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It's Copper River Salmon Season

It's Copper River Salmon Season
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  • Post #31 - June 22nd, 2007, 3:54 pm
    Post #31 - June 22nd, 2007, 3:54 pm Post #31 - June 22nd, 2007, 3:54 pm
    Wednesday’s Tribune Good Eating section featured a “primer” (their term) about Copper River salmon. LTH Forum discussions still offer more and better info but the Trib article has a few interesting thing to say. It defines the different types of salmon and even talks about Yukon River salmon season that apparently starts after Copper River season is over.

    The Trib article is available free without registration for a few more days if you are interested. The page would not load for me until I accepted cookies.
  • Post #32 - June 25th, 2007, 8:20 am
    Post #32 - June 25th, 2007, 8:20 am Post #32 - June 25th, 2007, 8:20 am
    I got to Costco over the weekend and picked up a package of the copper river salmon. When I make fish on the grill I season it by brushing it lightly with toasted sesame oil and a sprinkling of Jane's salt. We grilled it last night and served it with a caprese salad. I was hoping we would have leftovers, but there wasn't a speck left after dinner. I'll be going back in the next few days for more.

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #33 - June 25th, 2007, 9:15 am
    Post #33 - June 25th, 2007, 9:15 am Post #33 - June 25th, 2007, 9:15 am
    I stopped by my Whole Foods (Austin TX) last night to grab what I thought might be my last round of CR salmon for the season, and they told me I was too late. I had salmon on my mind all day though, so I picked up some of the gorgeous looking Yakutat sockeye* ($12.99/lb I believe). It was intensely rich & flavourful, and had that same buttery mouthfeel of the Copper River King salmon I had the week prior.

    *Not having heard of Yakutat salmon, I came across this press release, incidentally issued by the store from where I bought the fish.
  • Post #34 - July 12th, 2007, 10:37 pm
    Post #34 - July 12th, 2007, 10:37 pm Post #34 - July 12th, 2007, 10:37 pm
    I am new to this site and have seen some great information, however I need to add a couple factual pieces of info regarding salmon, their types, sources, and quality. My experience comes from over twenty years living and working in northern Alaska, so I tend to know a bit about salmon. I have experience with every type of salmon out there, including handling, cooking, sampling, and seasoning, so I'm not some idiot providing info.

    TYPES
    As a previous member posted, there are basically five types of salmon; king, coho, chum, sockeye, and pink (not worth talking about, great pet food). King is the best, with texture that is second to none and flavor that just melts in your mouth. Be careful though, sometimes it is too rich for some people. Coho (aka Silver) is a great medium priced fish with quality far superior to chum but at a very similar price point. Yukon cohos are a great choice at a reasonable price point. Chum salmon are a good fish, but only if they come from a quality source and they need to be fresh. Previously frozen chum are best used for pet food. Sockeye is most well known for it's bright red color (which has no bearing whatsoever on taste). The quality is better than chum but not quite up to coho. Sockeye is most commonly used in restaurants and display cases because the bright red color draws people attention.

    OIL
    Salmon quality is almost entirely based on the oil content of the salmon. The higher the oil content, the higher the quality. With salmon, as quality goes up, fishiness goes down, seasoning required goes down, and taste/flavor goes WAY up.

    With salmon they are born in fresh water, swim down the river out to the ocean, play around for a couple years, then swim back to where they were born. However, once they re-enter fresh water they quit eating. So based on the distance from the ocean to where they spawn determines the amount of fat (oil) required for them to make the journey. So in other words the longer the river the greater the oil content.

    RIVER
    Copper river, although well known for their great flavor, is actually a great marketing campaign on an average product. What makes it so great is that the competition is very poor (almost all farm raised) and the marketing has been nothing short of unbelievable. Additionally, the Copper River fishery takes outstanding care of their salmon when they are caught, ensuring that every fish is of the highest quality.

