Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.

Wild For Salmon: Alaskan Wild Sockeye Salmon Run, Bristol Bay Alaska to Bloomsburg Pennsylvania

Have you ever come upon a couple where you conversed for an hour and went away thinking, wow, these folks are the genuine salt of the earth? I have. Meet Jenn and Steve Kurian of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Jenn and Steve are Wild for Salmon and so much so that this impressive couple, embracing life’s opportunities as they appeared, made the catch and sale of Alaskan wild sockeye salmon their family business selling to specialty stores, local Farmers Markets, restaurants, and through their Warehouse style building that runs along the main strip through Bloomsburg. The name of their business: Wild For Salmon.

Jenn & Steve '11 (9)

Each June, commercial fishing license in tow, Steve travels first to Bristol Bay, Alaska and prepares their 32′ fishing vessel, the R-J, seeing to the mechanical needs as the motor, pumps and coolant systems for what will become the Kurians living quarters along with two deck hands throughout the 6-week sockeye-fishing season. Depending on the determination of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the season begins somewhere in mid-June and extends throughout the month of July. Jenn who will travel a week later meanwhile coordinates the purchasing and flat rate packaging of the approximate 200 pounds of food that they will need during their stay. “The price of food in Alaska is extremely high, sometimes triple the price, some food items are also not easily accessible or the quality is not very good,” says Jenn “there is also no time to spend on food necessities once the season begins.” Besides the food that Jenn will send up in transit, both she and Steve will additionally carry 50 pounds each. Foods from the winter hunt such as elk and venison as well as bacon will accompany the couple and the dried foods such as rice and pasta ship.

While seeing to rigging up the boat vessel for the season, Steve is also actively engaged in the conversation on the docks between the other lower forty-nine limited entry anglers  where only 2,000 permits are issued to participate in the Bristol Bay annual wild Alaskan sockeye fishing run whose boundaries consist of 5 separate rivers. One of the necessary goals is joining together with a group. The groups consist of generally 4-5 boats, an extended family of sorts who all work together throughout the season, including identifying the best fishing spots. The group also serves as a bit of  a physical protective barrier as the salmon come through with boats jostling and bumping up against each other around the lines, sometimes propellers skipping over other fishers nets can cause the loss of a days fishing run. “It can get a little aggressive.” said Jenn

Throughout the wild Alaskan sockeye season run, the couple takes advantage of the continuous Alaskan daylight fishing about 8-10 hours twice per day, taking turns sleeping in the back of the deck at about 2-3 hour interims. “Generally there are two tide fluctuations.” said Steve. When the fish are running and caught, once netted into the boat, the sockeye picked up from the deck, go into a separate cooling area. When the Alaska Department of Fish and Game alert sounds, boats go to their holding areas where the fish are briefly stored before being flash frozen, packaged and sent to Pennsylvania. The tide break is also the time when the Kurians and deck hands twice daily work on completely cleaning down the boat before returning to their designated location for the next tide that will bring in another run of sockeyes.

A summer off for Jenn as a former schoolteacher a few years back took her to Idaho with Steve who was doing his Master’s Degree internship with the forestry service. As luck would have it, the Kurians stayed at the apartment of a former Bristol Bay wild Alaska sockeye salmon fisher. The fisher invited the Kurians to join him on his boat the following summer, and befriending them, later sold them their first fishing permit. While embracing the opportunity of this new adventure, the Kurians have since purchased a second fishing permit toward the future and work hard throughout the year further developing their Wild For Salmon business.

In addition to whole sockeye salmon filet, salmon portions, and nova style (lox) salmon, the Kurians also send sockeye salmon directly from Bristol Bay to a company in West Chester Pennsylvania who then hot sugar smoke their Hardwood Smoked Salmon. They also make salmon burgers pre- made for the grill, hot Italian salmon sausage and smoked salmon spread. Through their group Fisher Partnership, Wild for Salmon also sells a few other varieties of fresh caught wild Alaskan fish such as cod and rockfish. Bulk orders are available with Wild For Salmon and anyone can coordinate with local neighbors and friends for area delivery as they supply a number of buying clubs.

