We fishermen members of the Seafood Producers Cooperative (SPC) are the proud artisans of the SPC Brand™, Alaska Gold™ and California Gold™ brands, the highest quality hook-and-line caught wild salmon, halibut, black cod (sablefish) and albacore. Operating in the icy, pristine waters of the North Pacific since the 1940s, we bring 70 years of experience and a heritage of Excellence, Integrity, and Service.
Might Wild Seafood alleviate children with asthma?
An international study led by Australia’s La Trobe University has found that children with asthma who followed a healthy Mediterranean diet enriched with fatty fish had improved lung function after six months. We are finally figuring out that diets high in fat, sugar and salt can influence childhood development and might contribute to asthma in children. “Fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties. Our study shows eating fish just twice a week can significantly decrease lung inflammation in children with asthma.”
The clinical trial involved 64 children aged five to 12 who had mild asthma. Researchers divided the children into two groups and instructed around half to eat two meals of cooked fatty fish (of at least 150 grams) as part of the Greek Mediterranean diet every week for six months. The remaining children followed their normal diet. At the end of the trial, they found the group who ate fish had reduced their bronchial inflammation by 14 units. Above 10 units is significant under international guidelines.
Spring is here and it’s time to grill some salmon.
We’d like to encourage our customers to try different species of our salmon. Everything we do is quality and all of our line-caught salmon are the pinnacle of quality. We offer these tasting notes to help you choose:
Of the Pacific wild salmon that we sell, there are king salmon. With meat colors ranging from orange-red to creamy white and everything in between, mostly depending on the ratio of shrimp and krill to prey fish they are eating, these are the largest and least numerous of the Pacific salmon. King salmon tend to return to bigger river systems to spawn and to prepare for this journey up big, fast-moving streams, they build up a lot of what for us are the good fats loaded with heart-healthy Omega-3s. The king salmon’s big flake and succulent, rich flavor and very high oil content make them very much in demand and the most popular seafood item we sell. The best way to cook would be a slow grill at 275° F over a flavorful hardwood like alder or cedar. Capers or mustard-y acidic sauces will help balance out the fish flavor of a king salmon.
A very close second in popularity is our coho salmon. Milder and more delicate, with a peachy orange color, coho salmon’s quality and flavor benefit greatly from being line-caught, as their delicate meat, prized for pairing with fine meals, is kept in pristine condition with the dedicated handling procedures practiced on trolling boats. Like king salmon, coho salmon are rich in oils and coho salmon are particularly rich in vitamin D, while being leaner than king salmon. Their mild flavor makes them easy to pair with all kinds of recipes and a family favorite and pleasing also to picky eaters and children alike. The coho is more delicate and a little bit more prone to overcooking than king salmon. Both the coho salmon portions we sell and the larger fillets are thinner than king salmon, but this thinner fillet can mean a more consistent cook throughout the fish, and some of our customers, myself included, prefer the thinner coho salmon fillets and portions over the king salmon for this reason. (I also really like the milder flavor of the coho.) Once again, low and slow on the grill is the way to go to avoid overcooking.
Another species of salmon that benefits from being line-caught is keta salmon. Most keta salmon are caught in nets as they approach streams and the end of their lives with poor meat quality, making them eventually sold in lower-end markets. In contrast, our Alaska Gold wild keta salmon are caught on hook and line. By definition, line-caught salmon are actively feeding and at the peak of their quality.The difference in being line-caught cannot be underestimated. Our Alaska Gold keta salmon are very mild, moist, and delicious, and can be used in a variety of recipes, like this Keta Salmon Curry with Lemongrass and Galanga Recipe or this Sweet Chili Keta Salmon recipe. One of the best ways to enjoy keta salmon is slow-grilled with teriyaki sauce. A blackening seasoning or creamy sauces like those used for a Halibut Olympia recipe also work well with our keta salmon.
Have you tried our sockeye salmon?? Sockeye salmon is one of the more numerous Alaskan salmon. They are prized for their deep red color, firm texture and robust flavor. They are plankton eaters and do not usually take hooks, so they are rarely caught on hook and line. From time to time we offer the rare line-caught sockeye salmon we catch for sale on the Alaska Gold website. This is a really, really special offering, as less than 1/100th of 1% of sockeye salmon available in stores are caught on hook and line and benefit from both the care given to each fish that is typical for a line-caught salmon and also being caught in a state of active feeding. Sockeye salmon, because of their bold flavor, can hold their own with super-flavorful spices and sauces. DO NOT MISS this wonderful line-caught sockeye salmon!
