In fact, that’s exactly what Andy said about the documentary End of the Line. We can’t find anywhere showing it, so we haven’t seen it, but if you’ve read any news lately you probably know that End of the Line has had the same effect on the fishing business and the general public, retail grocery chains and chefs that Inconvenient Truth had. It’s about the over fishing of waters and how our children are unlikely to have any fresh fish left because of the way our fishing industry, and the consumers that force the costs down, are behaving. Anyways, it’s the 80’s ‘I don’t eat fois gras’ or ‘I don’t eat veal’ circles and god forbid you order a sea bass at a business dinner. (I did last week, and it was sustainably farmed, and very yummy thank you very much). Andy, always one to stir the pot, says his strategy is to eat his now before it goes.
But, back to the sockeye. I had told Andy we’d be eating it and he replied about the name “It sounds like a Tex Avery cartoon character who has disagreements with Bugs Bunny”. I thought I better try a more trusted source. I was surprised to learn that it’s essentially Pacific salmon to my Atlantic salmon of Scottish salmon variety. Though that actually made sense because I said it looked more like the wild Alaskan salmon they often sell at Waitrose. And you all have no doubt seen documentaries of bears catching salmon in the rivers in Alaska. I so wish I could just jump in and get all the free sushi I want!
I was also surprised because I always thought those river fish in places like Michigan and Wisconsin were the sockeye salmon. Well, it turns out they are. While Pacific in nature, landlocked versions live in most of the states west of the Mississippi, and even into New York. Man, those fish got a little lost along the way, eh?
One last fact about the sockeye – when they swim up river to spawn they turn red with green heads and grow racing stripes along their sides. Man, don’t you wish humans had some signals like that? Or well, maybe, I think I’ve seen the red and green and stripy thing on south London public transportation, nevermind.
How did it taste you ask? To be honest, a lot more ‘fishy’ than the Scottish. I did the same honey-orange-chipotle marinade and pan fried the fillets in butter. The skin didn’t crisp as the fish was overall much less fatty than the Scottish. The texture was similar with bands of fish that delicate slide away. Sadly the fillets I bought had bones, so that was a new experience to have to deal with. I’d cook them again, but they don’t replace my beloved Scottish.
We served them with asparagus made on the barbecue grill and broccolini done Italian style with olive oil and garlic. You boil the broccolini first and then sauté them with garlic and a teensy bit of olive oil. It was Susan’s first experience with the broccolini and although not enjoying broccoli, she gave it a thumbs up. I’m sure, given it’s deep green colour, that it must be packed with good for you stuff.
Weightwatchers points: 8 as follows – 6 for the salmon fillet, 1 for the butter and ½ each for the honey and olive oil.