring the mixture to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally.
- Once the potatoes are soft, taste and season if needed, remove the corn cobs and thyme stems if using fresh, then add in the corn and salmon.
- Cook for about 6 minutes until the salmon is starting to firm up, add in the cream and stir well. Taste and season with more salt and pepper and a few dashes of hot sauce.
- Serve with the bacon bits sprinkled over the top as well as some finely diced chive, more hot sauce and lemon wedges.