The California King Salmon, or Chinook, is the fattiest and richest of all the wild salmon types. It is caught by local fishermen from Santa Barbara to Oregon and some as far up as Alaska. Due to naturally high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, Wild King Salmon features tender, flaky-textured meat and a rich, buttery flavor. Many people favor King Salmon for sashimi and sushi, but this fish is also wonderful when grilled, baked, broiled or pan seared.
Like most tuna, Albacore is best cooked rare to medium-rare with high direct heat such as searing or grilling. Albacore is also fantastic in raw applications such as sashimi and poke preparations. Additionally, you can pressure-can Albacore for preservation. As with all preservation methods, make sure to take extreme care to sanitize your tools, jars, and work surface and to use a reliable canning method (like this one from Saveur).
The California “Ling Cod” (which is actually a member of the Greenling family and not at all a Ling or a true Cod) is sometimes called “The Dragon of the Deep”, a moniker earned as an elusive bottom-dweller with a voracious appetite for smaller rock fish, cephalopods and to many an anglers chagrin—fishing lures and line.
With it's mild taste, flaky texture, and low fat content, the flesh of the Ling Cod can range from white-opaque to sea-foam greenish blue (due to it’s diet heavy in algae-eating rock fish and octopus) and is an excellent choice for smoking, steaming, broiling or frying for Baja-style Fish Tacos. Local Ling Cod is a favorite in the LMC R&D Kitchen and ranks as one of Chef Jensen’s favorite local seafoods.
Also know as Kingfish, Peto, and Ono the Pacific Wahoo (Acanthocybium solanderi) is considered a “smart seafood choice” by NOAA because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested. A fast-swimming predator that thrives in warmer waters, this fish has very little intramuscular fat. This makes the meat of the Wahoo extremely lean and a great source for high quality lean protein.
The meat is best cooked with high-direct heat and served medium-rare to medium (no more than 125°-130°). Similar in texture to swordfish or tuna, it is also terrific smoked and glazed.
Pacific Dungeness Crab or “Dungies” as we call them in the LMC kitchen, have a sweet, buttery, oceanic taste with rich flaky white meat. It’s like a flakier version of lobster meat. These crabs are caught by local boats from Morro Bay and as far up the North Coast as Oregon. Use the delicious meat in salads, tossed simply in herb butter with pasta, or make your own crab cakes!
Local Halibut, know to chefs and local fishermen as “Cal Hal”, is a highly sought-after seasonal specialty from right here on the Central Coast of California. Not to be mistaken with Alaskan or Mexican Halibut, local Halibut is a lean flat-fish that is firm to the touch and so fresh that the filets look milky and translucent. California Halibut is delicious baked, grilled, sliced thin and served raw sashimi-style or lightly marinated in lime juice for ceviche. We recommend an internal cooking temperature of no more than 125°.
According to NOAA, U.S. wild-caught North Pacific swordfish is “a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.” Swordfish or Xiphias gladius, is one of the largest and fastest ocean predators. These fish are know for their long pointed nose, which they use to spear or stun their prey. Swordfish is know for its mild tasting and white flesh with a meaty almost steak-like texture. Because of the firm but mild character of this meat, Swordfish steaks are delicious grilled. We recommend cutting out any bloodline or reddish spots, as with most large fast-swimming fish, these areas in the flesh can have a strong iron-like flavor.
Our scallops are dry-packed meaning all natural with no added phosphate. Scallops found in your local grocery store are wet-packed, which means they are treated with sodium tri-poly phosphate. Sodium tri-poly phosphate causes scallops to retain water. As you know, water doesn't have a taste. If you want to experience what scallops were meant to taste like, then just try some of these exclusive treasures. The world's finest chefs have known this secret for years, now it's your turn to open your eyes to what the ocean intended you to taste!
Despite its common name, White Seabass, this fish is actually the largest member of the “Croaker” family and is a close relative to the California Corbina. White Seabass are sustainably caught and can be found in the Pacific Ocean from Baja all the way the coast to Alaska. White Seabass has a mild tasting flesh and unlike its much oiler cousin, Chilean Seabass, the White Seabass has a dense texture (similar to Halibut), which means that it can stand up to flavorful marinades and rich hearty sauces and is perfectly suited for the grill or the oven.
One of the most abundant and sustainable rockfish species in California, Chilipepper Rockfish has a medium-firm texture similar to other “Snapper” species, with pinkish-red flesh that takes well to high-heat cooking methods such as pan-frying and broiling. These fish have very low fat/oil content, which also makes them an excellent choice for raw preparations such as sashimi and especially ceviche.
During the summer months, these sweet shrimp are harvested locally off the coast of Morro Bay. Morro Bay "pinks" are known as the largest and sweetest on the entire West Coast, with fleets traveling all the way from Oregon just to harvest these special shrimp. They are processed and individually flash-frozen to retain their flavor.
Keep fish portions frozen until the day before you use them.
Vacuum-sealed fish will keep in your freezer for up to 6 months.
Allow fish to thaw in the vacuum sealed packaging overnight in your refrigerator.
After the fish is thawed, remove it from the vacuum bag and place it in an air tight container. Fish should not be stored in vacuum bags after it is thawed.
If you do not use the fish the day it is thawed, it’s a good idea to use it within a day and place a bag of ice on top of it in the refrigerator to keep it as cold as possible. Icing fish will significantly slow down spoilage.
Your fish portions are ready to be cooked and eaten as soon as they are thawed, but some may contain skin and/or pin-bones which you may choose to remove.
For raw applications, keep your fish as cold as possible, even slightly frozen. This will make it easier to slice for sushi, poke, ceviche or tartare.
Always sanitize any tools or surfaces that come into contact with raw fish.
Fish is excellent when brined. For a standard salt water brine, measure 2% of the weight of the salmon in kosher salt (1 portion equals 8oz. or 226g, 2% of 226 is 4.5g of salt per portion) and dilute in warm water. Just chill the brine and submerge your salmon portions in it for 30 minutes prior to cooking.
I you don’t have a scale and/or just don’t feel like measuring your brine, make the solution taste like ocean water. This level of salinity is perfect for fish brine.
Allow filets to come to room temperature before cooking.
Dry the surface of your fish as much as possible before cooking. The dry surface will ensure even caramelization.
Most fresh fish is excellent raw, sautéed, grilled, roasted, poached or broiled.
Monitor fish closely when cooking. When cooked from room-temperature, most fish will be done in under 10 minutes, especially when using a high heat method like broiling or grilling.
The standard internal temperature recommendation for all seafood is 145°. We have found this to be “overcooked” for most species. For salmon, cod, halibut, sea bass and scallops shoot for 125°-135°. Shrimp is best when cooked to about 120° and most tuna varieties are ideal around 115°.