    However, it is important to remember that the Copper River is only 300 miles long, compared to other rivers in Alaska like the Yukon, which stretch over 2000 miles. Copper River Salmon is great, but if you get the chance give Yukon King (the most well known), Kuskokwim King, or Yukon Fall Cohos a try.

    WILD VS FARMED
    There was a post in June about farm raised salmon having higher oil content. This is not true unless you are comparing it to northwest or bay/sea (Prudoe, Bering, etc) salmon. For example, the oil content of Yukon King is around 30%, the highest of any wild salmon in the country and in the top five in the world.

    FREEZING
    Katie posted back in June wondering how long salmon would last in the freezer. It really depends (sorry). For the best freezer life, fully prepare the salmon before freezing (deskin, debone, etc), then place the salmon in the freezer for 24 hours. Remove, dip in salt water (called glazing), then wrap in saran wrap, put in a ziplock, and refreeze. If done well this will be good for about a year.

    Sorry to ring on for so long but I wanted to help everyone get the facts. So when you are shopping for salmon don't only look at the color (although important), look at the type, source, and whether it is fresh or frozen. And remember, anything Atlantic is farm raised, no matter what the tag says.

    And feel free to email me if you have any questions I can help with. By the way, my favorite salmon recipe is a skinned filet rubbed down in Lebaneze Breeze (garlicgarden.com) and Spade L Ranch (available at Albertsons in the Seafood area), then cooked medium heat on both sides until the center turns opaque.
  • Post #35 - July 12th, 2007, 11:01 pm
    Post #35 - July 12th, 2007, 11:01 pm Post #35 - July 12th, 2007, 11:01 pm
    Welcome to LTHforum,

    We welcome passionate and informed people.

    We do hope if people have questions, they will be posed on the board and answered here as well. We all want to learn more about this and just about anything else related to food!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #36 - July 13th, 2007, 3:41 am
    Post #36 - July 13th, 2007, 3:41 am Post #36 - July 13th, 2007, 3:41 am
    escrawford wrote:So in other words the longer the river the greater the oil content.

    RIVER
    Copper river, although well known for their great flavor, is actually a great marketing campaign on an average product. What makes it so great is that the competition is very poor (almost all farm raised) and the marketing has been nothing short of unbelievable. Additionally, the Copper River fishery takes outstanding care of their salmon when they are caught, ensuring that every fish is of the highest quality.

    However, it is important to remember that the Copper River is only 300 miles long, compared to other rivers in Alaska like the Yukon, which stretch over 2000 miles. Copper River Salmon is great, but if you get the chance give Yukon King (the most well known), Kuskokwim King, or Yukon Fall Cohos a try.

    WILD VS FARMED
    There was a post in June about farm raised salmon having higher oil content. This is not true unless you are comparing it to northwest or bay/sea (Prudoe, Bering, etc) salmon. For example, the oil content of Yukon King is around 30%, the highest of any wild salmon in the country and in the top five in the world.


    I posted in another thread about the Yukon king salmon I tried this season. It was truly outstanding fish. The fact that it's a sustainable fishery that benefits its community adds to the appeal, but frankly the fish is so good, I wouldn't care if it were caught by cultists.

    I did hear from the restaurant that the Yukon River fishery formerly had trouble with the post-catch part of the process and that that's improved recently. I gather that, until 2004, most of the catch of Yukon kings went to Japan to be made into fish flakes.
  • Post #37 - July 13th, 2007, 8:47 am
    Post #37 - July 13th, 2007, 8:47 am Post #37 - July 13th, 2007, 8:47 am
    On the subject of prep:

    I typically cook salmon using either a caper sauce or a honey mustard sauce. The caper sauce has a lot of butter and the honey mustard has a lot of cream. Both can be done in about the same time that it takes me to cook the salmon (about eight minutes).

    Any ideas for easy ways to season the salmon that are quick and easy? I tried doing something very simple -- just a bit of parsley and a bit of dill -- and it turned out pretty nice, but I'm looking for other ideas.

