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Calling all salmon lovers - king or sockeye?

I love, love king salmon but don't think I have ever tried sockeye salmon. however, it always intrigued me at the store but given that King is so delicious I've never ventured away from it. Do you prefer king or sockeye or both and do you prepare them differently? Is there a good way to describe any difference in taste between the two?

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  1. I love king, sockeye and coho. The best I've had of each has been sublime and comparable in quality so I don't have a preference. The variation comes with the sourcing, freshness, handling etc.

    7 Replies
    1. re: andrewtree

      I commercial fished (trolling only) for Springs for a long time. IMO Springs are too strong flavored. I'll eat a coho over a sockeye anytime. Sockeye is 'net caught' and it's not possible to immediately clean them as such. Lactic acid which occurs when the fish is struggling/dying in the net IMO poisons the fish and turns the flesh sour. It can be hours before a sockeye is cleaned. Coho are 'line caught' and processed/cleaned as soon as they come on board as are Spring(King) salmon. This makes a BIG difference in the quality/taste of the flesh.
      Salamon is really easy to over cook. People who use tin foil to cook fish are basically guessing when the fish is perfectly cooked. And the skin will never be crispy if that's what you like. I have always used a ss pan with a glass lid so I can see the fish as it's cooking. Preheat the ss pan to medium never hot. Then add some clarified butter. When the butter is hot slide the fish skin side down onto the pan. No herbs or seasoning. Put the lid on and watch as the fillet/steak cooks through. Never turn the fish. When the fish just turns from raw to just starting to become flaky remove the fish and rest. The fish doesn't need to be screaming hot when served.
      Any fish will lose it's natural flavor if strong herbs/seasonings/garlic etc etc are used. Just a light sprinkle of kosher salt and a light squeeze of fresh lemon juice and you'll be tasting the natural flavor of the fish. Otherwise any fish will just be a piece of protein that tastes like garlic/onion/pepper/ herbs or whatever. What's the point in paying a lot of money for that result?

      1. re: Puffin3

        Cooking in foil isn't necessaeily guesswork. The way I learned to cook a whole salmon Northwest (US) style is to wrap it in foil, but to fold it in such a way as to leave easy access to the dorsal fin. When the fish should be about done, you gently pull on the fin. If it doesn't pop out easily, it's not done yet.

        1. re: Puffin3

          puffin, your explanation sounds like a reasonable idea for what was my recent taste experience with a sockeye salmon. i did not overcook or overseason, and i ended up tossing it (much to my wallet's chagrin). neither cat wanted it either.

          1. re: Puffin3

            " Sockeye is 'net caught' and it's not possible to immediately clean them as such. Lactic acid which occurs when the fish is struggling/dying in the net IMO poisons the fish and turns the flesh sour. It can be hours before a sockeye is cleaned."

            Thanks so much for this information, it may explain a lot in terms of my reaction to sockeye, despite a life long love of salmon in general. I missed this until now.

            I wonder if the texture I find objectionable is also due to the delayed cleaning and lack of freshness it causes?

            1. re: Puffin3

              Hi, Puffin3:

              "Lactic acid which occurs when the fish is struggling/dying in the net IMO poisons the fish and turns the flesh sour. It can be hours before a sockeye is cleaned. Coho are 'line caught' and processed/cleaned as soon as they come on board as are Spring(King) salmon."

              IMO, there are too many variables for your statements to be categorically true. Many gillnetters will take fish the minute a float goes down. Likewise it can be hours before a troll-caught fish is cleaned. And line-caught fish struggle and can generate plenty of lactic acid. Frankly from the perspective of a fish being "worked up", a trap, purse seine or even a gillnet would be less struggle for the fish than fighting a line. Processing is another matter entirely.

              Considering the Japanese obsession with freshness and their preference for sockeye in sushi and sashimi, the picture of a gill beach set dangling at low tide full of dead, souring sockeye just isn't a generalizable reality, IMO.


              1. re: Puffin3

                Hi, Puffin3: "I'll eat a coho over a sockeye anytime."

                Maybe so, but I thought you can't stand salmon anymore. In http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/885143, you recently said:

                "...I can say that I can't stand the stuff [salmon at all]. I never liked it even when it had come out of the water thirty minutes ago...The best IMO is Sockeye or chum..."

                So, you like silvers?


            2. King v. Sockeye?

              Which is better? They're different and depends on what you want in your salmon.

              King is generally fattier than Sockeye, which will be firmer and meatier in comparison to King.

