...this crab gets its name from a port in Washington? The long, hard shell of a full-grown Dungeness crab is usually less than eight inches across, and only males with shells six and a quarter inches or larger are harvested commercially. The shell is molted periodically so the crab may find a
new home and grow. These crabs have five sets of legs, the foremost of which end in claws. Sweet, delicious meat makes up approximately a quarter of the crab’s total weight. Fishermen beware – this tasty creature frightens easily and will bury itself completely in the sand when startled.
Mild, sweet and firm, Pacific white shrimp are among the most widely cultivated shellfish in the world. They grow quickly with little maintenance, and may be harvested in as little as 120 days. Two species, Panaeus vannamel and P. stylirostris, are both harvested at sea by trawlers or farmed in ponds. Pond-raised domestic shrimp are typically high in quality due to strict controls and the lack of at-sea time.
Mild and versatile, Pacific white shrimp can be simmered, skewered and grilled or sautéed with equally delicious results. They pair well with garlic, cilantro, lemon or white wine sauces and also make an excellent ceviche.
The rainbow trout is a member of the salmon family. Idaho accounts for 70 percent of the rainbow trout raised in the United States. While trout fishing is a favorite activity of anglers, all rainbow trout sold domestically are farmed, either in concrete raceways or earthen ponds. Farm-raised fish reach their market size (8 to 10 ounces) in 8 to 12 months.
Talk about convenient: most rainbow trout are just the right size for individual servings. Trout can be cooked with minimal preparation, and is often served with the head on. Its taste is very delicate, and should not be overpowered with strong sauces or heavy seasoning. A little butter, lemon and parsley will bring out the delicate flavor of this fish.
Halibut is the largest of all flatfish; the largest halibut grow up to eight feet long and four feet wide, and weigh over 600 pounds. Market sizes typically range from 10 to 100 pounds. Pacific halibut are found along the Pacific Coast from Northern California to the Bering Sea, and westward to Russia and the Sea of Japan. They are primarily taken by longlines in Alaska and British Columbia.
An extremely versatile fish, the thick, meaty halibut holds up well to a number of cooking methods and sauces. It is one of the mildest and most pleasant-tasting fish. It’s white and flaky, contains little oil and never has an overpowering taste or smell. It can be used in just about any recipe that calls for a mild white fish and can be substituted for other types of fish.
The yellowfin (also known as "ahi tuna") is distinguished by its long, bright-yellow dorsal fin and the yellow stripe down its body. More slender than the bigeye or bluefin tuna, yellowfins are the most tropical of the tuna species. Yellowfin is primarily caught by purse seine, but the higher-quality yellowfin is caught by hook and line. These fish range from the ocean surface to below 600 feet. High-quality yellowfin comes from Hawaii, Florida, Mexico, Southern California and the Gulf of California.
Yellowfin tuna (also known as ahi tuna) is excellent raw or cooked. For grilling or broiling, cut steaks one inch thick, and use a marinade or seasoning to enhance the flavor. For quick preparation, just brush with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning. For a milder taste, remove the dark lateral line from the meat. Tuna can also marinate for several hours without becoming "cooked".
Chinooks, also called “kings,” are the largest and most prized species of Pacific salmon. They are the most expensive of all salmon species and are often found in upscale restaurants and better supermarkets. Most Pacific salmon spend one to three years at sea; kings can stay out as long as five years before returning to where they spawn. Chinooks are harvested primarily by trawlers, but are also fished by seiners and gillnetters. They can reach upwards of 50 pounds, but the bulk of the commercial catch ranges between 11 and 18 pounds.
For the purist, the less you do to the rich and flavorful king salmon, the better. However, this fish can also stand up to hearty seasonings and flavorful sauces. For a simple yet bold treat, try broiling or grilling a piece of king salmon with pesto sauce.
To meet a rapidly growing demand, Atlantic salmon farming first emerged on a large scale in the early 1980s, with Norway leading the way. Since then, global production has increased tremendously. Today, Atlantic salmon are farmed in more than a dozen countries in Latin America, Europe and North America. The fish are typically raised in large, floating netpens, which are usually located in open bays. Farmed Atlantics start at four pounds, but can grow as large as 18 pounds.
Fillets of Atlantic salmon are pleasing to the eye, and should be used with recipes that highlight their vibrant color and texture. Since the flavor of this fish is delicate, avoid using flavors, glazes or seasonings that overpower it. For example, a light dill and yogurt or cucumber-dill sauce works well.