Food has always been a human story. Food brings people together. We share community and fellowship with those we love by breaking bread with them. Food is sacred. It’s what we put in our bodies and gives us life. In the case of Seafood Producers Cooperative, producers put their hearts and souls into bringing a pure, wild, minimally processed protein to people who want to enjoy quality ingredients. The people behind this food work hard, each bringing their unique style and background to their craft.
The fishermen-owners of Seafood Producers Cooperative are a collective of optimists and some of the last producers of a pure, unadulterated wild protein produced using traditional fishing methods on this planet. We are courageous, free-spirited and independent but also community-minded. Because anybody who has ever fished for a living knows that there will come a moment when you will have to depend on your peers, your fellow fleet members, and your community for help. Our producer-owners are Alaskans. They’re also New Yorkers who hitchhike to Alaska looking for adventure but end up staying because they can’t imagine any other way to live. We are independent-minded. Many of us are highly opinionated. But some of us are also soft-spoken, humble because we’ve been humbled by nature. Some of us were school teachers who, looking for summer income, got hooked and stayed in Alaska to fish. Some of us were executives for Wall Street banks or Silicon Valley start-ups who ditched those lives to go fishing. For some, fishing for a living is all we know and all we’’ll ever know.
Meet some of our producers below. And don’t forget that our Diamond anniversary coupon expires Friday May 31st at midnight PST. Use the following coupon code for $75 off on orders over $300: akgolddiamondanniversary
Thank you for being part of our history,
The Producer-owners of Seafood Producers Cooperative, whose products are available for home delivery at AlaskaGoldBrand.com.
*Monday, May 27th, we are closed to observe the Memorial Day Holiday. Our customer service will not be available nor will we be shipping on that Monday. We expect to experience exceptionally high order volume on the Tuesday after Memorial Day. We will do our best to ship all orders on those Tuesdays. However, we will contact you if we think we may need to hold any regular 1-2 day ground shipments for shipping on Wednesday. Please contact us before ordering if you need an order by a specific date and there is a possibility we can shepherd an order through to get there in time, but note we will be available only on a limited basis.
*Thursday, July 4th we are closed to observe the Independence Day Holiday. The week of 4th of July we will have very limited availability for customer service and for shipping. Frozen shipments that will go out on Monday July 1st are in our 1 and 2-day zones. perishables will ship. See our shipping questions to see what zone you are in. Tuesday- 1-day perishables will ship. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, no frozen seafood will ship.
*Monday, September 2nd to observe the Labor Day Holiday. We expect to experience exceptionally high order volume on the Tuesday after Labor Day. We will do our best to ship all orders on those Tuesdays. However, we will contact you if we think we may need to hold any regular 1-2 day ground shipments for shipping on Wednesday. Please contact us before ordering if you need an order by a specific date and there is a possibility we can shepherd an order through to get there in time, but note we will be available only on a limited basis.
Place is an essential element of our Alaska Gold
Seafood story. And at 3 points in our Co-op’s 75-year history the special place
where we operate has forever altered who we are as a fishermen-owned co-op. To
celebrate our 75-year anniversary, we’d like to share those stories of place here:
In 1952, several Co-op fishermen
began pioneering fishing spots on the Fairweather Grounds. Fishing at the
Grounds opened the Co-op up to some very productive fishing grounds in some of
the wildest country on the planet.
The 1964 Good Friday earthquake and
subsequent tsunami destroyed just about everything that the Co-op had in the
region, leaving the Co-op in an existential crisis.
The building of our fishermen-owned Sitka
plant satisfied our Co-op’s over-riding concern for maintaining a top-qualityproduct from ocean to market.
The Fairweather Grounds
In 1952, Toivo Andersen in his boat the Greta, Oscar Vienola in the Anna Marie, and Arthur Vienola in the Belle J pioneered salmon trolling in the Fairweather Grounds. Fairweather Grounds is a misnomer, as the grounds are known for being rich with life but surrounded by deep, unforgiving waters and open ocean. Ferocious winds and choppy waves hit where the continental shelf rises toward the surface of the ocean, creating hazardous conditions for the small fishing vessels that operate there.