              Think of it this way ... in loose terms, King is sort of like a ribeye steak while a Sockeye is more like a sirloin.

              Both are very very good in their own right. It just depends on personal preferences and what you want out of your fish experience.

              (All of the above applies only to wild, not farmed, salmon).

              3 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit

                Yea, I guess this was more my question as I'd hate to spend on the sockeye if I don't like it :) Perhaps I'll give it a shot as of course I have moods when I want ribeye and moods I want sirloin it sounds like I can't lose probably. Never farmed, wouldn't waste the money although it seems here that wild King is easier to come by than wild Sockeye I'm not sure if there's a reason for that but just an observation.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  I find wild sockeye is everywhere, King not so much. I'd wait til it's in season, though.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  Thank you for a great comparison that helps me understand the differences.

                3. I purchase & enjoy both, & prepare them in the same ways. Really don't prefer one over the other, except when Copper River Sockeye is in season & available. Although pricey, that's some fabulous-tasting salmon.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Bacardi1

                    Agree on the Copper River salmon. Quite simply put - the best salmon I've ever tasted.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      I am going to sound like an idiot but does the Cooper River designation apply to all species?

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        I've only purchased Copper River Sockeye Salmon in-season (from Seabear). I'd assume that Coho is also caught and sold, but perhaps someone else more knowledgeable can answer that question.


                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          Yes, apparently you can purchase King, Sockeye, Coho & Keta, however I have only found Sockeye at my market.

                        2. re: LindaWhit

                          There is a history to the Copper River mystique. In reality, it is a rare combination of clever marketing hype and real cooperation among fishers that gives us a great salmon.

                          The hype was the idea of creating a salmon regional "brand." If you get a Copper River fish fresh caught off the boat and cook it, it really won't be better than one from the Yukon river or some other spawning areas on the day they was caught. The problem was always quality control.

                          How quickly does the fisher clean the fish? How well and evenly is it iced? Finally, how quickly and in what condition does it get to market?

                          The fishers in the Copper River area decided they had to work together to maintain the best standards for all three of those vital quality controls. So when the marketing folks started the hype, the fish that was delivered was reliably excellent. That was worth a few bucks more a pound, the initial price differential.

                          Now some other areas of Alaska have caught on and you can get excellent fish from them, too. In fact, when CR salmon has a $10-20/price premium, I look for great bargains on other salmon.

                          As for the OP, I prefer the flavor of red (sockeye) to king, and the price is better, too. Regardless of preference between those two, anyone who uses sockeye in a salad is totally wasting their money. Buy the cheap stuff with the fake names, like keta or silverbrite. And if you see a bargain on white king, go for it. It tastes and feels just like regular king.

                          Finally, remember that in the US, you generally have a significant chance that your fish is mislabeled, and even higher in restaurants. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/ma...

                          So to the poster who didn't like some particular variety, don't be so sure you got what you paid for.

                          1. re: RandyB

                            "Finally, remember that in the US, you generally have a significant chance that your fish is mislabeled, and even higher in restaurants. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/ma...

                            So to the poster who didn't like some particular variety, don't be so sure you got what you paid for."

                            If you mean me, I know sockeye when I see it or, <gag>, taste it. It's very distinctive.

                      2. King salmon are called Chinook where I live. I have eaten a lot of them and they are good, but I prefer Sockeye and like Bacardi1 consider Copper River Sockeye the very best.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                          Your are correct - chinook and king are idential viz. Oncorhynchus tshawytscha.

                        2. I rarely see king salmon in the southeast, I buy it when I find it. The Copper River sockeye salmon run only lasts a few weeks, and somehow it is available fresh, never frozen, and I load up. The best fish dish I ever ate was a baby coho grilled over mesquite in Austin many years ago, provenance unknown.

                          1. Oh, king for me. Oilier and more flavorful. Sockeye only in a salad, mixed well with other stuff. Just my two cents.

                            1. I agree about Copper River sockeye. We used to splurge on a smallish one (18" max. to fit the poacher!) when they arrived at our favorite store in Nashville, and I'd poach it and give it the gelatin/mayonnaise glaze and cucumber gills, and we'd throw a party.

                              My first fresh salmon, though, was whatever some friend had caught when I lived in Anchorage. I never bothered to ask the variety, because it was all good, either stuffed and baked or grilled.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Will Owen

                                Yeah, I think it is totally different when one lives in Salmon country.

