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Copper River salmon at Costco

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I'm waaaay late for my annual Copper River salmon run at Costco. Finally got some today at Van Nuys—$10.99 a lb.
But this year, for the first time, they are selling whole CR salmon (in the seafood cases they put out on weekends, and no they will not fillet it for you) for $7.99 lb. Each weighs 3 to 4 lbs. A pretty good deal if you can deal with boning/scaling.
Can't recall if people have had luck freezing these—anyone?

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  1. For some reason, Copper River does nothing for me these days.

    Wake me when you find some Ivory King Salmon at Costco.

    34 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      I am so glad to hear someone else make that statement.
      I thought it was something I was missing.
      I think there is more flavor in the farm-raised salmon @ Gelson's.
      ymmv!

      1. re: carter

        I totally agree about the hype over Copper River Salmon. Nothing can beat a fat King Salmon. (IMHO)

      2. re: ipsedixit

        I saw Ivory at SM Seafood a couple of months ago. Didn't buy any—thought it was an albino offspring. How does it taste exactly.

        And what's with the Copper River backlash. It's still a gorgeous piece of salmon.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          ISTR reading that the Copper River definition has broadened so much, it's become almost meaningless. Sorry, no details on that. I'm with you on the Ivory King though. Great fish.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I've been hyped to try the copper river from CH but now you're making it sound like it's just that, hype. Last time I was at Costco, they had both a copper river salmon and a copper river Sockeye salmon. Do you know if maybe the the Sockeye one is far better as I far prefer Sockeye to normal salmon but obviously not compared to good King salmon?

            How much more is Ivory over regular King Salmon percentage wise in general? Wondering if I can possibly ask a local Costco to test run it for a week.

            1. re: polldeldiablo

              Not sure about the Sockeye versus the other ones labeled a Copper River. I haven't bought salmon of any kind at Costco several years now.

              RE Ivory King. I believe only about 5-7% of the total King Salmon population is white. In some years it's less. I've never bought it myself at retail (been gifted it a few times), but have had it at restaurants in, Nobu and Le Bernardin.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I saw an article that said only 1%.

                1. re: gr8pimpin

                  Yeah, I've seen those reports as well.

                  I think it's hard to guess-timate since you don't know whether you've got an albino salmon until you cut it open.

                    1. re: jessejames

                      Yes.

                      Cliff Notes version: milder

                      The whole book version: like a cross between Chilean sea bass (or Patagonia toothfish), and Halibut.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Awesome. Sounds like a good sushi treat.

                        1. re: jessejames

                          Yes, indeed.

                          It doesn't just sound like it, it tastes like it as well.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Well if you taste the Johnny winter of salmon sushi let us know where!

            2. re: ipsedixit

              Bought Ivory King Salmon at S.M. Seafood today. First time I have seen it this season. $31.95 lb (ouch). I could't resist. Bought a pound. Will go so well with all of the great produce from this morning's S.M. Farmer's Mkt.

              1. re: maudies5

                thanks for the update. i'll get there on wednesday (both the farmers market and sm seafood) although that's a hefty price, the copper river king has been $49.99 a pound the last couple of years. double ouch!

                1. re: perk

                  Wow. This sounds like a good price. Good sea bass bout the same. Enjoy

                  1. re: jessejames

                    Picked up white sea bass for about $25/lb a couple weekends ago at the Sunday Mar Vista FM.

                    1. re: bulavinaka

                      Nice. We love that grilled very simply. There's this other white flaky fish comes frozen from dry dock at bh market that is 7.99 lb and really light and nice. No sea bass but mild for my mild ladies.

                      1. re: jessejames

                        Dry Dock is now selling its fish at the Brentwood and Palisades Farmers markets, in addition to BH. All 3 on Sundays. I think that other white fish is Ono ( Hawaiian Wahoo) Very mild and good

                        1. re: maudies5

                          ono, that's the one! great deal for it too...btw, we got some of that lox a few weekends ago and you're right...among best ive had in la...

                          1. re: jessejames

                            I just received an email stating what is available tomorrow and they mentioned Ono so I edited my post. In any event, yummy fish and it starts with the letter O. Glad you enjoyed the lox. Try the baked (smoked) salmon. They sell a sweet version, with added sugar and paprika, or a plain one. The plain is fantastic.go to their website and get on the mailing list.