“Alaska is really committed to the quality of the sockeye fish that are caught and protecting the fisheries for future generations to come.” said Steve “Our Wild For Salmon business provides an excellent product that is both wild and sustainable. The nutritional value of salmon is very high and the taste is fantastic. We offer exceptional products at a common good price.” It does not get any better than that. You can Link to the Wild for Salmon Website here

Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, Thai Style

 I prepared this dish with a ‘Wild for Salmon’ Wild Alaskan sockeye filet for an impromptu dinner with neighbors one evening.  The vegetables I had on hand last minute determined the cuisine style choice and it went over well.  This dish is fairly easy to prepare. If you are not familiar with a couple of the ingredients below but are interested in learning, then the first step before you defrost your sockeye salmon in the refrigerator is to make a trip to your local International or Asian Market.  These inexpensive ingredients have a long shelf life and uses for many recipes.

Thai Style Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
Fish
  1. 1 Wild for Salmon, Wild Alaska sockeye salmon filet, approximately 3/4-1 pound
For the Sauce
  1. 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
  2. 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  3. 1/4 cup red curry paste
  4. 1- 15 ounce can coconut milk
  5. 1 teaspoon bottled fish sauce
  6. 1 good squeeze from half a lime
  7. 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped Thai basil (optional)
For the Vegetables
  1. 1 small red pepper, sliced thin
  2. 2 handfuls of sno peas, strings removed
  3. 1 bunch scallions, sliced lengthwise
  4. 1 dozen button mushrooms, sliced thin
Instructions
  1. Grill the salmon about 3- 4 minutes each side. Saute garlic and ginger in oil for about 1 minute then add red curry paste and stir, cook for another minute. Add coconut milk and cook until heated through. Add fish sauce, lime juice and the chopped Thai basil. Cook another few minutes. Meanwhile, saute the vegetables in oil until crisp tender and still bright colored. Pour sauce into serving tray, top with salmon and cover with sauteed vegetables.
Spiced Peach Blog http://spicedpeachblog.com/

This entry was posted in Artisans- Farms -Markets-Chefs- Journeys, Fish and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
Leave a Comment »

4 Comments

  1. Sunisa P.
    Posted August 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    I was able to find frozen sockeye salmon at the market and made your recipe last evening. My family enjoyed it very much. My husband notice how much deeper the color of the sockeye then the salmon we usually buy. I’m going to try and find a salmon fisherman that sells here in Texas. Very excited to try more of your recipes.

    Sunny

    • admin
      Posted August 3, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi Sunny,
      Very delighted to hear from you and happy you enjoyed the sockeye salmon dish! The sockeye salmon is a deeper red color than the Atlantic salmon which are mostly farmed. The sockeye further develop this color when they are ready to spawn, and besides the rich, wild flavor of sockeye, the beautiful color makes these a prized fish. In late August, you might try to email Jenn and Steve Kurian at Wild for Salmon, it is always possible that they know fisherman in Bristol Bay who are from Texas. The email is: info@wildfor salmon.com You might also inquire at your local Farmers Market. Looking forward to you trying more recipes. Thanks again for sharing in the conversation at SpicedPeachBlog.com

  2. Posted November 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Hi Peg,
    When I cannot find fresh wild sockege at the market (depends on the season), I order it from “Vital Choice Wild Seafood and Organics”. Although it arrives frozen, their sockeye is one of the best that I have tasted…..

    Nancy

    • Peggy Gilbey McMackin
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Hi Nancy,
      Thanks for your comment. I admit I’m personally partial to Wild for Salmon, since getting to know the folks that actually fish in Alaska and like supporting them. They are at many of the area Farmers Markets and also have Buying Clubs too which makes it very convenient to obtain their Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon throughout the region so its readily obtainable for me. A popular source of Wild for Salmon is among Health Food and Organic Stores and Sources as well!

4 Trackbacks

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*

CommentLuv badge

Facebook Comments

  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.