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Wild Salmon Tasting Notes and two Salmon Specials

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.

Wild Sockeye Salmon from Alaska
Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon. Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood.

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.

So here are the specials:

Get 10% off our Alaska Gold wild salmon with the following coupon code: SalmonSpecial

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

Both coupons expire April 30th.

Enjoy,

The Folks at Alaska Gold Seafood

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Sweet Chili Keta Salmon Recipe

Sweet Chili Keta Salmon Recipe
Sweet Chili Salmon Recipe courtesy of Little Ferraro Kitchen


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.

2- Alaska Gold keta salmon portions (6 ounces each)

Salt and pepper

¼ cup sweet chili sauce

1 tsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. grated ginger

Sliced green onions

Sliced Fresno pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and place salmon filets on a foil lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and grated ginger and brush a heaping tablespoon of sauce onto each salmon filet, saving the rest of the sauce.

Bake salmon for 6 minutes and then place under the broiler for 1 minute so sauce will caramelize.

Brush additional chili sauce as soon as it comes out of the oven. Garnish with sliced green onions and sliced Fresno.

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Keta Salmon Curry with Lemongrass and Galanga Recipe

Wild Salmon Coconut Curry Recipe
Wild Salmon Coconut Curry Recipe from Samantha Ferraro of Little Ferraro Kitchen.

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.

2 tbsp. coconut oil

1 small shallot, sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped finely

1 small jalapeno, seeded and chopped finely

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced

1 inch piece of galanga root, sliced

2 stalks of lemongrass, gently crushed

½ tsp. ground coriander

½ tsp. ground curry powder

2 tbsp. panang or red curry paste

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 can coconut milk

2 Alaska Gold keta salmon portions (6 ounces each)

Salt and pepper

Lime wedges

Cilantro and mint leaves

Sliced Fresno pepper

Add coconut oil to a large skillet and being to medium-high heat. Add sliced shallot, garlic and jalapeno and sauté until shallot is translucent but not browned.

Stir in the ginger, galanga root, lemongrass, spices and curry paste and sauté for 30 seconds. Then add in brown sugar and coconut milk and stir to combine.

Nestle in the salmon and season with salt and pepper. Place a lid on the skillet and cook for 6-7 minutes until curry mixture has thickened slightly and salmon is cooked through.

Once done, you can flake the salmon for easier serving and garnish with fresh cilantro and mint leaves, sliced chili and lime wedges.

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What’s so special about Alaska Gold Salmon? Wild Alaskan salmon is truly a gift

Whole Wild Coho Salmon and Fillet

If you’re going to do something, you have to set your internal compass toward excellence and go for it, because nothing else matters.

I recently ate a home pack of our Alaska Gold Salmon and, as I often do afterwards, thought to myself, “Wow! This is really good stuff!”

It made me think about just how special our Alaska Gold salmon really are. It took only a bit of research to discover that…

Of the total world salmon supply sold for food, only around 12% of it is wild Alaskan. (A huge portion of the remainder is Atlantic aka farmed salmon.)

Of all the wild Alaska salmon, only about 1.5% of that is caught by the traditional hook and line methods like we use.

Of the line-caught Alaskan king salmon and coho salmon out there, 30% is from our fishermen-owned cooperative, which has been known for its fastidious attention to quality and integrity for over 70 years.

So, the salmon we catch is the best 1/20th of 1% in the world! 1/20th of 1%= 1 pound out of a ton. Which means that our Alaska Gold salmon is the best of the best of the best!

Alaska Gold salmon is caught by members of Seafood Producers Cooperative, a fishermen-owned co-op based in Sitka, Alaska. We have immense pride in serving our customers the finest king salmon and coho salmon available.

Rich and buttery, our wild king salmon portions are our most popular offering. Available in boxes of 6-portion, 5-pound and 10-pound boxes. Fill your freezer or get a group of friends to have our discounted 20-pound box of  king salmon portions delivered to your home. We also have ivory (white) king salmon , in addition to our absolutely delicious canned Southeast Alaska Line-Caught Ivory King Salmon.

