Seafood rules the table in Oregon. Salmon is a particular favorite and is prepared in a variety of ways. It's even served for breakfast as salmon hash, which is diced fish and potatoes sautéed with onion, dill, chives, and perhaps some mustard. Hash can be made with fresh fish or a combination of fresh and smoked. For other meals, salmon is often baked with a cracker or breadcrumb stuffing seasoned with celery, onion, garlic, and herbs. It's also grilled, sometimes on a water-soaked cedar plank that adds a smoky flavor. Seasonings for plank grilling are usually simple, such as a rub made of mustard, brown sugar, and black pepper. Salmon chowder, frequently made with corn, is also popular. River trout is also often paired with corn in fish cakes or simply pan-fried whole or filleted.
Shellfish, particularly clams, oysters, and crab, are all extremely popular in Oregon. Clam chowder, a popular gray day meal, is usually milk-based with potato, onion, and bacon. Oyster bisque is a little more refined, though it's also milk-based. It's usually very mildly seasoned with butter, bay leaves, nutmeg, and possibly a little Worcestershire sauce, and thickened with a little mashed potato and a raw egg whisked in at the end of the cooking time. Oysters baked with bacon or poached and served cold with cocktail sauce are both common starters. They get stirred into turkey stuffing on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and sautéed into quick dinners with onion, celery, green pepper, and tomato. Both clams and oysters are also sometimes coated with egg and cornmeal and fried for a starter or snack.
Dungeness crab is locally available and a particular favorite. The meat is often stirred into creamy crab dip or bisque for an appetizer or added to salads with ingredients such as potatoes, Asian cabbage, or celery root. It's also a popular savory omelet or pancake filler with mushrooms or, for a special meal, local truffles.
Though Oregon shares the same Germanic-English heritage as many other states, fresh and local ingredients are very important here. It's not unusual to find a wide variety of fresh, organic produce as well as many vegetarian restaurants. Other favorites include Asian-influenced dishes such as seafood seasoned with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce, fish cakes that include curry paste in the recipe, and sushi.
Almost all American hazelnuts are grown in Oregon, so they are regular ingredients in local foods. Salads, especially green or cucumber salads, are frequently topped with chopped, toasted hazelnuts, as are pan-fried fish dishes. Hazelnuts are particularly popular in sweets, especially those with chocolate. Praline paste—toasted hazelnuts and caramelized sugar ground together to a fine paste—is a local commercial product and is also attempted by ambitious home cooks (it is a common ingredient in chocolates and cake frosting). Hazelnuts are also popular with cheese, either as a topping for cheesecake or paired with cheeses for a savory end to a meal. Local blueberries make blueberry muffins and cakes popular everyday sweet treats. Oregon is also known for its many famous breweries and coffeehouses.