Quality starts in the water. The initial condition of the fish establishes the upper limit of it’s quality. From there it can only be degraded, not improved- thus a net-caught salmon, typically caught near the river mouth, won’t match the quality of a line-caught salmon on the open ocean.
But if you get more than two varieties of our Alaska Gold salmon, use the following coupon code for 15% off, and we’ll also throw in a 6-portion box of keta salmon (while supplies last): SalmonSmorgasbord
We compiled a list of tips for preparing seafood from our Alaska Gold Seafood customers to help each other learn new ways to prepare seafood.
Medine in Kentucky says, “I am grateful for your fish; it is the freshest quality. I like to let my salmon pieces come to room temperature; then I will sprinkle a little bit of fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. I heat my pan on medium heat until hot. Then I cook the salmon skin side down for 5 minutes, flip it and cook for 5 more minutes. I let it rest for 2 to 3 minutes before enjoying.”
Adam from Dana Point, California says: “Here’s the tried-and-true best way to cook coho salmon, as confirmed by my super-taster three and seven-year old boys.
1 tsp honey or coconut
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp ginger
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tbs vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Place coho salmon filets
skin side down on wire rack positioned on a cooking tray.
Apply marinade liberally
Broil on high for 6-7
minutes until skin is lightly browned and cooked mostly through.
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp garlic
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp (+/-) Huy
Fong Foods Chili Garlic Sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Serve over rice with chopped scallions and dumplings. “
LuAnne from Ferndale, Washington says “My favorite way to prepare coho salmon fillets is in the oven 45 minutes at 200 degrees. You can top it with almost anything from Italian dressing, a miso paste topping, soy sauce, just about anything. One of my favorite toppings is to salt and pepper the salmon, let it set for 30 minutes then a layer of mayonnaise and then a layer of Pesto on top of that. So Good. You can’t screw up this fish unless you overcook it!” Yes, low and slow, is how many of us cook salmon.
How to prepare Salmon Blueberry Salad from KD in Lake Tahoe, Nevada:
“Take about 4 to 5 oz, (this is about 50 to 60% of a single king salmon portion single serving cut up in small cubes) and on low heat, fry in a small fry pan with olive oil and a small fork worth of diced garlic. (Don’t overdo the olive oil. By the time you’re done cooking the fish you want the oil almost cooked out. I keep a lose lid on the pan as well to contain the heat for more even cooking.)
During the heat up period take a spoon and regularly move the
pieces around in your pan every couple of minutes. Even in low heat, (I
have a gas stove and use as small a flame that I can get on my small burner)
you will need to move the fish in the pan at first in order to avoid it from
sticking on to the pan. After the first couple of minutes the fish and oil will
have come together so this is not a problem, so long as you are patient and
keep the heat very low.) In about 8 to 10 minutes you should see all of the
pink out of your salmon.
When the garlic starts to brown, drizzle lime juice and soy sauce on to the salmon along with pepper. Don’t overdo this. (Sometimes I also add some ground ginger near the end of the cooking process so it doesn’t cook out. But don’t overdue the Ginger.) The fish is not done yet , but it will get there so keep an eye on it. Every minute turn the pieces over as they gradually brown and keep them moving on the pan bottom.
As the salmon turns a golden brown, hit the fish with a small fork
of capers and about 8 to 10 fresh blueberries. Turn everything over in the pan
several times so the berries are covered in the heated oil. I then put up the
caper jar and by the time I come back to the pan, take it off the heat. You’re
done. You want the blueberries to be heated but not melting.
I then pour out the pan contents over a small bed of spinach
greens. I put a little of dressing on the greens before placing the fish on top
in order to avoid drowning the fish in salad dressing. You can add some
croutons as well. I also hit it with some fresh ground pepper one more time.
If you do it right there is nothing left in the salmon that
remotely tastes like fish. It is something else entirely and it is amazing! It
is so good I can’t believe how good it is every time I eat this. I realize
there are no portions provided in the above, but I am more of a cook than a
recipe guy. Good Luck with it!
PS: I cut the skin off two thawed salmon steaks, dice it up into
small cubes and keep them in a plastic container and eat them over a two day
period. This dish takes about 15 minutes if you buy the pre-boxed spinach
greens at the grocery store and is better than anything you’ll ever get in a
high end restaurant.
