The Time Saving Benefits of Seafood
Sitka, Alaska (Lingít Aanì–the land of the Tlingit people) is a seaside town on Baranof Island. It is largely a fishing community, and throughout the dark winters, Sitkans love to come together for a good potluck. And let me tell you, every single person here has their own idea about how to best prepare each of the species of seafood we carry. Even when we disagree on favorite recipes, we can all agree on one thing: preparing seafood for dinner saves time.
We all need more time. Let’s face it, modern life has gifted us with an abundance of things to do and not much time to do them in. Having more time is one of the reasons we chose to raise our young family in Sitka. There is a slower pace of life on this island in Alaska. There has to be— there’s not much you can do if there are delays, whether that’s a delay on a recipe you want to try because the grocery barge is late, or travel delays due to unpredictable weather.
As a fishing industry family and entrepreneurs, we can never predict what’s around the corner. Whether it is a great new idea to pursue or a problem to solve, we tend to burn the candle at both ends. What we can rest assured of however, is that with a freezer stocked with the bounty of Sitka, what to cook for dinner is the least of our concerns.
As you know, the artisans at Catch Sitka have expertly handled every step of each fish’s journey from the time we offload it from our small boats until the time we put the vacuum sealed 6-8 oz. filets into your specially insulated box with dry ice and gel ice packs. You’ve ordered your box and now it has arrived. So what do you do once you open up the box in your kitchen, besides taking some artsy pics for your Instagram story? Our responsibility to our customers doesn’t end once you receive your order. Now that you have your delicious box of goodies, we’re also here to help you figure out what to do with it.
For starters, here at Catch Sitka, we recommend creating a protein bin or section in your fridge and getting in the habit of stocking it with enough filets to feed your family seafood at least twice a week. A serving size for an adult is considered 3 ounces or about ¾ cup of cooked fish. This is the current recommended consumption rate by the American Heart Association. When you stock your fridge this way, you’re always prepared for a quick weekday meal. You can also check out our collection of recipes in our Recipe Box on our website. It’s always a great spot to get inspiration.
For our family of four, we take out two filets for each meal. We are feeding 2 adults (Issam and I) and two kids aged 10 & under. If we were opening a box from Catch Sitka, we would place two filets of Wild Alaska Coho Salmon and two filets of Wild Alaska Halibut in the fridge and the rest we would put into our freezer to be consumed within 6-12 months. You can defrost the filets in the fridge overnight, but if you are in a hurry and want your seafood dinner the day you get your box, you can also defrost sealed bags in a sink full of very cold water in about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Next, find the recipe card and Time & Temperature Guide included in every box. Keep these cards with your other recipes or stick it on the fridge or any place where you can refer to them when you need. They come in very handy—we refer to ours all the time!
Now you’re ready to get cooking. Don’t have time to look for a recipe? No problem! Take out your Coho Salmon filets from your fridge and get a heavy bottomed skillet. Add a teaspoon of oil to your skillet and set it over medium high heat. Take your filets out of their bags and gently rinse them with cool running water. Pat them dry with a tea towel and season them with quality fine sea salt (like our Catch Sitka Pacific Flake) and cracked pepper. At this stage you could add any number of spices. Don’t feel like you have to, however, because this fish speaks for itself.
When the oil is hot, place your filets in the skillet, leaving ample room between them and placing them skin side up. Sear according to thickness, anywhere from 4 - 8 minutes per side. Three to four minutes per side usually does it for thinner filets (an inch or less), but I’ve had some King Salmon filets take the full seven to eight minutes per side to reach doneness. One thing you can rest easy about is that our filets are sashimi grade, so if handled properly, they are still safe to consume if they are a bit undercooked. While your filets are searing, the sky's the limit for the direction you take them. What do you have on hand in your fridge and pantry? Just pair them with rice or pasta and a steamed vegetable or a salad of any sort. Voila’, dinner is on the table in as little as 10 minutes! Plus, it is healthy, delicious, and full of protein, vitamins, and minerals that your body craves.
What if you don’t want to wing it and prefer to have step by step instructions? We have you covered there too. Just go to our Recipe tab on our site and scroll through any of our wonderful recipes. You really can’t go wrong. You can also use the search menu on our site to type in what species you’re cooking and other keywords to narrow down your choices. Almost every recipe is 30 minutes or less, and many of them have been created by amazing chefs who also have additional resources you can dig into like cookbooks, websites, blogs, and instagram accounts. We’ve linked it all for you on the recipe pages so you don’t have to work so hard to find great mealtime inspiration.
No matter the occasion or the craving, we have you covered. Issam and I even pop onto social media once in a while and do a live cooking demonstration. We have them all posted to our YouTube channel if you would like to check them out. We’ve made our Potato Chip Halibut, led a Seacuterie Board creation demonstration, cooked Halibut Nachos with the kids and more! Take a peek— I’m sure there’s something that will entertain you, or at least make you giggle. If you’re still stumped you can even email us at email@example.com and tell me your likes and dislikes and we will make a few suggestions for you.
Basically, if you have a fridge and/ or freezer stocked with Catch Sitka, you have dinner in under 30 minutes, locked down. No excuses. Let’s take back our time, one seafood dinner at a time!
If you liked reading this blog, you'll love our Salmon Color Story!