I don’t know why I bother making a grocery list, I always end up with twice as much as I planned. This time around something new in the frozen seafood section caught my eye…and it was on sale for $8.99. Needless to say I ended up with a box of Fishpeople’s Wild Alaskan Salmon, Topped with Meyer Lemon and Herb Panko. I’ve been following FishPeople on Instagram for a little while but I don’t know much about them, and this is the first time I’ve seen one of their products locally. I emailed the company before preparing the entree, but did not get a response.
Their website and packaging states their belief in using natural ingredients and sustainably sourced wild fish that is traceable back to the source. They give you all you need to make a main course fish dinner for two, but the “seafoodies” at the company encourage buyers to get creative. In this way, their product reminded me of the concept behind LoveTheWild’s frozen meals. The major difference seems to be that Fishpeople use wild-caught fish instead of farmed-raised.
The Packaging: Fishpeople Wild Alaskan Salmon
If my wife bought fish, this is the box she would gravitate to. The color scheme, the loads of information, the feel-good vibe of the message, all of that is really attractive to a certain sub-set of consumer. Particularly those who are concerned about where their seafood is coming from, but are not yet comfortable asking pointed questions at the fish counter. Even then, you have to take the salesperson at their word, and depending upon where you buy seafood, they may not know more than you do. With a package like this, I can see how consumers would feel comfortable since you can track the fish using a code on the box.
By typing in the code on Fishpeople’s website, I learned my fish was Yukon River keta salmon caught by native Yupik fishermen using gillnets and dip nets. I thought it was pretty cool learning where my fish was caught, but when my fish was caught is also something I’d be interested in.
The Product: Wild Alaskan Keta Salmon
I’ve never had keta salmon before, but it does not have the best reputation, especially among a few friends I have that fished in Alaska. Up there, it is better known as “dog” salmon or “chum” salmon and is considered the least desirable species. A search online goes with what my friends have said about the fish. That only the best fish are worth eating and even then, can have a fishy taste. In fairness, it sounds like keta is not all bad and makes for great smoked fish, caviar, or salmon jerky.
After thawing in the fridge, the pieces looked pretty good, a little thin, but a nice light pink hue with undamaged skin. Although I’m asking a lot from a convenient frozen entree, I would have liked some slightly bigger pieces. Maybe get the product up to 12oz or even a full pound, the fillets just don’t look big enough for two grown adults. If you want the public to eat this less popular salmon then do what Pepsi-Cola did way back and make up for it with portion size (Pepsi-Cola hits the spot…12 full ounces that’s a lot).
The Recipe: Wild Salmon Topped With Meyer Lemon & Herb Panko
The only recipe needed is to follow the instructions on the enclosed card: Top the fish with the crumb topping, seal in the provided foil, bake, then open foil to brown topping under the broiler.
When I first looked at the amount of panko topping I wondered if it would be enough, but after fluffing it up as suggested, there was a lot more than I first assumed. Plenty to cover both fillets of salmon. My wife prefers her salmon more on the well-done side so I baked the fish on the longer side of the suggested thawed cooking time, just shy of 12 minutes. It only took a minute under the broiler to get the panko lemon crumbs a nice golden brown.
The Verdict: Fishpeople Wild Alaskan Salmon
I’m no expert, but I feel that there is a slight color and flake resemblance to king salmon, probably due to the lower oil content in keta. However there is a flavor that comes at the end that I’m not sure I like. That first bite was real “fishy” and I needed a lot of lemon to counterbalance. Even though the packaging grabbed my wife’s attention, the fish did not. After a couple of bites she passed it over to me, it was too fishy for her tastes.
In conclusion, Fishpeople’s Wild Alaskan Salmon With Meyer Lemon & Herb Panko was not our cup of tea. However it is obviously a high-quality product, so that is not the problem. It really boils down to the fact that we are not big fans of keta salmon after trying it.
I did finish most of the fish and the topping was very tasty. I may even try their other varieties if I see them around, but keta/chum/dog salmon is not something I need to try again.
Have you tried Fishpeople’s products? Let me know what you thought in the comments!