                              2. Both are good, but it's all about preference. Analogies only go so far. You won't know until you try it.

                                1. King, I love it and sockeye literally makes me gag, no other food does that to me. I like other salmon, too, but King is, well, The KING. :Nothing like it.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: mcf

                                    Anything in particular that you don't like about sockeye?

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      It's too lean and muscly. Best I can figure, it's the texture, it gives me the squicks. Smoked or grilled. Even the sight of the dayglo orange color of it makes me avert my eyes. Just an involuntary reaction. King is the opposite in every way.

                                  2. I live in Seattle and usually gravitate toward troll caught kings. But when it's almost $25 a pound, you do have to think twice. I was pleasantly surprised by Cooper River sockeye. Would definitely buy it again and would use for anything I would normally do with kings. Silvers are OK in a pinch-there's a takeout place here that serves them sauteed with a small side of rice and coleslaw for $12, which is a real deal. If I'm making salmon cakes or chowder, I don't bother with King--too expensive for what I'm going to do with it. Sockeye is often canned because it is so oil rich. I don't understand the person who nearly got sick on sockeyes. Must have been a bad fish. If I have company and am grilling, broiling, or pan sauteeing, I'll always buy kings

                                    33 Replies
                                    1. re: PAO

                                      No, I never ate bad fish. I just hate sockeye salmon, and your love for it doesn't change my involuntary gag response to it's texture. :-)

                                      1. re: mcf

                                        I'm that way with orange roughy. I simply can't stand it, I hate it, and there's no very good reason. I told the guy at the fish counter I don't like it and didn't want to try it, but he insisted that it was great, so he kind of forced me to try it, and I still hated it and even more so because I had been sort of conned into tasting it again, against my expressed explicit wish. I like fish but I really hate that one. It's not even the texture particularly, but just the whole everything about it, the constellation of qualities that just go together really really badly.

                                        1. re: Lisa Davidson

                                          Sistah! ;-)

                                          I was ok with roughy when I first had it but then found myself avoiding buying it. Texture, again, very much like catfish, which I also don't love. Barramundi; it's very very lean and I couldn't finish it. I love flounder and bluefish (the latter, most folks don't like).

                                          1. re: mcf

                                            "BLUEFISH" ..........During the 80's I used to catch and sell over a 1000 lbs of blues a week, .40 to .75 cents p/lb whole fish. Can't give them away now.

                                            If iced immediately the 2 to 4 lb blues are quite mild.

                                            Above 6 lbs the flavor gets much stronger even if you remove the skin, remove the dark meat under the skin & cut out the dark meat running down the center. Seems people either love the big ones or hate them.

                                            1. re: Tom34

                                              I love them all, but marinate the big ones in milk, before cooking with some acid in the prep from lemons and tomatoes, garlic, etc.

                                              I think they're 4-6 bucks a lb these days in season.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                I feel they way about bluefish that you do abut sockeye. I cannot stomach it at all. Too oily and too "fishy".

                                                I grew up where bluefish was cheap and plentiful. When they were running someone would give my a dad a couple of huge ones every week in barter. The smell alone would make me gag. No matter how he cooked it I hated it with a passion

                                                Now a days its seems to be showing up a lot more at parties and restaurants. I ventured a bite of some bluefish ceviche recently, thinking my tastes may have matured. Nasty!!

                                                And if one more person tells me how "fabulous" bluefish pate is I will scream, LOL.

                                                1. re: foodieX2

                                                  I think your feeling about bluefish is much more common than mine. It's great smoked, btw. In wood smoke, not rolling papers, I mean. :-)

                                                  Yeah, food is only fabulous when *you* like it, not just the other guy.

                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                    you are right about the smokes- its the smoked bluefish pate everyone keeps pushing me on. Thankfully not from dark alleys. lol!

                                                  2. re: foodieX2

                                                    If you try a skinned 1 to 2 lb snapper blue that was iced as soon as it was taken off the hook you might like it. Very mild flavor. Unfortunately, most of what is available are commercially netted big ones and yes they have a distinct strong flavor.

                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                      see here we go. I just havent tried the right kind…

                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                        Night & Day difference in flavor between the non oily white flesh of a small snapper (vs) the grey oily flesh of a big slammer. Kind of like canned tuna....All white meat in water (vs) dark meat in oil.

                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                          But she doesn't want to eat it and isn't asking for advice on how to get herself to like it.