To navigate, the original Fairweather fishermen
used compasses, fathometers, and radio direction finders that enabled them to
take bearings on each other. When their fathometers indicated they were in
fifty fathoms, they would find themselves on the edge of the shelf, the most
productive waters, and they would let go a halibut anchor with buoy line and
flagpole attached so that they could orient themselves and find it again. After
discovering how rich the grounds were for fish, these pioneering fishermen
would bring a new innovation that had been a “secret weapon” during the final
days of World War II, the Loran (Long Range Navigation). Loran required skill
and tinkering, but gave these fishermen a better chance of finding their best
spots. As it became easier to find the shelf, other boats began following these
Fairweather fishermen out to the Fairweather Grounds. All these fishermen risked
and continue to risk rough seas in one of the wildest corners on the planet.
On the coast near the Fairweather Grounds, Lituya
Bay has been a refuge for salmon and halibut fishermen during storms and it has
a fascinating history documented well in one of our late fishermen Francis
Caldwell’s Land of the Ocean Mists.
Entrance to Lituya Bay can be made provided the tide is flooding and outside
swell conditions are not causing the bar to break. Judging the current is key.
At high tide the entrance is about 1,000 feet wide, but at low water it is
reduced by shallow banks of sand and gravel to 600 feet. If a heavy swell is
breaking, the entrance is then reduced to about 150 feet between breakers. The
tremendous volume of water that flows into and out of the bay every 6 hours is
forced through this narrow entrance, producing, at times, 12-knot currents.
Following a 1958 earthquake that registered 8.3 on the Richter scale, a massive tsunami wave shot water up 1720 feet up a ridge pulling all of massive trees and glacial boulders off the surrounding valley out of the bay, the scars of which are still visible. Three fishing vessels were anchored for the night when this massive wave, the largest wave in recorded history, came crashing upon them. Two boats and their fishermen were lost to sea. Another fishermen, Howard Ulrich on the F/V Edrie, rode out the wave, watching the eerie sight of tree tops snapping below his boat, and his frantic mayday was heard by the fleet in areas surrounding.
For days after the events of the July 9, 1958 earthquake the fishing fleet in the area was demoralized. Many could not shake the melancholy feeling that they could easily have been anchored in the bay at the time of the giant wave. And after considerable meditation, a few fishermen resolved never again to anchor in Lituya Bay. The fact remains, today as in 1958, that if one is going to fish the Fairweather Grounds sooner or later one will be forced into Lituya Bay by a blow. The fisherman is then subject to the mathematical odds that there will be another giant wave.
The Good Friday Disaster
In 1962, the Co-op installed a freezer capable of handling halibut and salmon in Seward, Alaska. Production, prices and ownership numbers were at record highs for the Co-op, but nobody could have foreseen the upcoming disaster. On Good Friday, 1964, an earthquake that measured 8.6 on the Richter scale struck Alaska. The shaking lasted four long, terrible minutes and the epicenter was very near the Co-op plant in Seward. Massive submarine slides started 30 seconds after the quake hit and generated enormous seismic waves. All plant employees had fortunately gone home for supper, but the plant, which stood on a dock overhanging the water, was completely destroyed. Not a board left! Divers, hired to search the wreckage, only found a hole where the plant stood!! The entire Seward waterfront disappeared and the new shoreline was 300 feet inland from its pre-quake tide line.
As an “act of God” disaster, nothing could be
recovered from insurance. The plant, however, did have flood insurance on a
boiler. The Co-op thought it obvious that that the boiler washed away in a
“flood,” but the insurance company had other thoughts. It was ruled that the Co-op
wasn’t entitled to a single cent. In addition to a total loss, the Co-op now
had to pay considerable attorney fees in their lost suit. One important caveat
to being a fishermen-owned business: With ownership comes inherent risk that
the fishermen bear, although this risk is borne across a cooperative of owners
in our case. In a history of our Co-op published in 1980 by fishermen Francis
and Donna Caldwell, The Ebb and The Flood,
this chapter ends with a bitter but realistic note that says it all about
lose something, a 50-pound trolling lead today, an anchor tomorrow, once in a
while a boat, or even a life, is common in the [fishing] industry. The sea
gives, the sea takes away.”
During this time and in subsequent years, there was much discussion of dissolving the Co-op. But the courage of the board of directors at that time to keep the Co-op alive and solvent stands as a keystone in the history of the Co-op.