    Edited to add: In particular, I am looking for ideas that will make my cardiologist happy.
    Last edited by DML on July 13th, 2007, 9:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #38 - July 13th, 2007, 8:53 am
    Post #38 - July 13th, 2007, 8:53 am Post #38 - July 13th, 2007, 8:53 am
    LAZ wrote:until 2004, most of the catch of Yukon kings went to Japan to be made into fish flakes.


    Furikake?!?! What a waste. :shock:
  • Post #39 - July 13th, 2007, 9:01 am
    Post #39 - July 13th, 2007, 9:01 am Post #39 - July 13th, 2007, 9:01 am
    DML wrote:On the subject of prep:
    Any ideas for easy ways to season the salmon that are quick and easy? I tried doing something very simple -- just a bit of parsley and a bit of dill -- and it turned out pretty nice, but I'm looking for other ideas.


    A very simple rub that I like is the Spice House's Maple Sugar Seasoning.. It is excellent, a little sweet but more savory. I also like a little bit on oatmeal in the morning.

    Just rub some on the salmon before cooking. You might also add a little more after cooking to refreshen it.
  • Post #40 - July 13th, 2007, 2:51 pm
    Post #40 - July 13th, 2007, 2:51 pm Post #40 - July 13th, 2007, 2:51 pm
    Ways to cook salmon:

    Maple-Lime
    1/3 cup lime juice
    1 tablespoon garlic, minced
    1/3 cup salad oil
    2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
    1 tablespoon parsley, chopped (or cilantro if you prefer)
    1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped (or a hotter pepper, like a habanero)
    1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup

    I used this on both boneless/skinless chicken breasts, marinating about 24 hours in the fridge, and salmon, marinating for about 3 hours (2 1/2 in the fridge, 1/2 out on the counter). Whip the marinade up in the blender so things get into teeny tiny pieces. I got this on-line a long time ago, and modified it some. I can't remember where I got it, and I'm pretty sure it was for chicken.


    Citrus, Soy, Ginger
    juice from 1 each - lemon, lime, orange
    zest from each fruit
    1/2 as much soy sauce as you have juice (or more, if you like a more pronounced soy taste)
    1/4 cup oil
    grated fresh ginger (lots)
    1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped (or a hotter pepper, like a habanero)
    2 tablespoons honey
    big handful of cilantro, chopped

    Marinate as above. Save 1/2 the mixed zest and some of the grated ginger, mush it into some soft butter, and put a dollop on top of the salmon before serving to give it more of a kick.


    Mango Papaya salsa
    1 mango, peeled, diced
    1/2 papaya, peeled, diced
    1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced
    1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
    1/2 red onion, diced
    juice 1/2 lime
    handful cilantro, minced
    salt, pepper to taste

    Let sit for at least an hour to mellow together. Put on top of grilled fish. You can use other flavorful fruit - peaches, etc.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #41 - July 13th, 2007, 5:51 pm
    Post #41 - July 13th, 2007, 5:51 pm Post #41 - July 13th, 2007, 5:51 pm
    DML wrote:On the subject of prep:

    I typically cook salmon using either a caper sauce or a honey mustard sauce. The caper sauce has a lot of butter and the honey mustard has a lot of cream. Both can be done in about the same time that it takes me to cook the salmon (about eight minutes).

    Any ideas for easy ways to season the salmon that are quick and easy? I tried doing something very simple -- just a bit of parsley and a bit of dill -- and it turned out pretty nice, but I'm looking for other ideas.

    Edited to add: In particular, I am looking for ideas that will make my cardiologist happy.


    There's not much simpler and better (cardiologist wise) than salt & pepper with a squeeze of lemon.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #42 - July 15th, 2007, 2:44 pm
    Post #42 - July 15th, 2007, 2:44 pm Post #42 - July 15th, 2007, 2:44 pm
    A real simple yet tasty marinade for salmon is a mixture of oyster sauce and sriracha chili sauce. You can vary the portions of each sauce according to preference. Also add a little water or wine to make it more liquid.

