Copper River - Incoming

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MBerto
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#1 Post by MBerto » May 19th, 2014, 11:14 am

Question: Am I better off stock up on Costco CR salmon and freezing several filets, or should I continue to buy only as much as can be used fresh?
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#2 Post by Mel Hill » May 19th, 2014, 11:18 am

While there may be a way to freeze CRS I don't think home freezers are the way to go.

I eat it fresh and fresh alone.

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#3 Post by K e v i n B. » May 19th, 2014, 11:26 am

I have frozen the costco CR salmon in the past with decent results.. but probably consumed withing 6 months or less. Considering you need to buy a whole side at Costco, unless you are feeding 4-6 adults in one sitting, its tough to only consume it fresh...
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#4 Post by Mel Hill » May 19th, 2014, 12:14 pm

Just called my Fish guy and he got the first of the season in today and the price is $37.99 a # [shock.gif]
He said he expected a price drop by Thursday this week. I think I'll wait till then!

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#5 Post by Kenneth Brown » May 19th, 2014, 12:15 pm

I have had good success portioning into smaller fillets, vacuum sealing them and putting them in a deep freeze. In the DC area, it's the best Salmon I can find without spending a small fortune.

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#6 Post by Tom D » May 19th, 2014, 12:45 pm

Mel Hill wrote:Just called my Fish guy and he got the first of the season in today and the price is $37.99 a # [shock.gif]
He said he expected a price drop by Thursday this week. I think I'll wait till then!
The first week is always crazy high prices. If price is a concern, look for the Yukon River salmon - just as fatty as the Copper River, but with a lower-level marketing team.
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#7 Post by JYoung » May 19th, 2014, 12:48 pm

I grilled some king CRS last night, and we had them with sauteed baby bok choy and leek scapes. Just olive oil, salt, and pepper on the filets, over mesquite hardwood lump charcoal. To drink, a 2008 Rhys Horseshoe Vineyard Pinot.

It sure wasn't cheap, but wow what a meal. The fish was intensely flavorful and so fresh tasting. Well worth the once-a-year splurge. The wine showed really well too!
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#8 Post by Michael Bowden » May 19th, 2014, 1:30 pm

Spoke with a client who is in the seafood business and it's his impression that there will be a $ bump early in the season and then there will be a lot of wild salmon in the market this season (aka record breaking #'s of quantity).
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#9 Post by Al Osterheld » May 19th, 2014, 1:41 pm

I think Yukon River King is even richer than Copper River. I also think Alaska just banned fishing for king salmon in the Yukon river (the numbers have been declining for a decade).

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#10 Post by James Sanders » May 19th, 2014, 1:48 pm

I know many will disagree, but Wild King doesn't freeze well. There's a change in texture and a drying effect on the flesh. Eat what you can fresh--it keeps longer than many other fish. Then cure whatever you can't get to.

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#11 Post by M.Kaplan » May 19th, 2014, 2:15 pm

James Sanders wrote:I know many will disagree, but Wild King doesn't freeze well. There's a change in texture and a drying effect on the flesh. Eat what you can fresh--it keeps longer than many other fish. Then cure whatever you can't get to.
Agree; eat it fresh then cure or cold smoke. I don't eat farmed or frozen salmon.
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#12 Post by Brad B a l l i n g e r » May 19th, 2014, 2:24 pm

Al Osterheld wrote:I think Yukon River King is even richer than Copper River. I also think Alaska just banned fishing for king salmon in the Yukon river (the numbers have been declining for a decade).

-Al
Al, you and I have been huge Yukon River King fans for years. But, you're right that fishing has been banned or severely restricted for several years now). Copper River is an okay sub dor Yukon River, but I actually will look to Arctic Char at a much lower price point.

Mel's reporting of $37.99/pound is insane (the price, not the reporting). That's higher than I ever paid for Yukon River.
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#13 Post by Rick Allen » May 19th, 2014, 8:02 pm

We're starting to see some nice local troll caught Chinook in local stores. I prefer it to Alaska fish - just because it's fresher. The nice thing is that the prices are much more reasonable - $16/lb.

