What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

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What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Carrie L. » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:33 pm

I don't like wild salmon, no matter how many times I try it. I like the fleshy, moist, mild flavored, light pinkish colored Atlantic Salmon that in most cases seems to be farm raised.
Anyone else out there like me?
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Shlomo R » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:26 pm

Polar opposite. Much prefer wild Alaskan salmon to farm raised. I don't buy Atlantic salmon anumore because it is all farm-raised, which I find greasy and bland. Glad to hear someone likes it that way. Enjoy!
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Carl Eppig » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:44 pm

Carrie, I guess the closer you are to the source, the more smut you know. We gave up on Atlantic Salmon (the farm raised kind) two years ago, and only go with wild caught now. The reason is that all the fish farms in the Eastern US and Canada are owned by one Canadian outfit now. Where monopolies exist you can usually fine abuses. On our way home from Grand Manan on the ferry in 2010 we sat with a women whose husband worked for the fisherie. It used to be that some operators kept the legal number of fish in the pens and kept the pens clean all the time. The one owner now overstocks all the pens. When they know an inspector is coming (and they always know) they clean out a pen or two and show the inspector those pens. They number of fish that die is appalling. The ferry always has two or three large trucks filled with dead fish on their way to a fertilizer factory. When the fish are getting ready for harvest they are starved for a while to get rid of excess fat that they get from the junk they are fed. What they are fed you don't want to know. I could go on, but you get my drift. This conversation confirmed reports I had heard earlier, but we ignored them because we thought were smart enough to locate the honast sources. Now there are no honast sources.
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Carrie L. » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:19 pm

Okay, I just read a bunch of disturbing articles online regarding farmed salmon and I guess I'm just going to give up salmon altogether. I wasn't completely blind to the controversies of farmed salmon, but there has been so much conflicting information out there that I was never sure. Dang, wish I liked wild!
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Jenise » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Carrie, I have to think that if you were getting pristeenly fresh wild salmon, you would like it. You may not be getting it fresh enough.
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Carrie L. » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:37 pm

Jenise wrote:Carrie, I have to think that if you were getting pristeenly fresh wild salmon, you would like it. You may not be getting it fresh enough.


The problem for me is that it is dry. I've had it in some of the best restaurants and have bought it at Fresh Market right next to the farmed salmon (that I love. :cry: )
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Rahsaan » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:18 pm

Carrie L. wrote:The problem for me is that it is dry.


Overcooked?
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Mark Lipton » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:57 pm

Carrie L. wrote:Okay, I just read a bunch of disturbing articles online regarding farmed salmon and I guess I'm just going to give up salmon altogether. I wasn't completely blind to the controversies of farmed salmon, but there has been so much conflicting information out there that I was never sure. Dang, wish I liked wild!


Carrie,
You might be responding to the difference between Atlantic and Pacific salmon. If you can find (and afford) some wild-caught Atlantic salmon from Scotland, you should give it try.

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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Jenise » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:28 pm

Further to what Mark said, several things contribute to salmon's moistness. I'm thinking you already know all this, but I'll say it anyway: forget any salmon that's been frozen. Forget, probably, the earliest-appearing salmon which is the sockeye/red salmon variety because it's the lowest fat salmon, and of course fat adds to texture. Coho/silver and Chinook/king have more fat, as does the Scottish salmon Mark mentions. Then, consider brining salmon before you cook it. I know, I know, you brined something once and hated it, but you don't have to soak anything for a long time in super-salty water until it tastes like lunch meat. That was a bad recipe. One-two hours in plain water will hydrate the fish very very nicely, and you can even play with infusing a little herb or wine essence when you do that.
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Carrie L. » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:47 pm

Okay, I can see I haven't been paying enough attention to "type" of salmon and just generalizing that I don't like any "wild." Maybe I do and have just had the wrong type. I'll look for the King or Scottish and try again. I would never think to brine. Have never heard of brining fish, but will try that if I don't first succeed just with trying these specific varietals. Thanks all for the input.
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Jenise » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:06 pm

Carrie L. wrote:Okay, I can see I haven't been paying enough attention to "type" of salmon and just generalizing that I don't like any "wild." Maybe I do and have just had the wrong type. I'll look for the King or Scottish and try again. I would never think to brine. Have never heard of brining fish, but will try that if I don't first succeed just with trying these specific varietals. Thanks all for the input.


