Why would a restaurant that prides itself in being part of the community, with a menu where almost every dish is based local sustainable ingredients be using wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon?
Well, there are several reasons, first and foremost it is extremely sustainable. The fisheries are currently very well managed, once the quotas are met the fishing stops, leaving plenty of salmon to swim up the rivers and estuaries to spawn and become bear food.
Secondly is traceability, we are able to verify where and how the fish was caught down to the boat. Unless you know the fisherman, or are purchasing from a quality fishmonger, you are not able to do that with most east-coast fish.
We purchase our sockeye through Sea to Table a company based in Brooklyn, NY that distributes only wild, domestic, sustainable and traceable seafood. They’re getting the sockeye from Naknek Family Fisheries a small family-owned business in Bristol Bay, Alaska. As soon as the fish is caught it’s sorted, keeping the highest quality fish for their fillets. The fillets are then flash frozen, vacuum sealed and stored until they shipped. With the salmon run (season) being short and the number of fish caught so large, freezing the fillets for year round delivery is necessary. Much of the salmon is also smoked and / or canned.
I never thought I would be happy to use frozen fish, I have to admit I was skeptical up until the moment I cooked and tasted it. The skin crisps beautifully, the flesh is firm and moist. This fish is a very high quality product; I don’t think it has diminished at all from its fresh state. I highly recommend everyone eating Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon.
You may see Atlantic Salmon in stores or on menus, don’t buy it. It is all farm raised in overcrowded pens, eating more fishmeal than the flesh it is producing and polluting the bays all the while. There have been great strides made in recent years to make a better-for-the-environment and better tasting farmed salmon though it still pales in comparison to any wild salmon.
Another great thing about sockeye salmon is people love it, it tastes great, with the added bonus that it is also very good for you, high in omega-3 acids, vitamins A, C, D, and E, niacin and Vitamin B-12. All that and it’s a cinch to cook, very adaptable to many cuisines.
Here some of photos show a few of the ways we have been preparing it.
Korean Barbecue Glazed
In a Banh Mi
tea-cured hors d’oeuvres
with pig’s skin risotto and apples
hot-smoked dip with chips
soy glazed with kimchi and mushroom mayonnaise
with soldier beans, escarole and bacon
Eat well. Eat wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon from Bristol Bay.