                                                          Just sayin'. :-)

                                                    2. re: foodieX2

                                                      Ever make "pickled" Bluefish? It will make one stop buying marinated Herring.
                                                      the following; courtesy of Captain Bob Smith of Sarasota

                                                      Pickled Bluefish, Herring Style
                                                      Fillet bluefish. Remove all skin and dark meat. Wash fillets thoroughly before cutting them into bite size chunks, and to make a one quart jar of the "Herring," use these measurements:

                                                      3 cups bluefish chunks

                                                      1 large onion, thinly sliced

                                                      1 heaping tablespoon pickling spice


                                                      1-1/4 cup white or wine vinegar

                                                      ½ cup sugar

                                                      2 tablespoons salt

                                                      Mix bluefish, onion and pickling spice in jar. Stir together ingredients for marinade and pour into jar.
                                                      Fill to the brim. Close jar and store in refrigerator for one week, remembering to shake the jar once a
                                                      day to allow the spices to blend evenly. You'll be amazed how closely the taste of bluefish "herring"
                                                      resembles the flavor and texture of classic Pickled herring. Before eating I add sourer cream.


                                                      Select bluefish of about three (3) pounds

                                                      When caught, cut throat and allow to bleed in saltwater (5 to 10 minutes) until dead

                                                      Immediately chill on ice before cleaning

                                                      Fillet and skin, cut out red meat and belly with bones

                                                      Wash and chill fillets in saltwater slush (heavy mixture of ice and water) for 15 minutes


                                                      Like most people I do not like to eat bluefish, but I do love pickled herring, and this is the best I ever
                                                      had. Also bluefish are plentiful around the winter holidays.

                                                      The slush is something I use on all fish before bagging

                                                      Capt. Bob Smith

                                                      1. re: ospreycove

                                                        again, thanks for recipe but I have to say that I have no interest in it. I don't like blue fish. A new way of serving it is not going to change my mind.

                                                        I am over 50 years old and feel that I have enough miles on me to know what I like and don't like. Even so I gave it another try recently (as I noted before) and still disliked it.

                                                        I find it annoying, rude and extremely frustrating that people just assume that must be "doing it wrong" and if I only tried it "their" way I would be a convert.

                                                        I think I posted this earlier but these kind of conversations remind of the court scene from "A Few Good Men":

                                                        Sam Weinberg: “I strenuously object?” Is that how it’s done? Hm? “Objection, your Honor!” “Overruled” “No, no. I STRENUOUSLY object.” “Oh! You strenuously object. Then I’ll take some time and reconsider.”

                                                        1. re: foodieX2

                                                          One never knows when one will need an alternative source of protein.............

                                                          1. re: ospreycove

                                                            I am willing to bet my best slow trolling lure; if one blind tasted side by side commercial marinated herring and "pickled Bluefish" one would be very hard pressed to tell the differrence. Having said that one must like/crave marinated herring!!!!
                                                            One more tip, do not consume/process the big "smokers" they are full of Mercury and other goodies your body does not need any more.

                                                            1. re: ospreycove

                                                              You're presuming to know that foodieX2 likes marinated herring.

                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                Yes that is a prerequisite.......

                                                                1. re: ospreycove

                                                                  and I happen to not like it as I not huge fan of anything pickled except beets

                                                                  (and me on occasion!)

                                                              2. re: ospreycove

                                                                Hi, ospreycove:

                                                                Give it up, I already tried...

                                                                Some folks like not liking things. A lot. Some even like it when others don't like things. It's important for us to let them like not liking, and to like each other for liking not liking things.

                                                                Or something like that.


                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                  kaleo - taste is subjective. Everyone doesn't like the same things. Why is that so difficult to understand?

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      Hi, Linda Whit:

                                                                      Quite easy to understand, actually. But thanks.


                                                                    2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                      Yes we are all "wired differently".........

                                                                2. re: ospreycove

                                                                  thank you, ospreycove, for the recipe.

                                                                  (i'm from fort myers originally).

                                                                  1. re: ospreycove

                                                                    Your right Osprey, size matters & when it comes to blues, bigger is not better. When I wanted one for myself, I would whack a small 2 to 3 pound fish over the head as soon as it was landed and immediately filet it, remove the skin and put the fillets on ice. Sometimes the carcass was still twitching after the fillets were off thats how fresh it was.

                                                                3. re: mcf

                                                                  I have seen them at the fish counter in supermarkets. Where I don't see them is on menus. Back in the day they were very popular at diners which is where I unloaded them when ever the market $$ dipped.

                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                    I think they've only started popping up in restaurants here and there in season due to overfishing of so many less plentiful fish. I was really shocked to see the price rise to more than $2 per lb last year.