Tad from Sitka says “Put mayo on halibut to keep it from getting dry. There are a number of halibut and other seafood recipes with mayonnaise, like the Halibut Olympia (also known as the Caddy Ganty) and all of these recipes with mayonnaise keep the halibut from getting dry.”
Annette from Alta, California says, “I am hooked on the Coho Salmon. I bake mine. Plain and simple. I also love the Black Cod (Sablefish). My favorite is to bake it. The Halibut is awesome and guess what, I bake it too. With the halibut I put guacamole on the top of it just before serving. So yummy!”
Robin’s recipe for Alaskan cod will work perfectly for our halibut.
Oven Fried Alaskan Cod
~ dredge pieces in flour seasoned with salt, pepper, seasoned salt, garlic and
onion powder. Dip dredged pieces in beaten egg white, then roll in panko crumbs
seasoned with parsley, garlic powder & parmesan cheese. Place on well-sprayed
cookie sheet and spray tops of fillets with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees
until golden brown & fish flakes easily (test for doneness).
Lynn says that she likes “a simple pan sear with some butter, lemon, garlic and salt and pepper.”
Jim in Wisconsin says, “I like to take one of my thawed Keta Salmon portions and bring it up to room temperature. I then heat (number 6 on electric stove) up a small fry pan with some EVVO. I then put the fish skin side up and let that sear and cool for a minute and a half. Then turn over and put skin side down for another minute and a half. Lightly salt and pepper after putting on a plate.I will have some veggies prepared (steamed Broccoli), and put 2 pieces of Ezekiel 7 grain sprouted bread in the toaster and spread with Smart Balance.”
Kat in Colorado says, “First off. We love your fish! All of them! My favorite way is in a parchment bag, you Can top it with a little dill and a lemon slice. If you like but it’s good just on its own. It’s nearly impossible to overcook using the parchment bag.”
Robert in Huntsville, Texas says, “We soak our salmon in milk after thawing, then we put our salmon in our Air Fryer for 12 min, remove the skin, and garnish with lemon………..It’s Fantastic!”
John from Orlando, Florida recommends that you “take halibut fillets out of freezer, immerse in pan of cold water 20 minutes, open, rinse, pat dry with paper towel. Sprinkle liberally with lemon pepper, cook in cast iron skillet medium / medium high heat 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil 4 to 5 minutes each side. Its great! Freezer to table in 35 minutes.”
Barry from Chicago says, “Poke your fish. When I think my salmon is near done I press down on the fish and if it flakes easily, I know that my salmon is done. If I don’t see the flake fall apart, I leave it to cook for a minute or two more.”
Betty in Washington DC likes to slather her salmon in whole grain mustard and bake.
Rolf in Minneapolis says, “We’ve been grilling salmon on a gas grill for several years, trying out many different ideas, alder chips, brown sugar glazes and more. The recipe we always go back to is to marinate king salmon portions a few hours then grill for 15 minutes or so at 425 degrees.
When cooked, take a spatula and separate the meat from the skin,
leave skin on the grill.
Marinade is as follows:
1/3 cup soy sauce – we much prefer salt free
¼ cup orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon stone ground mustard
1-2 tablespoon chapped green onions
1 clove minced garlic
½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
Pretty simple – fish stays pretty moist and marinade adds some
tang without overwhelming salmon flavor.”
Rosabel in Levittown, Pennsylvania says, “My family loves my tangerine salmon! So easy. A pinch of salt, ginger powder, honey to taste, basil leaves to cover and tangerine or pineapple chunks atop! Sometimes I let it sit in the fridge and marinate before baking. Let it stand to room temperature and bake to taste. I like 325 for 15 minutes and dinner is done! YUMMY!”
1) For the salmon, we
are addicted to cooking with the skin on. We cook in a carbon steel pan over
very high gas heat (a wok gas burner with 24,000 BTUs). With a little oil in
the pan, cook the fish skin down until the fish EASILY moves around in the pan.
The longest cooking time is on the skin side. When it will slide easily, you
flip it over for a very short time, depending on the thickness. A flexible fish
turner works very well. The best way to cook fish is to use a digital
thermometer that you stick into the fish. That way it can never be overdone.
About 120 degrees is best. You can add at the end a chopped mash of garlic and
capers if you want. Mmmmm!
Monica in Portland, Oregon notes, “My favorite way to fix my salmon and halibut is using minimal seasonings. For my salmon I bake it in the oven using olive oil, salt, pepper, freshly minced garlic and fresh rosemary. My halibut I cook in a skillet on the stove top with olive oil and salt and pepper. The fish I get from Alaska Gold is so good on its own, it doesn’t need much to taste delicious.”