    Let it sit a while, then bake, broil, or bbq. It's spicy, tasty, and sweet!

    Thanks for all of the info about the copper river!
  • Post #43 - July 15th, 2007, 8:58 pm
    Post #43 - July 15th, 2007, 8:58 pm Post #43 - July 15th, 2007, 8:58 pm
    Thanks escrawford for the info! I have never liked salmon - found it too oily for my taste -- but for some reason do enjoy the Copper River and had been only eating salmon a few times a year when it was around.

    Is there another type that you find comperable?
  • Post #44 - July 16th, 2007, 5:21 pm
    Post #44 - July 16th, 2007, 5:21 pm Post #44 - July 16th, 2007, 5:21 pm
    gls,

    I know what you mean. I just cooked up a fresh filet of Yukon King last night and boy was it oily. It melted in your mouth like candy but we all had to be careful not to eat too much since it is so rich.

    I simple way to make it settle a little better is to grill it directly on the grill (no foil).

    1. Let the grill preheat on medium heat.
    2. Rub the salmon (both sides) with Spade L Ranch and a little garlic paste (garlicgarden.com).
    3. Spray/wipe the grill with oil/pam.
    4. Place the salmon directly on the grill at medium heat.
    5. Flip after about 3 1/2 minutes depending on thickness.
    6. Remove when center just starts to flake and turn opaque.

    Serve with warmed bakery bread and rice pilaf. Enjoy!
  • Post #45 - July 16th, 2007, 6:05 pm
    Post #45 - July 16th, 2007, 6:05 pm Post #45 - July 16th, 2007, 6:05 pm
    One other thing that I am doing: I have been using grapeseed oil to cook it. The grapeseed only makes my cardiologist VERY happy (lowers bad chol, increases good), and it has a very high smoke point making it possible to cook the salmon over a very hot pan. You end up with salmon that is similar to a real steak, with the outside charred and the inside still nice and rare.

    I haven't noticed much of a difference in flavor with the change to grapeseed oil.
  • Post #46 - July 19th, 2007, 7:07 pm
    Post #46 - July 19th, 2007, 7:07 pm Post #46 - July 19th, 2007, 7:07 pm
    Bought a beautiful piece of copper river sockeye today at Foodstuffs in Glencoe. $15.99/lb. They also had king salmon, not copper river, for $17.99/lb. Seems like a great price for each and i was assured that it had never been frozen. The fishmonger told me it is just about the last of the copper river fish they will be seeing this year so hurry in while it lasts. Little olive oil brushed on the fish, kosher salt, fresh pepper and fresh lemon juice grilled for 8min directly on the grill at 400 and it was spot on perfect
  • Post #47 - May 21st, 2008, 1:50 pm
    Post #47 - May 21st, 2008, 1:50 pm Post #47 - May 21st, 2008, 1:50 pm
    The Salmon the Grill thread reminded me that the CR season is open for 2008.

    Anybody seen them yet ? (I haven't looked, but probably will this weekend)
  • Post #48 - May 21st, 2008, 2:00 pm
    Post #48 - May 21st, 2008, 2:00 pm Post #48 - May 21st, 2008, 2:00 pm
    tatterdemalion wrote:The Salmon the Grill thread reminded me that the CR season is open for 2008.

    Anybody seen them yet ? (I haven't looked, but probably will this weekend)

    I haven't seen any yet but I did have some fantastic wild Alaskan salmon at Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook on Monday night. It was a business meeting so, unfortunately, no pics.