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#14 Post by Tom Moore » May 19th, 2014, 8:22 pm

Frozen doesn't do it for me even in a food saver. Eat fresh and eat wild.

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#15 Post by Al Osterheld » May 19th, 2014, 8:55 pm

Brad B a l l i n g e r wrote:
Al Osterheld wrote:I think Yukon River King is even richer than Copper River. I also think Alaska just banned fishing for king salmon in the Yukon river (the numbers have been declining for a decade).

-Al
Al, you and I have been huge Yukon River King fans for years. But, you're right that fishing has been banned or severely restricted for several years now). Copper River is an okay sub dor Yukon River, but I actually will look to Arctic Char at a much lower price point.

Mel's reporting of $37.99/pound is insane (the price, not the reporting). That's higher than I ever paid for Yukon River.
Yes, we've been huge Yukon River fans, although mostly unrequited ones at this point (at least, in my case). I enjoy a lot of other salmon, but also wouldn't buy Copper River at that price. I'd buy the Yukon River, even in good years the season was so short that the price didn't drop much.

-Al

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#16 Post by Michael Davidson » May 19th, 2014, 9:11 pm

M.Kaplan wrote:
James Sanders wrote:I know many will disagree, but Wild King doesn't freeze well. There's a change in texture and a drying effect on the flesh. Eat what you can fresh--it keeps longer than many other fish. Then cure whatever you can't get to.
Agree; eat it fresh then cure or cold smoke. I don't eat farmed or frozen salmon.
In Seattle, we get decent frozen wild year-round. It's best in season, bit nothing wrong with a little winter sockeye...

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#17 Post by P. Willenberg » May 20th, 2014, 7:13 am

same here. I usually buy a few whole frozen sockeye when the price drops to 3.99 at Fred Meyer/QFC, smoke a few more then freeze, and if i catch two Willamette river Springers (Spring run Chinook), that's 52 weeks of fish.
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#18 Post by Jay $$ Winton » May 20th, 2014, 7:34 am

the DC costco had fresh king for $17 per pound yesterday. On the plank tonight.
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#19 Post by Mike Maguire » May 20th, 2014, 7:39 pm

The drop off in texture and flavor is dramatic fresh vs frozen. I don't eat frozen fish of any kind.

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#20 Post by Mark Y » May 20th, 2014, 7:52 pm

i thought all fish gets frozen? even sushi?

wild king salmon at whole food.. $13/lb... planked.. gorgeous with a 08 Rhys FF..
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#21 Post by Andrew Kotowski » May 20th, 2014, 9:26 pm

Rick Allen wrote:We're starting to see some nice local troll caught Chinook in local stores. I prefer it to Alaska fish - just because it's fresher. The nice thing is that the prices are much more reasonable - $16/lb.
I will take Columbia River Spring Chinook over any other salmon out there. Bit of a definitive statement, I know, but hey, it's WineBerserkers and I've tried most of the fish out there from CR to Yukon to Yakutat (god bless Seattle, and Gemini Fish Market). Those Columbia springers are just mind-blowing. First week prices for Columbia and CR are always exponentially higher, with Gemini charging mad money for first day fish from the "Salmon Thirty Salmon" plane :-D

FWIW - I've tried freezing both king and sockeye at home and much like another poster mentioned, it's come out very poorly. The meat dried out and was very chewy. With this crowd, I'm sure there's a scientific answer that has something to do with fat content, but my best explanation is... "bleh." Fish was tossed in a freezer bag and put in the freezer - no vacuuming, etc. Bleh.
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#22 Post by P. Willenberg » May 21st, 2014, 7:42 am

Andrew Kotowski wrote: FWIW - I've tried freezing both king and sockeye at home and much like another poster mentioned, it's come out very poorly. The meat dried out and was very chewy. With this crowd, I'm sure there's a scientific answer that has something to do with fat content, but my best explanation is... "bleh." Fish was tossed in a freezer bag and put in the freezer - no vacuuming, etc. Bleh.
if you don't have a vacuum sealer (why not?) you can add enough water to the ziplock to freeze the salmon into a block of ice.
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#23 Post by Nick Gangas » May 21st, 2014, 9:25 am

Like others have mentioned I'm a big fan of the Yukon. Haven't seen it in a few years though.