Like a lot of us in the office, Robin in Jasper, Alabama likes to slow-cook her king salmon. “Cook at 200 degrees in oven for 45 minutes with olive oil and lemon.”
Longtime customer Joanna in Northridge, California says “Pan seared or baked with mustard and honey or maple syrup glaze. Yummy!”
Tim in Columbia Station, Ohio notes that “there are many similar online recipes for Black Cod/Sablefish/Butterfish. I make a marinade of Miso, sugar, Sake and rice vinegar. I brush two cod pieces with the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge overnight, saving some marinade for garnish. Wipe most the marinade from the fish and place in a med high heat, oiled skillet/fry pan. This fish only needs 3-4 minutes per side to cook…just a quick searing. Before serving I lightly drizzle with some of the remaining marinade.”
Note that if you get distracted and dinner plans change, you can keep marinating your black cod an extra day or two. Some people say that the ideal marinade time is at least 48 hours. Try it for yourself and see what marinade time you prefer for your sablefish. Also, 3-4 minutes per side will work, but you can cook much longer. It is nearly impossible to overcook sablefish because its oils are so thick!
A big congratulations to Lon in Mechanicsburg, Ohio who wrote to us: “Today is my last week before retirement after 39 years working at an agriculture firm here in Ohio. Even at 65 years old I am skipping like my grandchildren looking forward to life changes. I have been an Alaska Gold customer for a few years and the salmon is delicious.” Lon gets our bulk orders of coho salmon portions. “Always a consistent taste of quality salmon that satisfies my hunger like no other. So my tip is for all folks ‘even thinking toward retirement’ to grill that Alaska Gold salmon with a huge smile! I am.”
Alan in New York City advises how to create “Michelin-Star Quality Fish.”
“How do the best
restaurants in the world do fish? They get high quality ingredients, and do
their best to highlight their delicious, natural flavors. This is the
mindset you should have when cooking Alaska Gold Seafood. Here’s how you
scales from skin. After
you defrost the fish, remove any scales from the skin (if it has any). Use a
paring knife and go against the grain. Do this in your sink, but not under
running water. Water dilutes flavor and affects cooking time. You don’t
want to do this.
– Extract Moisture.
Your aim is to remove moisture (water) from the fish and make the natural
flavors (fats and proteins) more intense. Pat the fish dry with paper towels.
Put onto a raised rack sheet (like what people use to cool their cookies after
baking). Then use kosher sea salt over the skin. If there’s no skin, then just
salt the top side. Optional: add a little bit of sugar to your salt.
– Bring to temperate. Leave the fish out as it comes to room temperature. This may
take 10 min or so. As this happens, you will notice water coming to the surface
of the fish (because the salt is drawing it out). Remove this moisture by
gently patting the fish with a paper towel.
pan to temp. Stainless steel pan is
ideal. A quality, heavy non-stick is ok. Start to heat the pan. Put in oil.
Make sure the bottom of the pan is completely covered in oil. Sunflower seed
oil is good if you want to cook fast and not impart any flavor onto the fish.
Cooking in olive oil will give it an olive oil flavor, but will also take
longer because it can’t be cooked as hot as the sunflower see. I like to cook
salmon and sablefish in sunflower seed oil, and halibut in olive oil. If concerned
about wasting oil, as long as you don’t burn it, the oil can be safely reused.
fish. When oil is hot (it
will shimmer), gently lay the fish into the pan. It should sizzle. If it’s not
sizzling, bring the temp up ASAP. You want the oil to be popping. Sauté in
french means “jump”, as in the oil is jumping.
fish. When the fish is
in the pan. LEAVE IT ALONE. Don’t poke it, shift it, or flip it. Leave it
alone! You aim is to cook it 100% on one side, and to never mess with it. Doing
this will caramelize the proteins in a process called the maillard effect.
This is where flavor comes from. Chef Gordon Ramsay has a great quote: “No
color, no flavor”.
