Copper River salmon

My mother’s doctor advised her to eat more fish, especially salmon, so yesterday I stopped by Fjord Fisheries in Cos Cob to see what they had. Personally, I’m not a fan of farm-raised salmon, I find it bland and unpleasant at the same time. But they were offering wild-caught Copper River salmon at the absurd price of $35 a pound and I bit.

It’s a totally different fish; in fact, possibly the best fish I’ve ever had.

I cooked it simply: preheated an oiled baking pan in a 500 degree oven, then put the fillet on the pan, dusted it with a little salt and pepper and dropped the oven temperature to 275 and baked it maybe ten minutes. I also made a salsa? salad? Of red and yellow bell peppers, shalots, avocado and diced cherry tomatoes with some oil and vinegar and some herbs, all of which I refrigerated ahead of time. With toasted (3 cheese semolina la Brea) bread and rice, it was a memorable meal, and probably took all of ten minutes prep time.

I don’t have the kind of money to buy fish at this price often, but apparently Copper River salmon season runs just mid-May to mid-June, so the temptation is over quickly. Check it out, if you’re so inclined. Beats the hell out of the Bluefish that are coming.

15 Comments

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15 responses to “Copper River salmon

  1. Anonymous

    Often enjoy Copper Rvr salmon sushi at my fav sushi place, tasty healthy stuff

  2. Red

    I tolerate fish at the table, sometimes I actually enjoy it, but in general I am a meat person. Having said that, I agree with you that Copper River Salmon is the best fish I have ever eaten. My dear husband flew back from Seattle once with a large Copper River filet, packed in ice, in the overhead compartment. It might have been the best non-jewelry surprise he ever brought home. At $35 a pound, skip the dinner party and keep it for yourself.

  3. Anonymous

    Copper River salmon is wonderful, but Yukon River is even better.

  4. Mr. Independent

    Fjord is one of a diminishing number of family owned food stores that provides real quality for a fair price. It is not cheap, but usually not insane either. That $35 a pound price is for an unusual delicacy. Most fish is less than $20/lb. at the highest. The prices are usually between 10 to 25% more expensive than a supermarket fish counter but the difference in quality is even greater.

    Since they moved to the larger store on Post Road, they have added a fabulous meat department as well. I saw some pre-made burgers and asked the butcher what they were. When he said turkey burgers. I told him they had no taste. He convinced me to try a couple. My wife and I thought they were some of the best burgers of any type that we ever had when we grilled them over mesquite charcoal.

    I hope they stay in business for years to come.

  5. Chief Sachem

    Chief thinks this is bland farm raised chilean salmon with special $35 / pound diet in April.

    FWIW should study farm methods used south of Hugo Chavez.

  6. Riverside Dog Walker

    Bon Ton fish market is also good and we think is a little less expensive than Fjord. Now that they have moved off Greenwich Avenue and are on Bruce Park Ave, they even have parking. Personally, I miss the old Fjord. Also, Mr. Kato is no longer there making sushi or serving from his ramen hut, he went back to Tokyo for the summer this year.

    • I spoke with Mr. Kato, Riverside, just a short while ago. He’s gone back to tend to an older parent but expects to be back with the ramen stand next summer. I hope so – my own family wasn’t as wild about it as I am, so it was just a personal treat I’d indulge in and hope to do so again.

  7. aliprowl

    If you’re ever in Mt. Kisco, you can snag “naturally raised” farm raised salmon filet (not the steaks) at Mt. Kisco Seafood (they also own the Fish Cellar; great restaurant) at a fraction of that price. It is much, much better than other farm raised salmon – I will not eat that other dreck. And, if you marinate it briefly in Soy Vay teriyaki sauce and then grill it fairly hot and pretty fast, it is fantastic. You can’t really taste the marinade, but it keeps the fish moist and you get a char on the outside. I’ve had guests hunting through my kitchen like rabid dogs, looking for more, when I serve this. Is this becoming a real estate/cooking blog? Woo-hoo.

    • I’m compelled to write, ali, and if I can’t write about real estate news because there is no real estate news, you poor readers get food posts, wacko politics, and whatever else stirs this dim mind. Sorry about that – really – we’ll get back to real estate just as soon as there’s material.

  8. Jane

    Are you kidding? We like the recipes just as much as the real estate. Keep ’em coming.

  9. Old School Grump

    I’m glad Fjord Fisheries is still in business! When we knew we were moving away, I tried to buy one of their “Where the fish is as fresh as the help (? … the help is as fresh as the fish?)” t-shirts, but they declined to accommodate me.

    Savor the fresh seafood you can buy so easily. To hell with the price. Here in the mid-south, when salt water fish is described as “fresh,” that means it has only been frozen and thawed once. The best we can hope to buy at high-end specialty grocers are leftovers from air-freighted frozen fish meant for restaurants in Memphis or Dallas. (They don’t tell you that, of course, but it’s true.) In a restaurant around here, only order fish if you’re intrigued by the saucing; then cross your fingers and hope the fish is merely bland, as opposed to actively, uh, fishy. Sigh.

  10. Mr. Independent, I have praised Fjord’s meat counter before. Their heritage pork has yielded the tastiest pork chops I have ever eaten, and they really aren’t that expensive – maybe an extra five bucks for a four-person portion and for that you get incredible flavor instead of bland modern pork. No contest.
    But do stay away from their cherry tomatoes, which I used with the salmon: $5 bucks!!! I only noticed the price when I got home.

  11. Priapus

    “I want my fish expensive and my women cheap”. NEVER ask for the “affordable” fish, always always pay up. One life.

    As a pacific NW native, Copper River is arguably the best there is and is avaialble only for about a month around this time of year, although this seems a bit early.

    Good call finding it and knowing the goods when you see and taste ’em. It sure ain’t scrod or cod or any of that poo. And 35 bucks a pound is the same as at the source.

  12. Pingback: Copper River Coffee – Hello Industry

  13. Pushie

    I detect by your prep a fellow Cook’s Illustrated lover — best way ever to cook salmon!