More than any fish we catch coho salmon is arguably the heart and soul of our region and our fishermen-owned co-op. Each summer coho salmon return to the thousands of tiny creeks that stream through the ancient trees of the Tongass Rain Forest, which makes up a good part of southeast Alaska. You can watch them jump up waterfalls, giving it their all, with the aim of returning to a little pool to spawn. Our fishermen catch each wild coho salmon One Hook One Fish At A Time on the ocean at their peak, then dress and ice each salmon to keep them in perfect condition until they reach our customers. Available in boxes of 6 portions, 5 pounds and 10 pounds, we also have fill-your-freezer larger, discounted boxes of bulk coho salmon portions, too.

“You don’t grow old eating Alaska Gold.” The nutrients in salmon are many and it’s no wonder we can fish through the long 16-hour days of the salmon season. Wild Alaskan Salmon is truly a gift. Each year they keep coming back to take care of us and keep us nourished through the winter.

As a fishermen-owned co-op, we’ve been part of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest for a long time and we look forward to delivering you the highest quality seafood.

Click on this photo to see the story of our line-caught wild Alaskan salmon.

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Get Our Alaska Gold Coho Salmon and Live the Dream

Trolling Boat fishing for salmon in southeast Alaska.
Trolling for salmon in southeast Alaska. Photo by Berett Wilber

For our fishermen in southeast Alaska, there is something special about coho salmon. More than any fish we catch coho salmon is arguably the heart and soul of our region and our fishermen-owned co-op. Each summer coho salmon return to the thousands of tiny creeks that stream through the ancient trees of the Tongass Rain Forest. You can watch them jump up waterfalls, giving it their all, with the aim of returning to a little pool to spawn. Through October, our fishermen work sixteen to eighteen-hour days to catch each fish One Hook One Fish At A Time, then dress and ice each salmon to keep them in perfect condition until they reach our customers.

There’s nothing quite like what fishermen call “the coho grind.”

This beautiful story, “Living the Dream,” written by one of our fishermen’s daughters about her first summer deckhanding on her dad’s boat, includes some spellbinding photos of life on the water in southeast Alaska. Living the Dream is what she calls it. And a number of us all call our lives “Living the Dream.”

You can live the dream, too.

Get our coho salmon portions in boxes of 6, 14 or 28 portions.

Get our Already Discounted Bulk Coho Salmon portions and coho salmon fillets.

In a few days, we’ll have some info on the nutrient dense wonder that is coho salmon. Here’s a sneak preview: Our wild coho salmon is loaded with life-giving nutrients!

 

Wild Coho Salmon
Coho salmon side and portions. Side is on top and portions are below.

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Baked Coho Salmon with Tamari Peach Salsa Recipe

Coho Salmon with Peach Salsa
Baked Coho Salmon with Tamari Peach Salsa Recipe. Photo by Food Network Star top finalist Emma Frisch at emmafrisch.com.

 

Here’s a Baked Coho Salmon with Tamari Peach Salsa Recipe from our friend and Food Network Star Top Finalist, Emma Frisch. For more recipes, visit her blog at emmafrisch.com. Emma lives in Ithaca, New York, where she is the Co-Founder and Culinary Director of Firelight Camps, an elevated camping experience.

Emma spent some time with us at the Sitka Seafood Festival and on fisherman Charlie Wilber‘s boat and learned about what is unique about what our hook and line fishermen do in getting salmon from the sea to our customer’s homes and she shares her stories along with the recipe in her post.