The Sitka Plant
With the Good Friday Disaster in the backs of their minds, the Co-op’s Board of Directors proceeded with caution to build the fishermen-owned plant in Sitka, with construction beginning in November 1979. At the heart of the Co-op’s decision to forge ahead with the Sitka plant was its overriding concern for maintaining a top-quality product from ocean to market.
Sitka was chosen because of its proximity to
salmon trolling grounds like the waters of Cape Edgecumbe and the edge of the
continental shelf, waters rich with halibut and sablefish. Big overhead came
out of fishermen-owners’ settlements and there was great discussion about how
to allocate the costs of building the plant fairly to all owners. Nonetheless,
there were 95 Co-op owner resignations in 1981 and 120 in 1983, as the Co-op
was losing money to fund the plant. It took extraordinary sacrifice to realize
this dream of having a fishermen-owned plant, and those fishermen with the
courage to stick with the Co-op helped keep alive a ruggedly independent
organization owned by and for fishermen with tremendous pride in the products
they produce. This pride is at the core of who we are.
I recently spoke with Lee Krause, Board President at the time that the plant was built, and he noted that it was a busy time with architects and builders coming to Sitka to make the plant a reality. “I was in over my head. All I could tell them was I wanted cold ice. Our main concern in that time was to have our own plant that could take good care of us, where we could get cold ice, so we could produce quality fish.” Lee’s humble statement sums up just about the entire history of our Co-op: service for West Coast fishermen and a relentless commitment to quality.
On this date in 1944, the legal contract for the formation of our fishermen-owned Co-op was signed. Celebrate with us. Use the following coupon code at checkout for $75 off orders over $300:
Expires May 31st, 2019.
Thank you for being part of our history,
The Producer-owners of Seafood Producers
Cooperative, whose products are available for home delivery at
On May 12th, 1944 the legal contract for the
formation of our fishermen-owned co-op was signed. This May we’re going to
celebrate our diamond anniversary by giving you our customers $75 off orders of $300 or more.
During this month, we’ll share with you the history of our co-op in several stories, starting today with the story of how West Coast fishermen would band together to form our Seafood Producers Cooperative. Thanks to the courage of these original pioneers in 1944, we are here today and you can purchase our fish for home delivery at www.alaskagoldbrand.com. Thank you for being part of our history!
The fishermen-owners of Seafood Producers Cooperative
are some of the last producers of a pure, unadulterated wild protein caught
using traditional fishing methods on this planet. And our co-op has been instrumental
in preserving this unique way of life.
Primary producers of real food, particularly fishermen, have had a long history of being taken advantage of. Fishermen’s guilds started popping up well over 2000 years ago in the effort to protect fishermen from the whims of nature and markets. It is certainly possible that Jesus’s disciples formed part of a fishermen’s guild of a similar sort on the Sea of Galilee. All of these guilds and co-ops were formed with the intent to protect fishermen, but few have had the staying power of our co-op, which has been around for 75 years serving as a bulwark of the West coast fishing community because of a laser focus on quality products and service and serving the fishermen.
More than a way for fishermen to take control of
the profits from their catch, our Co-op became a community in which fishermen
banded together in order to make their own destinies.
It’s difficult to gauge the wake that our Co-op
spurred on the West Coast fishing industry. Before our Co-op existed, fishermen
had limited markets for their products. There were plenty of strikes among
fishermen in southeast Alaska. Since our Co-op’s inception, there have not been
any fishermen strikes in southeast Alaska. What our Co-op brought was a plant
that the fishermen would eventually own themselves and the opportunity for
fishermen to get more consistently fair prices. In other words, our Co-op became
a way for fishermen to earn a living wage for their hard work of producing
Our Co-op is an organization owned by fishermen, for fishermen. And it allows fishermen to wield their own future. If you speak with any fishermen-owners about why they joined our Co-op or why they’re fishermen, you will undoubtedly hear that they like being their own boss and being the captains of their own destinies. A co-op that the fishermen own with a fishermen board of directors made up of their peers that makes the tough decisions on setting our Co-op’s direction has made it possible for these fishermen to live their ruggedly independent lifestyle their own way.