                            1. re: maudies5

                              got it...pretty sure he has poke too offalo ... we've gotten the sashimi grade albacore from them and it has been gorgeous...just a bit of soy and wasabi for dipping and a pocket knife needed.

                2. re: maudies5

                  The Ivory King Salmon was marvelous; truly exceptional and very delicate. Dinner was great! Truly, farm and sea to table.

                        1. re: jessejames

                          I debated between grilling on the bbq or my favorite indoor stove-stop cooking grill, the Le Creuset Skinny Grill (without the ridges). Cooks fish beautifully. Grilled the salmon on the Skinny Grill, along side onions, asparagus(skinny ones) and tomatoes I bought today. Miracle of miracles, everything was ready at the same time. Just a dusting of olive oil, salt and pepper. On the side was a couple of ears of corn from Gloria's Tamai Farms and dessert was white peaches from Summer Harvest and blackberries from Pudwill. I'm going to look for that Ivory salmon this coming week. Tomorrow, I'll get fish from Drydock. I do a good dish with their shrimp along with the good ripe tomatoes now available. He says their fish can be refrigerated for 3 days, so may also get swordfish. No one has better California swordfish than Drydock.

                          1. re: maudies5

                            Sounds awesome. I love my foreman grill too for certain stuff. They say three days but always best same or next my feeling. Bet that salmon had some nice fat of its own on that grill.

                            1. re: jessejames

                              Just returned from Brentwood Farmer's Mkt Dry Dock. Fish is displayed much nicer and the seller is much friendlier. The Ahi Poke looked really good. They also had abalone, which I hadn't ever seen at the BH Market. I bought swordfish, which she said was just cut this AM from a 700 pound fish. Their swordfish is always outstanding. Also bought frozen shrimp. Ahi definitely looked sashimi-worthy; beautiful.

                              1. re: maudies5

                                Did you consider the King Ivory as sashimi?

                                It's just awesome au naturel. Really really lovely.

                      1. re: jessejames

                        Is that like asking what color blueberries are?

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Unfair. Could be apricot or lighter for all I know. Albino people are pink. I've never seen it. Maudie's giving me the info.

                          1. re: jessejames

                            Next time I'll take a photograph. Trust me, this salmon was colorless.

                3. I completely forgot about the great fresh salmon deals at Costco. Time to make another excursion over there! Any good wine or liquor deals currently (Burbank)?

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: Jack Flash

                    There are never any great deals on either wine or seafood. They had Ciroc Peach Vodka for a while, not now, in the 1.75 bottle for $38.95, which if you like flavored vodkas, is probably the most enjoyable of them all, regardless of logo.
                    Their lamb chops are one of the better deals, always.
                    I have never trusted their seafood, regardless of type.
                    TJ - even less so.

                    1. re: carter

                      Last time I was there (on Venice Blvd.) they had Miraval rose for $21. It's $25 or $26 almost everywhere else.

                      1. re: perk

                        I bought Miraval for $19.95 at Topline in Glendale, yet have seen those other prices you mention.
                        Mission Wine & Spirits, with stores in Glendale(2), Pasadena & Sherman Oaks, has it for $21.95 I believe.
                        It's ok, yet hardly definitive rose.
                        I have been waiting for the Gavoty Cuvee Clarendon - anyone seen any?
                        Costco's Kirkland branded vodka is by Grey Goose.
                        Price on Grey Goose at Mission is currently $21.95, while Ciroc, all flavors, is $17.95.
                        Kahlua is $8.95 for a 750ml bottle!

                      2. re: carter

                        We have different tastes, I guess. I've always been impressed with the price/quality ratio of their various Cotes du Rhone over the years. Got a few bottles of a really nice Bordeaux at $20/bottle a couple years ago that goes for more than double that at my local wine shop (which generally has good prices). They carry good whiskey and tequila on their Kirkland label that sells for a lot less than the name label, too.

                        I've bought very good wild salmon there as well. You can't fake the freshness, and it's about 1/2 what it would cost at Whole Foods or anywhere else.

                        Sounds like you go to the wrong Costcos (they aren't stocked the same, you know).

                        1. re: Jack Flash

                          Which ones are the right ones for fish?

                          1. re: wakko11

                            I like the Burbank Costco for foodstuffs and wine. To be honest, I haven't compared the food offerings as much as the wines, and Burbank is a clear wine winner over the two stores that are technically closer to me (Alhambra, Irwindale/Azusa) so that's where I go. I've gotten really good salmon there, and have been lucky enough to find a suitable portion (there's only two of us) every time.

