Once again it’s that time of the year for seafood companies around the world to gather in Boston, MA for the annual International Boston Seafood Show.

If you’re headed to the event, you can find us in Booth #347! We hope to see many of you there, please stop by and say hello! Thank you!

You can follow the Boston Seafood Show on Facebook and on Twitter and follow live updates via #IBSS12

 Alaska Salmon Gets Certified!

Our friends over at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute just updated us that Alaska Salmon fisheries have received certification in Responsible Fisheries Management. A positive Certification determination has been awarded for the US Alaska Commercial Salmon Fisheries against the United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) based Responsible Fisheries Management criteria, by a Global Trust Certification Committee on March 11, 2011, after a twelve month independent assessment of the salmon fisheries.

As you know Orca Bay Seafoods has been delivering Wild Alaska Salmon to consumers and food service partners for a long time, we have always stood behind all the great products we receive from Alaska fisheries so it’s no surprise to us (although we are very excited!) that our partners in Alaska have received this certification. Species covered in this certification include:

King (or Chinook ) (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha)

ii. Sockeye (or Red) (Oncorhynchus nerka)

iii. Coho (or Silver) (Oncorhynchus kisutch)

iv. Pink (or Humpback) (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)

v. Keta (or Chum) (Oncorhynchus keta)

What does this mean for you?

This Certification delivers high confidence that reliable management systems are in place to properly assess and respond to any current and evolving issues and allow the fishery to continue on the path of sustainable and responsible management.

To review the entire certification documents, please head over to: http://sustainability.alaskaseafood.org/salmon-certification

 Fun in the Kitchen!

Yesterday Collin popped into the Test Kitchen and asked if I’d cook some Sea Bream for him.

Collin is one of our buyers here at Orca Bay.  We have a fantastic group of folks buying our seafood; I think the world of all of them.  Collin specializes in Asia.   He had come across a deal for Sea Bream and wanted to check the quality.

I’ve heard of Sea Bream, but I confess I’ve never cooked it, nor tasted it.  Asking if I’d cook some was like asking a needlepointer if she wanted to go to the yarn store!  Collin gave me about six portions.  When he had his back turned, I grabbed another six.  All twelve went into my refrigerator to thaw.

In the thawed state, the fish looked fantastic.  Snowy white in color, it had a firm texture and a good, clean aroma. 

Skin side of a Sea Bream fillet

A fillet of this size, shape and thickness allowed for a lot of options for preparation.  But I really wanted to taste the stripped down version of this fish.  “Keep it simple” is not necessarily my style, but I did my best. 

I preheated the oven to 425 F. , yanked out my two biggest fry pans, and mixed up a quick flour dredge.  1 C. flour, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. table grind black pepper.  Four fillets went on a lightly buttered quarter sheet pan, four went into the flour dredge, and four waited patiently on a plate for olive oil to heat in the skillet!

Bream awaiting the oven

Bream in the flour dredge

As with any thin fillet, the Sea Bream cooked quickly.  The unadorned fillets in hot olive oil were the fastest; I had them flipped in about 3 minutes, and off the range within 6! 

Sea Bream sauteed in olive oil, medium hot pan

The lightly flour dusted fillets took a bit longer.  Of course, the flour provides a little insulation.  And the goal is to get a nice golden color on that coating.  I cheated a bit for that and threw a bit of butter into the olive oil.  These fillets were probably cooking about 8 minutes.

Flour dusted Sea Bream, fried to a golden goodness!

The oven baked Sea Bream took the longest.  Frankly, I lost track of time.  After maybe 10 minutes, my patience wore thin and I turned my oven over to broiler mode.  But of course it’s an electric oven, and the elements take time to heat up, and after another 2 minutes I gave up entirely.  My thermocouple showed one fillet to be at 147 F. anyway.  I used the opportunity to turn impatience and luck into confirmation of professionalism and expertise. 

Sea Bream baked in a hot oven

Here’s my “take away” on Sea Bream- I liked it.  I found it to be mild in flavor, slightly firmer than flounder, with a bright white color.  It would work well in any sauced or breaded application, as the fish won’t overwhelm the other flavors.  In fact, I want to get more fillets from Collin so I can whip up a Moose Drool Beer Batter!  I’ve found that flounder can be tricky to work with, especially when flipping it.  It can crack, flake and break apart.  The Sea Bream held together nicely, flipped easily, and presented nicely on the plate. 

