From my buddy Jim Chambers of PrimeSeafood…upcoming seasonal selection Steelhead. I’ve served this for many years in different recipes. Taste wise, think of a Salmon and a Trout coming together, texture wise pretty similar as well. Buttery mild flavor
with light flakes, and a BEAUTIFUL skin.
Here is an upcoming article going into the Washington Post food section…before it hits the streets.
SPECIAL SEAFOOD COMING SOON
Beginning in mid-December, we should be getting our first wild steelhead of the season. It’s actually a rainbow trout that matures at sea feeding on the same things that king and silver salmon eat (squid, herring, anchovies, etc.). Because of its rich diet, it also gets very large – as much as 50 lbs. Due to its unmatched fighting prowess, it is considered the premiere gamefish on the U.S. West Coast. Because of this status, it is a “sport fish only” meaning there is no commercial fishing allowed, with one exception.
Native American Indians of Washington State have treaty rights to fish for and sell their catch in rivers flowing through their reservations. Wild steelhead are caught all winter long (December through April) by members of the Quinault Tribe on the Quinault River. Like the Hoh and Quileute Rivers to its north, it flows from Mt. Olympus through an essentially pristine, ancient rainforest and empties directly into the Pacific Ocean. All three rivers are fished near the mouths by Native Americans from whom we are getting our regular, twice weekly supplies of wild steelhead. They are flown overnight arriving within 24 hours of being removed from the water, so they are very fresh.
Wild steelhead have a sweet trout taste but a firmer texture. Their meat is red and like all wild salmon, their flesh is loaded with heart-healthy Omega-3s. These are the only wild steelhead available anywhere in the U.S. and since we buy most of the fish the Indians catch, we are providing local restaurants with a very exclusive item. (Farm-raised steelhead are commonly available, but like farmed salmon, they do not have the taste or texture of wild fish – more like eating cardboard. Farming salmon or steelhead also creates severe environmental problems for wild populations – disease, parasites, waste and passing on poor genes through escapees.)
Wild steelhead will soon be available routinely at a number of popular restaurants in the Washington D.C. area, including:
Marcel’s, Blue Duck, Cashion’s, Nora’s, Firefly, Poste, Proof, Zaytinya, D’Acqua, indebleu, Johnny’s Half Shell, Agraria, Hook, Mendocino, Pesce, Mark & Orlando’s, Urbana, Kaz Sushi Bistro, Ritz (Pentagon City), Corduroy, Saint-Ex, Circle Bistro, 2941, Dino’s, Ardeo, Chevy Chase Club, Jackie’s, Rock Creek at Mazza Gallerie, Monte Carlo, Cesco, Visions, Black’s and Assaggi.
Jim Chambers, owner of Prime Seafood of Washington, D.C, Atlanta and Savannah, is an ecologist with 35 years of experience in the conservation and management of marine fisheries, nationally and internationally.
I have begun to hear from several concerned people about the SUSTAINABILITY to this species, which concerns me. I am investigating both through our supplier and through online resources as to the situation. As much as I can, I want to support sustainability and the overall fish populations health.
I have tried to be very aware of what we can do as individuals to help with these types of issues, creating foods that are not only tasty, well presented, at a good price point, and in line with the environment to the best of my knowledge.
I will say that this one blog post has brought my awareness up to a new level, and I will reply personally to all the emails and posts… that you’ll find at the end of the post here.
In our business of trying our best to appeal to customers, be responsible to environment, and create food that inspires people to return, we have many factors to consider. Anyone reading have any comments to forward the conversation in a direction? Please use the form below and tell us what you think!
No related posts.