Baked Coho Salmon with Tamari Peach Salsa Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Yield: 8-10 portions
Ingredients:
1 Alaska Gold™ Coho Salmon Fillet 
Peach – 1, diced into 1/4-inch cubes (sub with 10 oz. peach jam)
Tamari sauce – 2 tablespoons (sub with soy sauce)
Brown rice vinegar – 2 teaspoons (sub with lemon juice)
Pickled ginger – 1 teaspoon minced (or sub with fresh ginger)
Garlic – 1 clove, minced
Jalapeño (optional) – 1/2 teaspoon minced
Sea salt – 1/4 teaspoon
Black pepper – To taste
Instructions:
1. Remove the Coho Salmon Fillet from the freezer in advance, with enough time to defrost in the
refrigeration for 24-36 hours. Remove and let it sit at room temperature for an hour. Wipe dry with
a paper towel.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the Coho
Salmon Fillet on top.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the diced peach, tamari sauce, brown rice vinegar, pickled
ginger, garlic, jalapeño, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Pour the tamari peach salsa over the fillet.
5. Bake the fillet for 10-12 minutes, until the flesh begins to flake and the thickest part of the salmon
is pink inside.
6. Remove the fillet from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Fisherman Charlie Wilber with chef Emma Frisch. Photo by EmmaFrisch.com.
Fisherman Charlie Wilber with chef Emma Frisch. Photo by EmmaFrisch.com.

 

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Line-caught salmon, the craft beer of seafood

Lance Preston, who trolls on the F/V Seaboy, a classic wooden troller, is a Seafood Producers Cooperative board member with a passion for premium-quality salmon and our fishermen’s cooperative. Here he is in own words describing why being a member of SPC is so important to him and why you get a quality fish from Seafood Producers Cooperative.

Lancestill
Lance Preston, Seafood Producers Cooperative member. Click here for his story on line-caught salmon from SPC.

 

Seafood Producers Cooperative is owned by the fishermen, so it’s our organization. As fishermen, we are responsible for the quality and we take great pride in what we do. Owned by fishermen, we have the opportunity to stress quality.

We produce the best Alaskan seafood that you can get. Only a small percentage of Alaskan salmon are caught by trollers using hook and line methods. It’s a boutique fishery. As Lance says, “Like your micro-brews, we’re a micr0-fishery.” Line-caught salmon, the craft beer of seafood. Fish come on board One Fish At A Time. We catch the premier species–king salmon and coho salmon. “White table cloth material.” Fish are landed on deck, pressure-bled using a micro-pipette, gutted, and iced within a half-hour. In contrast, a net-caught salmon might spend hours on deck before being handled.

At the end of the day, a co-op fish comes from fishermen who take pride in quality, because they own the organization.

Lance puts it elegantly: “I get to produce a quality product that is sustainably harvested in a well-manged fishery and belong to a cooperative that is taking care of us and we’re all taking care of each other. We’re all part of it. We are owners of the entire organization cooperatively. No one’s being exploited. We’re making a decent living. And I get to go fishing. What guy doesn’t like to go fishing?”

 

Lance-thumbsup
Thumbs up. Lance Preston on being a member/owner of Seafood Producers Cooperative.

 

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Quality Control: What Does One Fish At A Time Mean?

Premium-quality seafood
Jeremy Brown, Seafood Producers Cooperative member since 1988.

What does Seafood Producers Cooperative’s One Fish At A Time motto really mean?

It has to do with quality seafood and quality control. But it also has to do with respecting the ingredients. With all the food fads, trends, and diets, particularly in this country, what we offer is a return to basic healthy ingredients. We produce the last commercially available wild food and our fishermen-owner-members harvest this food in a traditional way that respects the ingredient and in turns brings a quality product to diners.

Here’s Jeremy Brown, SPC member since 1988, on why our One Fish At A Time motto really matters:

“Every fish I catch is different. They’re wild animals. They all have a different life history and story. They deserve and demand to be handled and treated all the way to the consumer with that sort of devotion to the quality of the fish.”

This video shows Jeremy’s passion for our fishermen’s cooperative and why our seafood is an ultra-premium product. For him, quality control begins right on the boat and each fisherman does his or her own quality control because they have an enormous pride in delivering the best fish available to the cooperative for our customers.