Control doneness. Because you’re not touching the fish, it’s
going to get a nice caramelization on one side. But how do you cook the
rest of the fish? Well, if it’s a thin piece of fish, the heat of the pan will
likely cook it fine. For thicker fish, you control the doneness by scooping the
oil out of the pan and pouring it on top of the fish. The hot oil will cook the
fish. Do this as much as much as you want. 10 – 30 times. If you watch
professional chefs, they do this very fast.
doneness. Manage doneness by how
it looks and feels. Gently touch the top of the fish. If it’s firm, it’s
well-done. If it’s bouncy, it’s med. If it’s squishy, it’s med-rare /
Rest. Just before the fish is cooked to your liking,
remove it from the pan. The side facing the pan should be crispy or browned (if
no skin). The crispness is what enables you to take it out (called
“release”). Place it on a plate skin side up. Let it rest. Don’t poke
it. It’s still cooking (called “carryover cooking”). How long it
rests depends on the thickness of the fish. A thin coho fillet can be just 60
seconds. A thicker halibut piece can be 2 -3 min
Optional acidity – just before eating you can squeeze a
little bit of lemon on there. Putting lemon zest is also another good option.
It helps brighten the flavor.
If done correctly, you will have a perfectly cooked piece of fish. If it has
skin, the skin will be like hard like a cracker.”
As you can see there
many different approaches to preparing our Alaska Gold Seafood. If you need a
recipe, we’ve got plenty of seafood recipes here.
Don’t hesitate to contact
us if you get stuck. All tastes are subjective and we can offer opinions that
come from a lot of experience preparing Alaska Gold Seafood.
If you haven’t tried our keta salmon portions yet, get prepared for a very pleasant surprise. Here is a glowing review from one of our customers:
“The first time we got the keta salmon portions I cooked them up with a really simple recipe. I baked them up plain at 400° F for 9 minutes. When done I sprinkled some seasoning salt on top and served with a pasta dish. Cooked, they look almost like a white fish like halibut–just a very gentle pink coloring. The taste was a nice blend of mild, moist and delicate. Like the combination of a halibut and salmon. The keta salmon is also like halibut in flavor—not quite as meaty, but really delicate with subtle undertones of pleasant salmon. These keta salmon portions would pair well with other dishes in which you would use halibut or other white fish. We decided to go ahead and order 20 pounds to fill our freezer and feed the family. With the bulk order, it’s a great price for wild salmon that tastes great and is nourishing!”
The vast majority of keta salmon are net-caught as they approach streams and near the end of their lives. In contrast, our Alaska Gold wild keta salmon are caught on hook and line and, by definition, these salmon are actively feeding, and therefore at the peak of their quality. (Keta rhymes with “you can’t beat a…” as in “you can’t beat a keta.) Being line-caught, they are also well taken care of on the boat by the fishermen rather than sitting for long periods of time in big nets. The difference in being line-caught cannot be underestimated. Line-caught wild keta salmon is exceedingly rare, making up less than one percent of keta salmon harvested. These are special fish!
Our friend Samantha Ferraro is the author of The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen, a cookbook that extols the beauties of the Mediterranean diet with beautifully simple dishes and colorful photos. This Sweet Chili Keta Salmon recipe isn’t Mediterranean per se, but it’s a quick and impressive dinner that adds great flavor to the mild keta salmon. The sweet chili sauce is brushed on wild keta salmon to create a sweet and savory glaze.
Our friend Samantha Ferraro is the author of The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen, a cookbook that extols the beauties of the Mediterranean diet with beautifully simple dishes and colorful photos.
This Keta Salmon Curry with Lemongrass and Galanga Recipe is not necessarily Mediterranean per se but borrows heavily from the colorful vegetable-forward beauty of Mediterranean cuisine. In this dish, wild keta salmon is poached with strong Thai flavors of ginger, galanga and lemongrass in a robust curry.
For the roasted tomatoes: 2 cups small yellow and red tomatoes, such as grape and cherry, sliced in half 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt Freshly ground black pepper
For the pistachio pesto: 1 cup shelled roasted pistachios 1 cup basil leaves 1⁄4 cup cilantro 2 cloves garlic Zest of 1 lemon 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided Kosher salt
1. To make the roasted tomatoes: Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the tomatoes on the pan. Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until softened and blistered.
2. To make the pistachio pesto: Mean- while, in a food processor, combine the pistachios, basil, cilantro, garlic, lemon zest, cheese, and 1⁄4 cup of the olive oil. Process on medium speed, drizzling in more olive oil as needed to reach the desired consistency. The pesto should be slightly thinner than a paste, but not runny. Season with kosher salt to taste.
3. Prepare the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain lightly, reserving about 1⁄4 cup of the pasta water. Return the angel hair to the pot with the pasta water. Stir in the pesto until coated.