Silver/Coho might do as well as King for you: it's a whole lot fatter than the red/sockeye, but the fish are smaller in size and pieces are more manageable. Reds are 2-4 pounds in general and the earliest of the season--what you're seeing in stores right now. Cohos are 4-8 pounds generally and Kings are usually twice that size. I find coho generally milder than king so it's my preference, and of course I like the thinner filets that give me two nice small steak-size pieces where a single side of king can be two inches thick and ten inches across--not great for getting human size portions from. But yes, you can brine ANY thing. Just think of it as putting moisture back. I brine every chicken I roast or smoke, for instance. Just 2-4 hours is enough to make any bird plumper and moister at the end of cooking without changing texture or going into the lunch meat stage you get from 24-48 hour brining, and I like infusing a through-flavor of wine/herb/salt to boot.
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Shaji M » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:09 pm

We have had fresh wild caught Salmon in Mendocino (Noyo Harbor) and it was heavenly. Every once in a (rare) while I will buy farm raised fish if it is intended to be cooked in a fashion that the taste of the actual fish is immaterial. A few weeks ago, the local Costco carried Copper River wild caught salmon. It was superb, cooked over coals on a plank of cedar. Fine eating that day!!!!
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Carrie L. » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:21 pm

Shaji M wrote: A few weeks ago, the local Costco carried Copper River wild caught salmon. It was superb, cooked over coals on a plank of cedar. Fine eating that day!!!!


Shaji, where do you live?
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Shaji M » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:29 pm

Carrie L. wrote:
Shaji M wrote: A few weeks ago, the local Costco carried Copper River wild caught salmon. It was superb, cooked over coals on a plank of cedar. Fine eating that day!!!!


Shaji, where do you live?


a little far from Copper river actually...Reno, NV :)
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Karen/NoCA » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:21 pm

Cari, we get wild caught Pacific salmon here in Redding when it is in season. I certainly would not qualify it as dry. I rub the salmon filets or steaks with olive oil, salt and pepper and Gene always grills the fish. I especially love the filets, because he can put them skin side down on the grill. When he removes the fish, he leaves the skin. The fish should just barely flake. Our salmon is always moist and so tasty. I always serve it with fresh lemon. We've cooked it dozens of ways but always come back to this simple way of doing it; it is also the preferred way of cooking for our fish monger. I gave up farmed fish of any sort years ago....not worth eating expensive seafood that is raised in filthy conditions. We also like cooking on wood planks....makes a pretty presentation and gives off a nice flavor
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Mark Lipton » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:05 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:Cari, we get wild caught Pacific salmon here in Redding when it is in season. I certainly would not qualify it as dry. I rub the salmon filets or steaks with olive oil, salt and pepper and Gene always grills the fish. I especially love the filets, because he can put them skin side down on the grill. When he removes the fish, he leaves the skin. The fish should just barely flake. Our salmon is always moist and so tasty. I always serve it with fresh lemon. We've cooked it dozens of ways but always come back to this simple way of doing it; it is also the preferred way of cooking for our fish monger. I gave up farmed fish of any sort years ago....not worth eating expensive seafood that is raised in filthy conditions. We also like cooking on wood planks....makes a pretty presentation and gives off a nice flavor


That is almost precisely what we do with it, Karen. Neither Jean nor I can deal with farmed salmon now as it seems so gelatinous and puts out so much albumin (that white stuff) when it cooks. This was a particular problem for us when in New Zealand, as all the salmon is farmed (but of better quality than its Canadian equivalent) but there were so many other great fish there that it was only our 7 year old son who really wanted salmon anyway. Jenise, while I understand your position, the quality of flash frozen salmon has increased markedly in recent years and if properly unthawed can produce something that is hard to distinguish from never-frozen. That's important to us in flyover country since fresh is nearly inaccessible (the exception being the King salmon that I caught last year in Lake Michigan of all places).

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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Shlomo R » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:21 am

Mark Lipton wrote: Neither Jean nor I can deal with farmed salmon now as it seems so gelatinous and puts out so much albumin (that white stuff) when it cooks. This was a particular problem for us when in New Zealand, as all the salmon is farmed (but of better quality than its Canadian equivalent) but there were so many other great fish there that it was only our 7 year old son who really wanted salmon anyway. Jenise, while I understand your position, the quality of flash frozen salmon has increased markedly in recent years and if properly unthawed can produce something that is hard to distinguish from never-frozen. That's important to us in flyover country since fresh is nearly inaccessible (the exception being the King salmon that I caught last year in Lake Michigan of all places).

