Monday, December 12, 2011

Wild salmon still swimming our way

English: Sockeye salmon jumping over beaver da...
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An amazing sockeye salmon. 

Editor's note: Today, I discuss the continued availability of wild Alaskan sockeye salmon at Costco Wholesale; brown rice that requires no soaking, and visits to H Mart and ShopRite.

The taste of fresh wild-caught salmon from Costco Wholesale is just a memory, but you can still find frozen fillets and smoked sockeye salmon from Alaska at the warehouse store.

After checking out on Monday at the Hackensack store, I asked one of the managers about a comment I received from another customer, saying Kirkland Signature's preservative-free Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon had been discontinued as of Dec. 1.

I had found a couple dozen packages on the shelf, and the manager punched in the code from the one I purchased ($15.39 for 1 pound).

He said his computer still listed it as an "active" item, not as discontinued, and that he had 600 1-pound packages in the store.

The previously frozen smoked salmon is sliced, so it's easy to use over a salad or rolled up with a slice of cheese, if you're avoiding bread to lose weight, as I am. I also put pieces of the salmon in cheese omelets.

I also picked up a 3-pound bag of Kirkland Signature frozen Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon fillets for $28.99 or about $9.65 a pound. That's more than the fresh sold for this year, and it's a dollar a pound or so more than the frozen fillets cost last year.

I've tried cooking these fillets a couple of ways, but get best results when I put them on a clear-glass plate, add lemon juice, a little soy sauce, white wine or sake, and put the plate inside a covered, 12-inch steamer I found at H Mart, the Korean supermarket.

Whether I make them rare for me or cooked through for the rest of the family, the fillets stay moist, and the sauce is great over white or brown rice.

Talking about brown rice, the Della-brand organic long-grain brown rice I found at Costco last week requires no soaking, a real time saver.

We've made this delicious brown rice twice in our electric cooker, and it was ready and perfectly al dente in about 30 minutes. 

The key is the recommended use of two and a half cups of water for each cup of rice, more water than other brown rices call for and more water than the rice cooker calls for. For a softer rice, the package says to use even more water per cup of rice.


Monday was a busy food-shopping day for me and my wife as we prepare for the holidays. Separately, we visited five food stores.

After an hour in the cardiac-rehab gym at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, I stopped at the Englewood ShopRite with a Lipitor $4 Co-Pay card.

While there, I picked up 4 pounds of naval oranges for $2.49 with a store card.

I went to the H Mart in Little Ferry later for prepared stewed tofu and stewed pollock, but found none on the refrigerated shelf.

To avoid a total loss, I bought a large jar of beef barbecue marinade for $3.99 or $1.50 off -- to use with the Australian grass-fed beef that's on sale at ShopRite this week.

H Mart gave me 10 cents back for my re-usable bag.

At Costco, besides the frozen and smoked salmon, I bought 5 pounds of tangerines from Florida for $3.99 and 5 pounds of lemons from Chile for $6.99. Three pounds of bananas were $1.39 and 5 pounds of crisp Jona Gold apples were $5.99.

My wife stopped at the Englewood ShopRite, Hackensack Market and Happy Fruit Market, a Korean grocer in Teaneck.

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  1. Replies
    1. Hi Just stumbled on your blog. How long do you steam the filets, for rare and cook through? Also is the steamer one of those Asian type wicker baskets? Many salmon filets are caught in Alaska, frozen sent to China thawed, processed and refrozen to save on costs. do you know if Costco Salmon is processed and just flash frozen in the US?
      Thanks, I enjoyed reading your Blog.

    2. I use a stainless-steel steamer I found at a Korean supermarket, and it is large enough to accommodate a shallow clear-glass bowl. The salmon and sake or other seasoning goes onto the plate, the plate goes into the steamer and I would say about 5 minutes for fresh and 10 minutes for frozen.

      Costco Wholesale sells frozen sockeye fillets from Alaska from the freezer case and previously frozen smoked wild sockeye salmon, and they are labeled as such.

      The fresh wild salmon is seasonal -- roughly May to October -- and it is labeled "fresh," so I have no reason to doubt that. All the wild-caught fillets sold at Costco -- including cod, flounder, haddock and so forth -- also are labeled with where they are processed.


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