4. In a cast-iron skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Pat the halibut fillets dry and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Sear them until browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes (see note). Gently turn them with a metal fish spatula and cook for 60 to 90 seconds, or until cooked to medium-rare to medium in the center, being careful not to overcook, or they will become dry.
5. To plate the pasta: Divide the pes- to-coated angel hair among 4 pasta bowls. Top each bowl of pasta with a halibut fillet. Distribute the roasted tomatoes evenly among the 4 bowls. Serve promptly with freshly grated Parmesan.
Note: Searing time will vary depending on the thickness of your fillets. If your fillets are quite thick, the cast-iron skillet can be transferred to a 350°F oven to finish cooking. But again, be very careful not to overcook and dry out the halibut.
It might seem like an outlandish claim that we’ve found the fountain of youth, but more evidence keeps showing up that that eating seafood might not only improve longevity, but the quality of life in old age.
A recent study revealed that higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish are associated with a lower risk of unhealthy aging (longer version of the study here). Another study, which looked at 2700 generally healthy American adults and how the Omega-3s in their blood affected their lives, showed that older adults with higher levels of omega-3s have a 27% lower risk of prematurely dying from all causes and a 35% lower risk of dying from heart disease. Those who have the most heart-healthy Omega-3s in their diets live, on average, 2.2 years longer than those with the least.
The study found, after correcting for other factors such as age, sex, and race, that adults with higher levels of EPA and DPA had a better chance of healthy aging. Participants with the highest level of omega-3s present had an 18 percent lower risk of unhealthy aging. Participants with the highest levels of EPA and DPA, the omega-3s commonly found in seafood, had the best results: Those with high levels of EPA had a 24 percent lower risk of unhealthy aging, and those with DPA had an 18 percent lower risk of unhealthy aging.
“We found that older adults who had higher levels of omega 3 from seafood were more likely to live longer and healthier lives,” lead study author Heidi Lai of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston told Reuters. “These findings support current national dietary guidelines to consume more seafood.”
Based on these studies, nutritionists and health professionals are coalescing around the following recommendations:
Eating fish two or three times per week can reduce risk of chronic disease.
The lean protein and omega-3s in wild Alaska seafood make it a smart, nutritious choice.
Eating seafood is good for your heart.
Eating seafood not only lowers blood pressure, but can help potentially reducing risk of stroke, depression, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic diseases.
This February we’ll be celebrating American Heart Month. With one in four deaths in the United States caused by heart disease, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. The good news is that heart disease can often be prevented when we make healthy choices. One healthy choice to make is including more seafood in our diets. A number of our customers have noted on the phone with us that their doctors’ recommendations of including more seafood in their diets led them to find Alaska Gold. With our line-caught wild salmon and sablefish, which are particularly high in Omega-3s, you can’t go wrong. Being line-caught means that the salmon are by definition actively feeding, at their peak, and especially loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids.
Alaska Seafood is also good choice if you are watching salt in your diet. Evidence suggests that eating seafood with omega-3s contributes to lower blood pressure, especially in people with high blood pressure (hypertension) or on weight-loss diets. In addition, omega-3s act on blood vessels and kidneys to help lower blood pressure. Reducing salt while increasing omega-3 intake further lowers blood pressure.
Eat wild Alaska seafood for your heart. Live longer and healthier.
“Have you ever had a miso-marinade black cod? It’s just like lobster tail, but better. This is the best seafood I’ve ever had!” This is how one of our customers reviewed our black cod portions.
Try our miso-marinated black cod recipe. Sablefish, commonly known as black cod, pairs really well also with teriyaki sauce. Sablefish is one of the easiest seafood items to cook–since it is so loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, sablefish is nearly impossible to overcook. Just a gentle amount of salt and cook until it is slightly browned which makes sablefish’s truly unique taste pop.
Go ahead. We dare you to try something new. Sablefish is an Omega-3 powerhouse.
We used to pack a sampler box with our classic offerings. We are no longer packing this sampler box, but we invite you to customize your own sampler pack to try something new for the new year.
Here’s how you can customize your own variety pack:
*Select the fish you want from here. We have box sizes of six portions, 5 pounds and 10 pounds. Combine the species you want. For example, select 5 pounds of halibut and 6 portions of king salmon. Once you select two or more offers and put them in your cart, and enter the following coupon codes at the checkout screen…
With 2 offers in your cart, get $50 off your order with coupon code:2FishSamplerPack
With 3 offers in your cart, get $75 off your order with coupon code:3FishSamplerPack
With 4 offers in your cart, get $100 off your order with coupon code: 4FishSamplerPack
Frequently, when you go to restaurants, menus list something like “Grilled Salmon with potatoes.”