Since its inception, producers have kept our
Co-op alive with a rugged “share the pain, share the gain” mindset. With a
sales office in Bellingham, Washington and most fishing operations taking place
in southeast Alaska, our Co-op has deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, but
there is something quintessentially American about our Co-op, which allows
fishermen to be the captains of their own destinies. And that’s what makes our
Co-op keep on keeping on.
The growth of our Co-op has been filled with many learning moments. As an organization owned by ruggedly independent producers who make a living on the ocean, it is somewhere between extremely difficult and impossible to make all content. But when we as fishermen return from a long, difficult fishing trip out on the edge and pull into our plant in Sitka, it is our plant waiting to receive our fish. One of the reasons that our Co-op has survived and flourished is our strict adherence to Rochdale’s Seven Principles, which give direction to cooperative organizations. The other reason that our Co-op has flourished is that we have not lost sight of our quality-focused mission.
is the keystone of our Co-op. This tradition of quality began with the very
first fishermen’s annual meeting taking place in 1944. An expert was brought in
to speak at length on how to improve quality. To this day quality is a pervasive theme in all meetings of the fishermen Board
of Directors. Quality is so important to who we are because our organization is
built on the pride we have in producing our
fish for our company. But our co-op’s
reputation built on quality doesn’t derive from just bleeding and icing fish
correctly to produce the freshest quality fish, but also having a relationship
based on integrity and transparency with our customers.
We really hope that you the enjoy the fruits of our co-op’s labor—you can order our seafood online for home delivery at www.AlaskaGoldBrand.com. Stay tuned this month for more stories on our co-op, including a story on the special place where we fish, and the stories of the actual producers that form part of our co-op, and more. Also, celebrate with us. Take $75 off an order of $300 or more of our Alaska Gold Seafood.
Use coupon code: AKGoldDiamondAnniversary
Expires May 31st, 2019.
The Producer-owners of Seafood Producers
Cooperative, whose products are available for home delivery at www.AlaskaGoldBrand.com
Nature, by nature, produces excess. Cut open a tomato and see how many seeds there are. Somewhere between none of these seeds and all these seeds will become a future tomato, depending on the level of desire, care and knowledge of the gardener. Beekeepers know that bees store vast excess quantities of honey to feed themselves through winter. Knowledgeable beekeepers take enough honey to satisfy their honey needs for a year but leave enough honey in the hive for the bees to sustain themselves through winter. Thereby the bees can get a good head start in spring on another season of gathering pollen and nectar, so that they can continue to produce honey for the beekeeper for the following winter.
Seafood and, most emblematically, wild salmon work in a
similar way. If managed correctly, wild salmon runs produce excess and can feed
us into perpetuity. Nature produces excess so that we can harvest salmon each
and every season for as long as we like. That is, once again, if managed correctly
by human beings, and there are plenty of examples around the world where wild
salmon populations haven’t been managed well.
But the state of Alaska has written into its constitution to
harvest by the sustainable yield principle, which establishes the baseline for
the excess to be harvested. As a result, Wild Alaskan Salmon populations have consistently
been abundant. All told, Alaska supplies more than half of the wild-caught
seafood in the United States. And Alaska will always be home to the greatest
salmon runs in the world, providing around 95 percent of North America’s wild
salmon. All finfish from Alaska are sustainably harvested and wild by law.
There is no finfish farming in Alaska, so you can count on all species from
Alaska being wild caught, natural, and sustainable.
Chefs and consumers alike struggle to know what is and isn’t
sustainable when it comes to seafood. There are various certifications, watch
lists, and environmental group lists. It’s hard to know who to trust. In
Alaska, we continue to focus on just how long our fisheries have been
sustainable. Globally, Alaska is viewed as the gold standard in responsible
fisheries management. As a result of the state’s commitment to sustainability,
and rigorous fisheries management, no Alaska seafood species has ever been
listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
Note that now through the end of April, we have two wild salmon
specials: Get 10% off our Alaska Gold
salmon with the following coupon code: SalmonSpecial
But if you get more than two varieties
of our salmon, use the following coupon code for 15% off the salmon, and we’ll also throw in a
6-portion box of keta salmon (while supplies last): SalmonSmorgasbord
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.
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.