 

 

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Troll-caught salmon

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Alaska Gold™ wild salmon are line-caught One Fish At A Time using traditional hook and line methods (aka trolling). Troll-caught salmon are known for ultra-premium quality and sustainability. By catching salmon on hook and line, fishermen have time to carefully handle the salmon and clean it with the utmost of care, producing the freshest taste. If you’ve had our salmon, you’ll know that it’s better than any salmon available and that’s because it is troll-caught. A troll-caught salmon is  the ultimate in Alaska seafood.

troll-caught salmon
Individually handled, troll-caught salmon are the best salmon available on the market.

Troll-caught salmon are caught on the open ocean, which means they are bright with shimmering silver skin color and have very high fat content and flesh quality. Troll-caught salmon are quickly bled using a micro-pipette to get out every speck of blood, stopping the degradation process that begins the moment a fish leaves the water. Troll-caught salmon are handled One Fish At A Time and are iced and stowed in a matter of minutes. This careful way in which they are handled means that a troll-caught salmon makes for a premium-quality product with a fresher taste. Troll-caught salmon are the choice for chefs wanting to serve the highest quality seafood.

No fish is handled with more care from the time it leaves the water until it is delivered to a customer than a troll-caught salmon from Alaska Gold Seafood. AlaskaGoldBrand.com is where fish caught by Seafood Producers Cooperative members can be purchased for convenient home delivery with free shipping. Seafood Producers Cooperative is a cooperative of quality-oriented hook and line fishermen and is widely regarded as the industry leader in quality standards.

 

line-caught salmon
Ocean-bright troll-caught salmon.

 

 

Troll-caught salmon
Cleaning salmon right after being caught. Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood.

 

Alaska salmon
Action shot. One Fish At A Time. Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood.

 

 

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One Fish At A Time

Troll-caught Salmon

The Beauty of Line-caught Salmon

We small boat hook and line fishermen catch and process each fish One Hook One Fish At A Time. Hook and line fishing, otherwise known as trolling for salmon, is a traditional way of fishing that results in an extremely high quality salmon. Our line-caught wild salmon are caught, bled, processed and put on ice within minutes of being caught. Our catch methods and handling procedures are unparalleled in the industry.

This video illustrates what is special about fishing with hook and line methods.

The first great benefit of a line-caught wild salmon is that a salmon caught on hook and line is by definition actively feeding and therefore at the peak of their quality and especially loaded with the healthy nutrients that we associate with wild salmon. The second great attribute of a line-caught wild salmon is the great care put into making the fish special, as catching fish on hook and line gives the fisherman time to take care of the fish.

Here’s how it works:

Each of us fishermen has techniques that we have gained over many years and sometimes passed along in families through generations of fishing. Using our knowledge of where freely migrating and actively feeding fish might be, we fishermen head out in our boats and, once at waters we deem to be appropriate for weather and tide conditions, troll with lures or baited hooks at slow speeds. Typically, we try to troll at the speed that the salmon we are catching would be swimming. This not only makes the lures more appealing but minimizes stress on the fish, making for a better quality fish. Minimizing stress on the fish reduces the amount of lactic acid released in the fish, which can cause an off flavor. Through years of trial and error, we fishermen have found the right combination of line, lures and boat speeds to find the right fish. Then, with great care, handling each fish as if it were to be served on our own dinner tables, take the fish we catch back to town for delivery at our fishermen-owned fish plant.

We hook and line fishermen have a deep connection with the ocean and an expansive knowledge of where and how to find the biting salmon. Once a fish is on the line, we frequently know what type of fish it is and how big it might be. We minimize bycatch with our knowledge of where to fish and by pinpointing species with the right lures. We bring the fish to the boat and deliver it onto the boat at the exact moment to avoid any damage to the fish. Once aboard, we bleed and gut the fish immediately. We then quickly ice or  freeze the fish capturing the fish in its freshest state so that you can enjoy the highest quality seafood on land.

Our One Fish At A Time philosophy produces the best quality wild-caught salmon and is good for the overall health of the fisheries. Here’s a video on our Good Catch. 

 

Troll-caught salmon