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Salmon
Old 02-25-2015, 03:14 PM   #1
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Salmon

We had been suffering from salmon deprivation recently.

The main problem is that since moving to the Valley, we almost never see king salmon. We enjoyed it when we lived in Austin as Whole Foods and other stores usually had a decent supply during the summer, but that seems to be a function of the larger metropolitan areas, not the smaller cities.

We can get decent wild sockeye salmon, frozen, or fresh in the summer. I've had great luck with hot smoking it. But it doesn't work well in my other favorite dishes - it's just a bit too firm, and not quite fatty enough. Poaching is OK, but DH isn't that crazy about it poached.

Having gone so long without preparing salmon at home (or eating it out), we finally broke down and tried the Costco farm-raised Atlantic salmon. OMG! It was wonderful!!!! Used our favorite roasted king salmon recipe and it was wonderful.
1998: Barbecue Roasted Salmon - Cooking Light's 25 Best Recipes Ever - Cooking Light

What Costco says about their farm-raised salmon - which I later found out has won some notable blind taste tests: Kirkland Signature Atlantic Salmon FAQ's

I'm still working on finding recipes that we like for sockeye salmon. I'm able to buy the whole side frozen in the original packaging from Trident Seafood (carried by HEB). I found an amusing recipe video where Alton Brown broils an entire side of sockeye and that looks promising - Broiled Sockeye Salmon with Citrus Glaze Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network

I don't like to pan fry salmon on the stove top, because it really stinks up the whole house and the smell lingers for a while. We tried steaming it - meh.

I've been bringing myself up-to-date with where things stand in terms of farm-raised salmon.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:17 PM   #2
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+1 on the Costco salmon - we grill it
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:19 PM   #3
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+1 on the Costco salmon - we grill it
We just couldn't believe how delicious it was!
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:32 PM   #4
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I may have to try it - but in the past, farm raised has always been a disappointment when compared to wild - not to mention some of the drawbacks (artificial coloring, concentrated fish food increasing toxin levels).
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:44 PM   #5
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Farm raised = more fat = juicier and more tender in my experience. I'm not a big salmon eater and not that picky, but DW always requests the farm raised due to higher fat content (=creamier sushi).

I guess living in smaller pools being fed stuff makes the fish fat compared to living in the wild and hunting for food.

Pan frying is good but stinky and messy. In the oven for a bit with a pinch of salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne and some lime juice is hard to beat though. Maybe a tiny bit of sesame oil and soy sauce.

The best source of salmon around here is Kroger "fresh" from the seafood counter. I think it's previously frozen sometimes but quality is never bad.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:58 PM   #6
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Maybe a tiny bit of sesame oil and soy sauce.


Cursors! You just gave away my secret! May a thousand fish sticks fill your freezer! :-)
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:39 PM   #7
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Must be a regional thing. The only thing I won't buy from my local Kroger is the fresh salmon. It's always too old and a little rank. After the third attempt I gave up. Found I liked it from a local farmers market.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:40 PM   #8
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I may have to try it - but in the past, farm raised has always been a disappointment when compared to wild - not to mention some of the drawbacks (artificial coloring, concentrated fish food increasing toxin levels).
You might want to check this out: Farmed vs. wild salmon: Can you taste the difference? - The Washington Post

And apparently things have come a looooong way since we stopped eating farmed salmon well over 10 years ago.

The availability of wild salmon is a serious problem where I live. I suspect that's true many places.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:41 PM   #9
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Must be a regional thing. The only thing I won't buy from my local Kroger is the fresh salmon. It's always too old and a little rank. After the third attempt I gave up. Found I liked it from a local farmers market.
Definitely not! No point in buying fresh if it's really not "fresh"! Frozen salmon is great as long as it is frozen properly soon after harvesting and processing.

I've noticed our grocery often has some of what's labeled "previously frozen" in the display counter also in the freezer section nearby. And if not you can usually ask for it frozen. I don't care for all that fish sitting around on ice myself.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:25 PM   #10
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I do not eat Atlantic Salmon which is always farmed.

We lived for 15 years on a bluff overlooking a salmon farming operation in a waterway that 'flushes' very well (the current is swift and changes direction with the tides). Husband dove in the area around the pens before we built our home, then he dove again 10 years later. The impact on the sea bed was stunning, the sea cucumber decimated by the waste from the fish and fish feed.

Farmed salmon are fed pellets made from fish processing 'awful' and contain a red dye.

The other issue is that the fish farming operations claim that the fish are neutered and to not mate with the wild salmon, however, genetic tests on wild salmon in British Columbia raise doubts.

In our area many consumers will not eat farmed salmon so the restaurants often fail to note that detail. I always ask.