                            1. re: Jack Flash

                              The Burbank Costco is also better than the Los Feliz one for wine, although the Los Feliz one is trying to catch up I think.

                              I have found the Burbank/Los Feliz Costco's pretty equal regarding fish.

                          2. re: Jack Flash

                            Almost all Costcos are different, they are a smart operation that specifically test/carry items for the demographic of the people who live nearby/would travel to 'their' Costco. Living in San Fernando area, I occasionally(maybe once per month) visit all 5 surrounding Costco's near me(Pacoima, Northridge, Van nuys, Burbank, Santa Clarita). That being said, some have specialty craft beers while the others have generic beer, some have lots of basic deli cheeses while some have numerous imported cheese from europe, it all depends on the type of people who shop there or who are potential customers.

                            If you don't find an item that you want at your local Costco, you could always just ask an employee near the registers to 'check' nearby Costco's for said item and their stock. When I bought furniture for home recently, there 5 items I wanted and I wanted to arrange for their delivery company they use. Obviously I didn't want to have 3-4 shipments as that would increase shipping cost so I asked my local Costco which one nearby had all 5, went their manually and purchased said items.

                            1. re: Jack Flash

                              I go to the Van Nuys unit, which is the 3rd busiest store in the LA Region, and turnover is very high on all merchandise.
                              My likes in wine tend toward reds, with Bordeaux or Bordeaux grape blends of no particular interest. I like Malbec, some Pinot, Zinfandel, Rhones, wines from Spain & Central Coast, depending on...
                              As to salmon, I don't want to buy that large a quantity and would never freeze any of it.
                              Spirits of interest = vodka basically only.

                        2. For anyone who knows how to cut fish and wants to get the whole fish, here's a fisherman's how to on cleaning salmon.

                          First thing you do is scale the fish completely.

                          The first cut you'll make is from the anus to the gills along the middle of the belly. Get all the guts out.

                          When all the guts are out, you'll notice a thin white membrane along the top of the gut. Slice down the whole thing. You'll notice there's a dark, bloody tissue under that skin. You'll want to scoop all of that out with a spoon.this should leave nothing in the gut cavity but flesh, and you'll see the vertebrae at the top there.

                          Now you have to fillet it. They're tough to fillet. The trick is to do it in sections. Cut the fillet in half or three sections depending on the size of the fish. These cuts will make it easier to find the vertebrae than trying to slice down from the back like you would with a normal fish. Make sure you're slicing, not sawing. Each cut should be a single pulling slice motion.

                          There will be some bones in the meat. You can take these out with pliers before cooking if you want, or removed after cooking. They're kind of in the middle of the meat so they can't be cut out during the filet process. The rib bones, on the other hand, I would cut those out during the filleting.

                          Don't let the skin of one fillet touch the flesh of another at any point, especially when storing. As with all seafood, don't let the fish touch fresh water.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Eater15

                            Thanks for this but, in my experience, Costco's whole fish is headless and has been gutted already. At least at the Van Nuys store...as has been pointed out Costco has different products at different stores. If there is a Costco that actually sells a whole fish I would love to hear about it. Salmon cheeks are about as good as I have found fish to be, the few times I have had them.

                            1. re: ebethsdad

                              you're quite right. heads were missing. I didn't realize they had been gutted as well—I'd have bought one to try. might return in a couple of weeks.

                              1. re: ebethsdad

                                So that saves you a couple steps

                                1. re: Eater15

                                  And save all the fish trimmings to fertilize your garden.

                                  My apricot, peach and pomegranate trees love it!

                                  Unfortunately, so do the neighborhood stray cats. And the possums.

                              2. re: Eater15

                                Just wondering, if your going to fillet it, why scale it?

                                1. re: Scotty

                                  Because you still leave the skin on

                              3. Purchased fresh wild sockeye from Costco for 10 bucks a pound and wild sockeye from Santa Monica Seafood for 15 bucks a pound lady week. The sockeye from Santa Monica Seafood blew it away, was far superior in taste , texture and overall freshness. Definitely worth the price difference at SMS.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: josh L

                                  i was at SM Seafood today. The sockeye was in sale for $14.99. Think it's usually more. I ended up with swordfish....but the salmon looked good.