But what kind of salmon is it? And wouldn’t you want to know?
Just as there are many different kinds of meat and a variety of ways that the meat may be raised, there are a lot of different kinds of salmon.
There are Pacific Salmon and Atlantic Salmon. Just about all the commercially available Atlantic Salmon for purchase is farmed. Farmed Atlantic Salmon comes from Norway, Chile, Scotland, Canada, and a number of other places. Note that Chile and Canada have farms on the Pacific Ocean, but they farm Atlantic Salmon there.
Then there are Pacific Salmon, and the great majority of wild Pacific salmon are harvested in the state of Alaska. There are five species of Pacific Salmon. Keeping track of their names becomes confusing because there are several names for each of the five species: King Salmon (frequently also called Chinook Salmon), Coho Salmon (commonly known as Silver Salmon), Sockeye Salmon (also known as Reds), Pink Salmon (colloquially dubbed Humpies, short for Humpback), and Keta Salmon (also called Chums). Each of these wild Pacific salmon species have different characteristics and different flavors.
Describing the flavors of all of these salmon is a subjective endeavor. A wild salmon’s flavor might vary based on a number of factors, including:
The salmon’s maturity. A salmon caught while actively feeding in the open ocean will be at its prime while a salmon caught near a river’s mouth, about to return to spawn cannot compare.
How the salmon was caught
How the salmon was handled on the boat
How the salmon was processed
What was the cold chain like between the landing the fish and ending up on a diner’s plate
How the salmon was prepared
Wild-caught salmon are harvested in several different ways. Typically, they are caught in either gill nets, by purse seine nets, drift nets, or by hook and line (also known as trolling). There are varying levels of cleanliness and care on fishermen’s boats and handling procedures, which will affect quality. As a general rule, most fishing boats in Alaska are small family businesses. Because of this, the small fishing boats in Alaska tend to have a deep and humble pride in the livelihoods that they are leading and the seafood that they produce.
In our business, quality starts in the water. And this is especially true for wild salmon. Everything we do after the salmon comes out of the water can only degrade the quality of the salmon. With regard to the different catch methods, typically a line-caught salmon should be of excellent quality because the salmon is by definition caught while the salmon are actively feeding. Troll-caught salmon should be ocean-bright and therefore not going through the degradation process that occurs when a salmon returns to its native stream to spawn. Trolling is a much “slower” catch method than harvesting salmon by net, which can catch hundreds or thousands of salmon at a time. The slower process of trolling allows fishermen to put more time into taking care of each fish, one fish at a time. The salmon are caught one hook, one fish at a time. By bleeding the salmon and gutting it once the salmon comes on board, the fishermen remove the parts of the fish that make its meat flavor taste off. There are a few net fishermen that bleed and gut their salmon, too, greatly increasing the chances of producing a quality salmon. But, in general, because of the extra care given to each salmon that comes with traditional hook and line fishing methods, a troll-caught or line-caught salmon is going to be the crème de la crème. Less than 2% of Alaskan salmon are line-caught, so they are indeed a special treat to be savored. Note that Alaska Gold Seafood comes from a cooperative of fishermen that primarily fish by hook and line methods. Our wild salmon is line-caught at the peak of its quality in the pristine waters of Alaska.
Of the Pacific salmon, there are king salmon. With meat colors ranging from orange-red to creamy white, these are the largest and least numerous of the Pacific salmon. King salmon tend to return to bigger river systems to spawn and to prepare for this journey up big, fast-moving streams, they build up a lot of (good) fat. Their big flake and succulent, rich flavor and very high oil content make them very much in demand and the most popular seafood item we sell. The best way to cook would be a slow grill at 275° F over a flavorful hardwood like alder or cedar. Capers or mustard-y acidic sauces will help balance out the fish flavor of a king salmon. Some customers pan sear for roughly 4 minutes a side. A simple bake at 400° F for 10-12 minutes will work, too.
A very close second is our coho salmon. Milder and more delicate, with a peachy orange color, coho salmon’s quality and flavor benefit greatly from being line-caught, as their delicate meat, prized for pairing with fine meals, is kept in pristine condition with the dedicated handling procedures practiced on trolling boats. Like king salmon, coho salmon are rich in oils and coho salmon are particularly rich in vitamin D, while being leaner than king salmon. Their mild flavor makes them easy to pair with all kinds of recipes and a family favorite and pleasing also to picky eaters and children alike.