    =R=

    Prairie Grass Cafe
    601 Skokie Blvd
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    847 205-4433
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #49 - May 21st, 2008, 3:22 pm
    Post #49 - May 21st, 2008, 3:22 pm Post #49 - May 21st, 2008, 3:22 pm
    I went to Dirk's to pick some up yesterday. He asked me if I was willing to pay $70/lb for it. When I said no, his response was, "Me either." He told me that he passed on the first shipment of the year because the prices were so ridiculous. Evidently, both the weather and the fishing has not been good in the Copper River area. Dirk expected prices to come down over time, once the catch improves, but he won't be carrying any Copper River Salmon at inflated prices like that. Hell, for that kind of money, I'll buy lobster instead. He did have come Columbia River salmon at $30/lb that was excellent on the grill last night.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #50 - May 21st, 2008, 3:27 pm
    Post #50 - May 21st, 2008, 3:27 pm Post #50 - May 21st, 2008, 3:27 pm
    There will be very little wild salmon in the markets this year due to the critical shortage of salmon running. The Northwest Pacific area and all of Northern California has literally closed the season due to small numbers in the hope the the population of wild salmon will rebound.

    Hopefully next year will be better!!
  • Post #51 - May 23rd, 2008, 8:01 am
    Post #51 - May 23rd, 2008, 8:01 am Post #51 - May 23rd, 2008, 8:01 am
    Fox and Obel has it now. $39.99 per pound. I couldn't resist yesterday. I had intended to buy the Irish Organic (about $20 p/p) and then cook it with a bit of ginger, sesame, and soy sauce. Instead, I am going to do it tonight with just a bit of lemon, salt and pepper (and I may toss a few capers over it). I want to enjoy the flavors of the fish. The food budget is going to go up for the next few weeks, but I will be a happy boy.
  • Post #52 - June 8th, 2008, 1:27 pm
    Post #52 - June 8th, 2008, 1:27 pm Post #52 - June 8th, 2008, 1:27 pm
    Today, after loading up on $10 per pound ahi at Costco, I stopped in the Dominick's at Wrightwood and Clybourne, originally looking for some cheap pantry items, only to find some really beautiful Copper River Salmon in the seafood case. The price was $27.99 a pound with a special of $14.99 per pound for those with a Dominick's card. i bought a couple of pieces. One for tonight and one for the freezer at a later date. I may have to stop in for more at that price with the season coming to an end.
  • Post #53 - June 9th, 2008, 10:56 am
    Post #53 - June 9th, 2008, 10:56 am Post #53 - June 9th, 2008, 10:56 am
    It occurred to me that it's pretty disheartening, not to mention pretty poor editorial work, in my opinion, to run the latest Saveur with a large article on a declining fish, the salmon. While the bulk of the article is about the Yukon King, running strong, apparently, it is also mostly regarding its burgeoning preference in East coast restaurants.
    The cover exclamation of "5 Delicious Salmon Recipes" does not make sense except as an advocation for what is most available to the average consumer: farmed salmon. And while my opinion of farmed fish is that I would as soon play strip pinochle with Caligula than eat it, I was not much dissuaded from this by Nancy Harmon Jenkins' rather anemic article on salmon aquaculture in the same issue.
    I love wild salmon, and it breaks the heart of my tongue to say this, but rather I'd follow this advice: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/09/opini ... escoe.html

    Hmph.

    -parker
    "Who says I despair?...I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?"--Walker Percy
  • Post #54 - June 9th, 2008, 1:23 pm
    Post #54 - June 9th, 2008, 1:23 pm Post #54 - June 9th, 2008, 1:23 pm
    There's some real funny business going on with the Copper River product this year it seems. The "true" Copper River Salmon, the one that is available from mid May to mid June, and is sought after for it's rich taste is chinook salmon. Many companies and fishermen are getting on the "Copper River Bandwagon" by selling more commonly available varieties of wild salmon from that southern Alaskan river including an awful lot of wild coho salmon which is available later in the summer. It is perfectly good salmon and much tastier than any farm raised variety. But, it is not Copper River Chinook.

    So, if you see your fish monger selling "Copper River" after mid June, it's either the end of the Alaskan run or they're selling something other than the Chinook in an attempt to leverage the buzz created by the marketing of Copper River Chinook as Copper River salmon.