I tend to avoid CR as I just don't think it's worth the premium.

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#24 Post by Sean Moore » May 21st, 2014, 11:32 am

It's a big Copper run this year and prices will drop fast. We splurged on a couple pounds of sockeye last Saturday (we do every year), but we also get a bit of a price break for reasons related to my work. (I'm much more upset about the ever-escalating prices for spot prawns.) I also love the Columbia River fish, bluebacks from Quinault, Queen Charlotte Islands fish, and really all the other Alaskan runs. They are all delicious even if different. And while I definitely prefer fresh to frozen, Bruce Gore makes a good enough product such that you really should keep salmon as a part of your diet year-round. Farmed fish on the other hand ...

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#25 Post by Nick Gangas » May 21st, 2014, 6:18 pm

I think it's important to point out that all farmed fish are not equal. My fish monger gets a great farmed king in off season that I'm happy to buy when I need a fix.

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#26 Post by L i n d a Lindsay » May 21st, 2014, 7:48 pm

Nick Gangas wrote:I think it's important to point out that all farmed fish are not equal. My fish monger gets a great farmed king in off season that I'm happy to buy when I need a fix.
That's just wrong :-)
Living in the middle of Salmon country and being a fisher woman, nothing comes close to our Chinook (King) we catch locally. I vacumn pack and freeze, no problem, but we also tend to go through it rather quickly. We go catching 5 or 6 times a year and that's enough for us and to share.
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#27 Post by Michael Davidson » May 21st, 2014, 9:06 pm

Mark Y wrote:i thought all fish gets frozen? even sushi?

wild king salmon at whole food.. $13/lb... planked.. gorgeous with a 08 Rhys FF..
My understanding is all salmon sold as sushi is frozen to kill parasites. You can get fresh at local groceries, there should be an indication.

And of course frozen changes the texture, but the alternative is no salmon for half the year, which seems silly.

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#28 Post by Nick Gangas » May 22nd, 2014, 7:29 am

Linda Lindsay wrote:
Nick Gangas wrote:I think it's important to point out that all farmed fish are not equal. My fish monger gets a great farmed king in off season that I'm happy to buy when I need a fix.
That's just wrong :-)
Living in the middle of Salmon country and being a fisher woman, nothing comes close to our Chinook (King) we catch locally. I vacumn pack and freeze, no problem, but we also tend to go through it rather quickly. We go catching 5 or 6 times a year and that's enough for us and to share.
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I know discussing this with you Pacific Northwesterners is like denying Jesus at the Vatican :-). I'm just saying when I need my salmon fix in December I'm happy to get it.

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#29 Post by P. Willenberg » May 22nd, 2014, 7:39 am

MBerto wrote:Question: Am I better off stock up on Costco CR salmon and freezing several filets, or should I continue to buy only as much as can be used fresh?
I would do both and also have a local shop smoke some for you. Or freeze first and smoke later. Studies have shown you actually get a better pellicle with frozen fish.
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#30 Post by Glenn L e v i n e » May 22nd, 2014, 7:58 am

Rick Allen wrote:We're starting to see some nice local troll caught Chinook in local stores. I prefer it to Alaska fish - just because it's fresher. The nice thing is that the prices are much more reasonable - $16/lb.
Yeah, we got good looking troll-caught salmon in the shops here too.
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#31 Post by P. Willenberg » May 22nd, 2014, 12:55 pm

Glenn L e v i n e wrote:
Rick Allen wrote:We're starting to see some nice local troll caught Chinook in local stores. I prefer it to Alaska fish - just because it's fresher. The nice thing is that the prices are much more reasonable - $16/lb.
Yeah, we got good looking troll-caught salmon in the shops here too.
your fall run Rogue Kings are dynamite too, btw.
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#32 Post by Jay Carroll » May 23rd, 2014, 11:57 am

NW suburban Chicago people- CR salmon at Mariano's in Palatine- 16.99 a pound
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#33 Post by P. Willenberg » May 23rd, 2014, 1:25 pm

$17.99 for filets at New Seasons for you Oregonians. Also had some Cali Ivory King and Columbia River Springers at $22.99.
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#34 Post by Rick Allen » May 23rd, 2014, 1:55 pm

Jay Carroll wrote:NW suburban Chicago people- CR salmon at Mariano's in Palatine- 16.99 a pound
Sockeye or Chinook?