Mark Lipton


Yeah, what Mark said! Except the part about living in New Zealand. We actually buy all our salmon from Costco - flash frozen individual filet-steaks of wild Alaskan salmon, and Jenise, there's really no harm done. I used to shop in the wholesale fish market in NYC up until they moved it to the Bronx, and I can't recall being able to find wild salmon there, and I can tell you that my local retailers do NOT carry wild salmon.
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Jenise » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:28 pm

Shaji M wrote:
Carrie L. wrote:
Shaji M wrote: A few weeks ago, the local Costco carried Copper River wild caught salmon. It was superb, cooked over coals on a plank of cedar. Fine eating that day!!!!


Shaji, where do you live?


a little far from Copper river actually...Reno, NV :)


The Copper River gives up two species, King and Sockeye, and I haven't seen any of the King around yet.
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Shaji M » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:45 pm

Jenise wrote:The Copper River gives up two species, King and Sockeye, and I haven't seen any of the King around yet.

Havent seen any of the King here either. I went last evening looking to score some more of the salmon..they were out1 :(
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Mark Lipton » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:34 am

Jenise wrote:
Shaji M wrote:
Carrie L. wrote:
Shaji, where do you live?


a little far from Copper river actually...Reno, NV :)


The Copper River gives up two species, King and Sockeye, and I haven't seen any of the King around yet.


King (Chinook) runs typically start a few weeks later than the Sockeye runs. Coho runs start the latest of all IIRC. It makes for nice variation throughout the salmon run season.

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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Jon Peterson » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:44 pm

I love the wild salmon. I was thrilled to see the wild salmon section of the local Costco much larger than usual. Let's hope it lasts, I bought some. I'm also pulling for improvement to the fish farming industry but it's just not there yet.
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Jenise » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:20 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:
King (Chinook) runs typically start a few weeks later than the Sockeye runs. Coho runs start the latest of all IIRC. It makes for nice variation throughout the salmon run season.

Mark Lipton


Exactly. Really made life in Alaska especially interesting because salmon season was more like three seasons than just one.
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Carrie L. » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:30 pm

Jenise wrote:
Carrie L. wrote:Okay, I can see I haven't been paying enough attention to "type" of salmon and just generalizing that I don't like any "wild." Maybe I do and have just had the wrong type. I'll look for the King or Scottish and try again. I would never think to brine. Have never heard of brining fish, but will try that if I don't first succeed just with trying these specific varietals. Thanks all for the input.


Silver/Coho might do as well as King for you: it's a whole lot fatter than the red/sockeye, but the fish are smaller in size and pieces are more manageable. Reds are 2-4 pounds in general and the earliest of the season--what you're seeing in stores right now. Cohos are 4-8 pounds generally and Kings are usually twice that size. I find coho generally milder than king so it's my preference, and of course I like the thinner filets that give me two nice small steak-size pieces where a single side of king can be two inches thick and ten inches across--not great for getting human size portions from. But yes, you can brine ANY thing. Just think of it as putting moisture back. I brine every chicken I roast or smoke, for instance. Just 2-4 hours is enough to make any bird plumper and moister at the end of cooking without changing texture or going into the lunch meat stage you get from 24-48 hour brining, and I like infusing a through-flavor of wine/herb/salt to boot.


Jenise, Jenise, I just brined some Halibut. It was the best Halibut we'd ever had. I only brined for about 30-40 minutes (scared! :shock: ) in ice water with a little sea salt, red pepper flakes, two small lemon slices and about a tablespoon of sugar. It grilled up beautifully moist. I will be doing this all the time now. Thank you for the hint.

As an aside, I need to tell you about the killer sauce I made to go over it. It's a definite "do again." Went perfectly with the fish....

About 2 Tablespoons of EVOO in a small saucepan. Add one large chopped garlic clove. Sizzle. Add four, quartered Campari tomatoes. (Other types would work fine too.) Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, ground black pepper, pinch of red pepper flakes. Sizzle. Add about a cup of white wine (I used the Kendall Jackson Chard I was drinking at the time), and about 3 TBSPs of capers. Let reduce while you grill your fish. Add about 3 TBSPs of chopped fresh Italian Parsley. Stir. Serve. Len usually eats his proteins pretty dry. He went back for seconds on the sauce. Success!
We made the silly comment that it tasted like "restaurant fish." :)
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Re: What's wrong with me? Farm raised salmon junky, I guess.

Postby Carl Eppig » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:24 pm

When we lived in Hawaii, eight of us shared a 160 lb yellow fin tuna that one of us caught (rule of the boat). We ended up with quite a few steaks. The first one I grilled didn't go over so well with the gang. So, I brined the next one. The jury loved it and said it tasted just like ham. All the rest were brined.
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