A quick Google search for Sea Bream will show that the name can tend to be a catch-all for a wide variety of seafood.  The particular genera and species of the fish that I cooked?  Collin has confirmed it as Gymnocranius frenatus.  Yellowsnout Large Eye Bream.  A fine piece of fish.  A debatably difficult name!

 Road to Boston: Finish line in sight!

It’s pretty crazy to think that the International Boston Seafood Show is already less than a week away when it feels like we were just there.  Our crates are in Boston, all packed and ready for our booth to be built and samples ready to be mailed.

It will be an interesting journey this year as a lot of focus is being shifted through a lot of different exhibitors and the earthquake/tsunami that hit Japan might make for some empty booths on the floor. We hope that everyone has safe travels and that your setup goes well. Don’t forget to stop by and say hi, we’ll be in booth #347, look up and find the hanging Orca Bay sign!

Safe Travels


 Orca Bay Partners with Amazon Fresh
In an effort to expand its local reach we have partnered with online giant Amazon.com to offer our premium frozen seafood products through the Amazon Fresh™ online grocery system to select cities across the Seattle/Puget Sound region. Our products were first made available in December of 2010 and have already been proven successful.

In a business where so much is driven by price rather than product quality,we constantly works to provide great-tasting, high-quality, safe, consistent and reliable products that are now readily available for online purchase. With over 20 available products currently offered on Amazon Fresh™ ranging from Orca Bay Alaska Sockeye Salmon to Halibut and Cioppino. Whatever your seafood pleasure might be we are sure to have your favorite.

To browse our selection of products available on Amazon, please visit: http://fresh.amazon.com/Search?brand=Orca+Bay

Orca Bay Seafoods is a leading North American seafood processor and distributor since 1985. Based out of Renton, WA, Orca Bay distributes retail and foodservice seafood products, including their own Orca Bay brand club store and 10oz retail lines. Visit orcabayseafoods.com for more information.

Amazon Fresh is a subsidiary of the Amazon.com, an online retailer located in Seattle, Washington. It is reviving the business model of ordering groceries online for home delivery with same or next day delivery of almost everything you want to buy – from fresh produce, meat, and seafood to diapers, DVDs, and toys – in the Seattle area.

To view this full press release, please click here.

 Name the Whale Contest!

Head over to http://spyhop.orcabayseafoods.com/name-the-whale/ at a chance of winning $500 in excellent Seafood products!

 Road To Boston Part 2

This week we’ve been testing fitting new booth materials, which include two new large stand up banners with built in shelves to display our products. We cater to both retail and food service so we want to make sure that both have an equal presence on the floor. These are only a couple new elements we’ll be bringing. Don’t forget to visit us in booth #347 http://www.bostonseafood.com

 SteamWell Entrée Salmon Wins First Place!

On a cold winter’s evening in Anchorage, Alaska culinary magic was happening as a handful of the best tasters in town were at the Alaska Symphony of Seafood annual competition tasting, analyzing and judging some of the newest Alaska seafood products to hit the market.

Among the entrants was Orca Bay Seafoods SteamWell Entrée Sockeye Salmon with Tuscan Herb Sauce which was entered into the New Retail Products category.  We’re proud to announce that our submission won first place! Many thanks go out to the Alaska Symphony of Seafood and the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation for the most generous prize and for putting on a great event!

 Finger Licking Oven-Roasted Dungeness Crab

Orca Bay is in the process of printing new boxes for our Dungeness Crab.  The boxes will contain 1-1/2 lb. of crab claws and legs.  The terrible, tedious task of creating a recipe to print on that box fell on my shoulders.  Oh, the stress of it all!

What I’ve concocted is a way to oven-roast these sweet morsels, then use some of the flavoring ingredients to create a dipping sauce for the ‘picked’ meat when you’re all done.   The spicy heat from the cayenne pepper is tasted first, but then clears the palate, leaving the sweet flavor of the crab to linger.

 The Road to Boston…


We’re just over a month away from the biggest Seafood show on the planet. Thousands of exhibitors, buyers, sellers, chefs and plain old seafood connoisseurs will make their way to the Boston International Seafood Show March 20-22 to once again pitch their product or services upon the masses.

Once again, Orca Bay Seafoods will be in attendance in booth 347 with a whole new design and mission. Another addition for us at the show this year will be our new Steamwell Entree items, these items will be on display in the New Product Showcase. In the coming weeks heading up to the show, we’ll provide you with updates and even our thoughts from the exhibit floor so be sure to check back in!