                                                                    I never see blowfish tails on any menus, either, unless it's out east on the island, but I still love those, too.

                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                      Back in the 80's, most diners bought several thousand pounds (whole fish) a year, usually in the fall when the price dropped and they froze the fillets in water and would serve them all year. Large portions at very reasonable prices made them big sellers.

                                                                      Back then, the wholesale price for blues was far less than most other types of fish which got it on menus. Now days, wholesale farm raised fish is probably cheaper than the blues and has a much milder flavor appealing to more people.

                                                        2. re: PAO

                                                          Hey, PAO:

                                                          For those who think there are huge differences in moisture, lipid and nutrient content across wild salmon species: http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/...

                                                          And for those willing to do the research (or look up the prior threads' links), even aquaculture-raised Atlantic compares very favorably.

                                                          There's a reason sockeye are also called "Red", and as this very thread demonstrates, the color itself causes at least one to avert their gaze and involuntarily retch. Used to be that you couldn't sell a white king for the same reason--it looked "icky" somehow, didn't fit within expectations. And now it's a delicacy commanding the highest prices, go figure.


                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                            >>aquaculture-raised Atlantic compares very favorably

                                                            For certain measured nutritional elements, perhaps. For texture, flavor, and especially for negative effects on native, wild species, farmed salmon are a disaster. Thankfully, the state of Alaska does not allow salmon farming.

                                                          1. re: rasputina

                                                            The Very Best is White Spring Salmon but we generally keep those for ourselves.

                                                              1. re: Sam Salmon

                                                                When I was commercial fishing 'Springs' whenever we caught a 'white Spring' we set it aside for the natives when we off loaded and iced. We gave them away b/c the packers wouldn't buy them.

                                                                1. re: Sam Salmon

                                                                  Not living in PNW, I've only had the pleasure of white salmon once 12 yrs ago and I remember it well still.

                                                                  1. re: Sam Salmon

                                                                    x1000. White and marbled king are out of this world.

                                                                2. Hi, fldh...

                                                                  IMO, any salmon caught in salt water, cleaned quickly and well, and cooked truly fresh is a great gift from nature. I also suggest that those who ick out over any particular variety or run just had some bad experience with something that wasn't the salmon's fault.

                                                                  This is about the third or fourth thread posing your question. There is a lot more information there, e.g., fat content, etc.

                                                                  Kings are almost always much bigger, thicker fish. As such, fillet-thick pieces don't take the brine/rub/smoke as deep, and take a little longer to cook. Sockeye are small, fillet out quite thin, cook fast, and IMO take the "cure" better for smoking.


                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                    I don't actually *blame* sockeye salmon for icking me out. I just don't eat it. I've had it plenty, and just have decided to pass on it.

                                                                    I can't believe other folks presume to know better than I what I've experienced with my food!

                                                                  2. All of the above- with a side of king crab legs.

                                                                    1. 50 or so years ago my dad and I fished every year for kings, sockeye, steelhead, and grayling, among others. Freshly (line) caught and well handled, they are all good. Our favorite was the sockeye, caught in the deep pool just below Lower Russian Lake. Whomever was up first was tasked with catching breakfast and the rest with cleaning up and stowing gear. It was probably the setting as much as anything, but it is hard to beat salmon that was swimming an hour before. Because kings are generally much larger, and in my recollection more difficult to catch on a line, we did not consume them in place.

                                                                      Can't think of any fresh fish that makes me gag, though there are some that I prefer over others.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: akachochin

                                                                        "Can't think of any fresh fish that makes me gag, though there are some that I prefer over others."

                                                                        It's not about freshness, it's about texture, like many, maybe most, food aversions.

                                                                      2. I live in Alaska (where it all comes from) so I have a fair bit of experience with the different species. It really is a matter of taste. For most purposes my preference is always for King, especially if you can get a winter or spring fish. They are the richest tasting by far. Later in the season they start to use up some of their stored reserve fat in their migration, so they are a bit leaner. Still, King is always the richest fish.

                                                                        Coho and sockeye are leaner than King. That means that if you aren't careful, you can dry them out during cooking. The biggest sin is an overcooked piece of salmon.

                                                                        For smoking, I always prefer King because of the higher oil content. Coho and sockeye are too dry for my taste.