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#35 Post by Scott G r u n e r » May 23rd, 2014, 2:39 pm

Our Costco has some whole CR sockeye trickling in. 8.99 per pound- Big fish so far so $50-60 per fish. I didn't want/need a whole fish this weekend so stuck with a nice fat slab of troll caught king.
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#36 Post by Rick Allen » May 23rd, 2014, 3:26 pm

I am not a fan of sockeye. It is a much harder fish to cook just right, and the consequences of under or over cooking are too severe. I much prefer Chinook, with Coho being an OK substitute. I avoid Chum (Keta) salmon at all costs.

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#37 Post by P. Willenberg » May 23rd, 2014, 3:54 pm

Rick Allen wrote:I am not a fan of sockeye. It is a much harder fish to cook just right, and the consequences of under or over cooking are too severe. I much prefer Chinook, with Coho being an OK substitute. I avoid Chum (Keta) salmon at all costs.
Sous vide or even hack sous vide is excellent for this: vacuum seal in a bag, dunk in water at 122F for 20 minutes. done.
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#38 Post by M.Kaplan » May 23rd, 2014, 5:39 pm

Image
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#39 Post by Jay Carroll » May 24th, 2014, 4:51 am

The salmon here was sockeye - we don't get the King very often.
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#40 Post by Alan Rath » May 24th, 2014, 8:28 pm

Costco had King today, but no Copper River. I'm holding out for CR.
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#41 Post by CWun » May 24th, 2014, 8:55 pm

Price?
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#42 Post by Alan Rath » May 24th, 2014, 9:44 pm

16.99
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#43 Post by Rick Allen » May 25th, 2014, 10:13 am

Alan Rath wrote:Costco had King today, but no Copper River. I'm holding out for CR.
Wow, the power of marketing!

Some of the best salmon I've ever had were troll caught fish out of Half Moon Bay. The commercial salmon fishing season is currently open in California, but I'm sure it makes more sense to air-freight fish in from Alaska.

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#44 Post by Alan Rath » May 25th, 2014, 10:17 am

Rick, it's not just marketing, I've had all the various types and sources many times, and for whatever reason I really like the CR. But you've reminded me that we haven't gone over to HMB in a long time, need to rectify that, and grab some salmon while we're there. Couple of booths at the local farmer's markets that sell the fresh fish too.
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#45 Post by Marshall Gelb » June 5th, 2014, 6:10 pm

First Copper River of the season I have seen at the Torrance-Sky Park Costco.....13.99lb. A bit higher than last year but I grabbed a couple for this weekend.

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#46 Post by Mel Hill » June 5th, 2014, 7:11 pm

$14.99 at Costco in the suburbs of Chicago.

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#47 Post by Z. Hu » June 5th, 2014, 9:27 pm

I bought the copper river and some king salmon from Costco. I've always been a huge fan of the CR but wow…I think the King Salmon might be the better option. It's thicker and incredibly tender. Vacuum sealed some and threw them in the freezer.
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#48 Post by Nick Gangas » June 6th, 2014, 8:39 am

I much rather have wild King than CR Sockeye. By the way who else got Yukon River last week ? Like hooking up with that crazy old GF. Delicious !
Last edited by Nick Gangas on June 6th, 2014, 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#49 Post by Dale Bowers » June 6th, 2014, 11:38 am

Picked up some CR from our fish monger today, $16.99/lb.

Going to simply grill with some Himalayan salt on a cedar plank.

Which of these SQN whites would you think might pair best?

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#50 Post by A K a I l » June 7th, 2014, 6:16 am

$24.99 for CR is best I've seen here in CT. Local Costco hasn't had it. Hoping soon.
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