    It should be noted that the present problems that plague wild salmon of the Pacific Northwest are not affecting the wild salmon runs in Alaska this year. The fish seem to be plentious. There is just a greater demand for them due to the shortage of Pacfic Northwest Wild Salmon in the markets.
  • Post #55 - June 29th, 2008, 3:48 pm
    Post #55 - June 29th, 2008, 3:48 pm Post #55 - June 29th, 2008, 3:48 pm
    Image
    Copper River 2006

    Image
    Copper River 2008 :cry:
  • Post #56 - June 29th, 2008, 9:43 pm
    Post #56 - June 29th, 2008, 9:43 pm Post #56 - June 29th, 2008, 9:43 pm
    I was in the Whole Paycheck on Ashland this weekend perusing and not buying any of their overpriced in season Michigan cherries as both those at the Nettlehorst Farmer's market and Treasure Island were immeasurably sweeter and bigger.

    I stopped by the seafood counter and looked at what they had labeled as "Copper River Salmon". It didn't have that deep orange hue that all Copper River salmon does. As a matter of fact, it looked almost identical to the "wild Alaskan sockeye" available in the case which I'm sure was perfectly good fish. Just not Copper River Salmon.

    Too much funny business on the Copper River front for me to buy any more this summer as the season comes to a close. I hope and pray that the West Coast salmon problem is solved next year and will bring some normalcy to the wild salmon market.
  • Post #57 - September 24th, 2008, 7:58 pm
    Post #57 - September 24th, 2008, 7:58 pm Post #57 - September 24th, 2008, 7:58 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Here's a pic of the cold-smoked salmon I made with the piece of Copper River King I bought at Foodstuffs-Evanston last week . . .

    Image

    Not only is this photo completely unretouched but the cure contained no curing salt whatsoever. You can see the intense color, which was just as wonderful when the fish was raw. The noticeability of the marbling is somewhat diminished after curing.

    Other than flavoring agents, I used only salt, sugar and brown sugar to cure it, for about 60 hours. After that, I cold-smoked it for about 4 hours with apple wood. It is absolutely delicious. I've probably made lox about 25 times and this definitely the best batch I've ever produced.

    =R=
    Revisiting this thread, I despair of ever being able to duplicate this feat. The curing, maybe; the cold smoking, no way. All I can say is, a thing of beauty is a joy forever. Can I just come to your house sometime and have some of this? Or buy it from you?
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #58 - September 24th, 2008, 8:05 pm
    Post #58 - September 24th, 2008, 8:05 pm Post #58 - September 24th, 2008, 8:05 pm
    Also wanted to say, I bought a filet of fresh, wild sockeye salmon at the Garden Fresh Market in Mundelein, $7.99?lb. I've learned from reading this thread that the bright color of wild sockeye is a big part of its appeal. Well, it worked on me, together with the price. I'll be cooking it on the grill in that ginger/soy sauce/honey/brown/sugar/mustard glaze on Friday.* Can't hardly wait.

    (*Because the doctor says I should eat more high-omega-3 fish and try to bring down my cholesterol a bit. So, fish on Fridays, I can remember that. Yes, I bought frozen fish sticks too.)
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #59 - September 24th, 2008, 9:27 pm
    Post #59 - September 24th, 2008, 9:27 pm Post #59 - September 24th, 2008, 9:27 pm
    hope you are keeping your fish on ice in the coldest part of the 'fridge....
  • Post #60 - September 24th, 2008, 10:24 pm
    Post #60 - September 24th, 2008, 10:24 pm Post #60 - September 24th, 2008, 10:24 pm
    Katie wrote:Revisiting this thread, I despair of ever being able to duplicate this feat. The curing, maybe; the cold smoking, no way. All I can say is, a thing of beauty is a joy forever. Can I just come to your house sometime and have some of this? Or buy it from you?

    LOL . . . next time I make it, I will be sure to save you some.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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