                                                                        I have two important cooking tips. (1) Test doneness with a fork. When the fish barely flakes apart but is still just a little bit translucent in the middle, it is done. Don't let it go all the way to fully opaque, which tends to mean the fish is dried out. You can tell when the fish is approaching done if you see a white "juice" starting to accumulate on top of the filet. (2) On the grill (my favorite preparation method for any salmon) season with salt and pepper. Cook with the skin side down and the cover on. DO NOT FLIP THE FISH! When the fork test shows done, slide a long spatula between fish and skin to carefully peel the fish up from the skin. Voila! Perfectly skinned salmon filet ready for the plate.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: paulgrant

                                                                          When the fork test shows done, slide a long spatula between fish and skin to carefully peel the fish up from the skin.

                                                                          Even though I am not a fan of grilled salmon skin, I like to nibble the bits and pieces of flesh stuck to the skin. Sort of like fish ribs.

                                                                          1. re: paulgrant

                                                                            I want to start eating wild salmon verses farmed, but haven't been able to tolerate the strong taste of wild salmon. Is there a kind that is less strong than others?

                                                                            1. re: darcyallen

                                                                              Try coho. But, do you have to eat salmon? Many other fish have similar health benefits if that's why you're trying to learn to like it.

                                                                          2. King salmon is best due to its fat content, but Spring Kings have more fat than Fall Kings and are the best of all.

                                                                            1. I like king the best, but at $25/lb I might buy it once a year. My normal salmon is wild sockeye from Costco, $9/lb sold in 3 pound bags. I end up smoking most of it.

                                                                              1. here is an interesting - to my mind - website http://www.chefs-resources.com/Fresh-...

                                                                                also check out Arctic Char - the best fish i have ever eaten - now i do take in to account that that was up north (arctic circle north on Hudson Bay) ---

                                                                                some of the best salmon and halibut (oh, and oysters too) i have ever tasted were at many dinners at various venues in Alaska last June/July --- well worth using up those flight airmile & hotel bonus points to go there for that incredible fish. (we were not on a cruise ship


                                                                                the reason i point out "many dinners / many venues" - is that i was amazed by the consistent good food that came to the tables - this ranged from a "resort" at McKinley to a casual restaurant in Anchorage downtown to a group lunch near Seward - you get the picture - all those skills in one pot - so to speak - and it seems that nobody could mess it up - which i think possibly speaks to the quality of the material in the first place.

                                                                                we have a friend who as a college student worked a few months at some horrifying (to our ears) salmon processing facility up there - like in Nome or Homer or some place - his impressions to this day paint quite a diff picture of that hi falutin' fish you're about to eat. Ultimately - maybe best get to know a great Pac NW neighbor who goes out fishing sometimes - and catches on a line and clunks it fast and cleanly. Or go to a fish shop that knows the boat that fishes responsibly etc.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Georgia Strait

                                                                                  I love arctic char, wonderful fish...

                                                                                2. I've been wanting to try sockeye again, but don't live in sockeye country. I was expecting to wait until I got back to the PNW, where I usually eat my salmon, but recently I stumbled upon the following product in my local Grocery Outlet:

                                                                                  "Sockeye Gold" wild-caught smoked sockeye salmon, packed in EVOO for Alaska Smokehouse, Inc. (a Washington State company). It comes in a 6.5 oz tin.

                                                                                  This is an excellent canned fish, in my opinion. I just finished a Niçoise-style salad made with it, and it's the equal of my usual, made with Fishing Vessel St. Jude albacore. Whichever salmon you prefer for a steak, I highly recommend this sockeye for a salad. I'm going back for more — I hope they haven't run out.

                                                                                  1. The only salmon we eat is Copper River. It is only available for a short time in early summer. We eat all we can. BTW, it is pretty $$$ but worth every penny.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                                                      I like CR a lot also, and I'm sure I could choose it in a blind test. But the season is so short! Do you freeze a lot of it?
                                                                                      In my living experiences, king salmon has been hard to find.

                                                                                      1. re: Candy

                                                                                        There is plenty of other wild Pacific salmon that is just as good as Copper River. Much cheaper too.

                                                                                        On advantage of Copper River for those not in the Pacific Northwest is the branding carries certain assurances about how it was caught and handled which ensures high-quality fish. That said if you have a high-quality local fish provider or even a Whole Foods nearby you should be able to get decent fresh wild caught Pacific salmon from other fisheries in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon.

                                                                                        BTW don't overlook the Copper River Sockeye if you can get it the season is longer than Copper River King and the price is much more reasonable. YMMV of course if you don't like the somewhat stronger flavor or firmer texture of sockeye.