Seafood caught at sea needs to be cleaned and frozen within hours. There are some coastal trawlers out of Alaska who can deliver fresh caught salmon to market within 30 hours.. that of course is ideal.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:06 PM   #11
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I don't know about elsewhere, but salmon prices have gone through the roof, here, during the past year or so. This is the case for farm raised salmon which is mostly what we have here, and naturally wild caught salmon is very high if/when available. I must not be too picky because I love both tremendously. I simply grill it dry on my indoor open electric grill, and OMG I'm in paradise.

I buy whatever they have despite the price, because I don't try to economize much on food. But gosh. The price increase is shocking, and more noticeable to me than the increases in prices for any other food.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:11 PM   #12
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Mmmm, found some Copper River Sockeye on sale today, so I bought a pound and put it on the Green Egg for 10 minutes. It was previously frozen, but even so it was mighty tasty! I think it's more tender if it's fresh, but the flavor was good.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:19 PM   #13
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and Salmon are low in mercury. We have the costco salmon a couple times a month.
Fish: Friend or Foe? | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Here’s what the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration recommend for women who are or may become pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children:
  • Don’t eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish (sometimes called golden bass or golden snapper) because they contain high levels of mercury.
  • Eat up to 12 ounces (two average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. Shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish are low-mercury fish. Albacore (“white”) tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So limit your intake of albacore tuna to once a week. You can find a table of various fish, their omega-3 fatty acid content, and their average load of mercury and other contaminants online in the article by Mozaffarian and Rimm. (1)
  • Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. If no advice is available, eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish you catch from local waters, but don’t consume any other fish during that week.
  • So, these recommendations emphasize that women who are or may become pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children should eat fish, avoiding only four specific (and generally rarely consumed) fish species. Importantly, the latter limitation does not apply to the rest of the population, for whom the evidence supports simply choosing a variety of fish and seafood."
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:28 PM   #14
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Fresh farm-raised Atlantic salmon on sale all week here for $6.95 per pound. Might have to break down and buy some before the price increase hits.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:30 PM   #15
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Interesting....when I have had wild salmon there has been a very distinct taste difference. Maybe the farmed salmon in the study is of a higher standard than others and that's why there is no difference in taste. It certainly wasn't 10 years ago but I will retry again I guess. Note that in my case I did not think that farmed was bad just wild was better and given that I don't eat it often since my wife hates salmon I generally splurge for the wild stuff. Never bought it from costco cause I wasn't prepared to eat salmon for the week that my wife was gone which is typically when I have it

Grilled with olive oil some rosemary and a bit of pepper
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:52 PM   #16
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Salmon marinated overnight in Caesar salad dressing, crushed garlic cloves, Worchestershire sauce, a little A-1, A shake of Mrs. Dash, a dash of grated Parmesan. Grill on hot, hot grill, skin side down til skin black, then flip over. Grill to your liking on this side. Some brown rice, creamed spinach, and a bottle of Pinot Noir; at least once a month year round.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:56 PM   #17
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Must be a regional thing. The only thing I won't buy from my local Kroger is the fresh salmon. It's always too old and a little rank. After the third attempt I gave up. Found I liked it from a local farmers market.
We've tried fresh salmon from other grocery stores with not great results. The kroger I visit does a good bit of business and half the customers are rich (the other half pay with food stamps). Rich customers = lots of seafood consumption, therefore high turnover of fish, therefore FUEGO gets a fresh cut every time?
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:00 PM   #18
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We've tried fresh salmon from other grocery stores with not great results. The kroger I visit does a good bit of business and half the customers are rich (the other half pay with food stamps). Rich customers = lots of seafood consumption, therefore high turnover of fish, therefore FUEGO gets a fresh cut every time?
OMG, you must live in my neighborhood. The clerks at my Fred Meyer store (Kroger) describe the customers as 'snobs and slobs'. Actually many food stamp users are better dressed than the typical customer.
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:01 PM   #19
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Cursors! You just gave away my secret! May a thousand fish sticks fill your freezer! :-)
I think I left fish sticks behind in my youth along with bed wetting and sucking on my thumb. I might have to buy a box and some tartar sauce to see how delicious they are now. Maybe I still love them. I had a McD's McFish or whatever sometime in the last decade and don't remember it being awful.
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:01 PM   #20
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I do not eat Atlantic Salmon which is always farmed.
That's my policy too.
I'm lucky, I guess, in that my local Kroger has a great fish department and they try to offer as much wild caught fish as possible. There are also a couple of really good fishmongers within local driving distance, but Kroger's selection is quite competitive with them.

I've eaten lots of fish all my life. Growing up, we ate about the same amount of fish as meat, and a large percentage of the fish we caught ourselves. So I'm well aware of how to tell good fish from inferior.

Just another comment. I see a number of posters who seem to be somewhat put off by "frozen" fish. I think it's important to know that most big commercial fishing boats will flash freeze their catch immediately, and it does no harm. In fact, freezing fish at a very low temperature for several days is a very good way to eliminate any parasites that might be present.
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