Another species of salmon that benefits from being line-caught is keta salmon. Most keta salmon are caught in nets as they approach streams and the end of their lives with poor meat quality, making them eventually sold in lower-end markets. In contrast, our Alaska Gold wild keta salmon are caught on hook and line and by definition they are actively feeding and at the peak of their quality. The difference in being line-caught cannot be underestimated. Our Alaska Gold keta salmon are very mild, moist, and delicious, and can be used in a variety of recipes, like this Keta Salmon Curry with Lemongrass and Galanga Recipe or this Sweet Chili Keta Salmon recipe. One of the best ways to enjoy keta salmon is slow-grilled with teriyaki sauce. A blackening seasoning or creamy sauces like those used for a Halibut Olympia recipe also work really well with keta salmon.
Sockeye salmon is one of the more numerous Alaskan salmon. They are prized for their deep red color, firm texture and robust flavor. They are plankton eaters and do not usually take hooks, so they are rarely caught on hook and line. From time to time we offer the rare line-caught sockeye salmon we catch for sale on the Alaska Gold website. This is a really, really special item, as less than 1/100th of 1% of sockeye salmon available in stores are caught on hook and line and benefit from both the care given to each fish that is typical for a line-caught salmon and also being caught in a state of active feeding. Sockeye salmon, because of their bold flavor, can hold their own with super-flavorful spices and sauces.
Lastly, there are pink salmon. Pink salmon, with light color and tender texture, when handled well, are a great option for canning and smoking.
Noting that only 12% of world salmon production is wild Alaskan salmon and that the vast majority of the remainder is farmed marks our Alaska Gold wild salmon as something truly unique.
In addition, recent reports have identified that a good amount of seafood sold in supermarkets and restaurants in the United States is mislabeled. A report from Time Magazine noted that 43% of salmon was mislabeled in a recent study—and 69% of that mislabeling was farmed Atlantic salmon being sold as wild.
There are also some very important reasons to ask for Alaska salmon rather than “salmon.” All of Alaska seafood is wild-caught. There is no finfish farming in Alaska, so that all salmon is harvested in the wild, pristine waters of Alaska. In addition, Alaska’s seafood is managed to be sustainable. Alaska is the world’s most trusted source of premium quality, sustainable seafood. Alaska is emulated around the world as being a pioneer of sustainable seafood. Harvest by sustainable yield is written into the state’s constitution. In other words, Alaska’s fisheries are scientifically managed so that the long-term health of the fish stocks are top priority. Harvest quotas are managed so that the grandchildren of today’s fishermen should have opportunity to fish in the same way in the future. In addition, the Alaska salmon industry supports America’s economy. As previously mentioned, the vast majority of Alaska salmon fishing boats are small American family businesses. As a whole, the Alaska seafood industry accounts for 111,800 jobs in the United States.
All salmon is nutrient-dense and contain a goodly amount of lean protein, heart-healthy fats, and is packed with vitamins and minerals. What remains questionable is the feed that farmed salmon are given, which can account for an increased chance of toxicity with potential higher levels of pesticides and PCBs, and antibiotics. Salmon farmers would like the public to believe that eating farmed fish “saves” wild fish, but in reality aquaculture has done little to reduce pressure on wild fish stocks, as much of the feed for farmed salmon is wild fish. Some times, it can take as much as 10 pounds of wild fish to make 1 pound of farmed salmon. Salmon farmers have worked to improve these ratios, but salmon farming in Norway has almost completely wiped out the wild salmon runs there. In addition, salmon farms in Canada are contaminating wild salmon with a blood virus piscine ortoeovirus (PRV). It is believed that PRV causes king salmon red blood cells to rupture. Meanwhile a good number of king salmon runs are in decline in British Columbia. Canada has done little to shift salmon farms outside of wild salmon migration routes. It is the bane of many Alaskan fishermen that salmon farming continues in British Columbia, where it is believed that not only that PRV is being spread to wild salmon, but there are also numerous clean-up issues in waters where salmon are farmed. In addition, Farmed salmon tend to have a flabby texture and flavor, as they are in general fattier, but not with the right kind of fats. Farmed salmon have varying degrees of the heart-healthy Omega-3s for which wild salmon are prized, but usually not in the same beneficial ratio to Omega-6s. This Omega-3:Omega-6 ratio truly makes wild salmon stand out.
With all this information on the variety of salmon out there, wouldn’t you want to know what kind of salmon is on the menu?