Category Archives: Did You Know?

About Sockeye Salmon

Big Benefits from A Small Salmon

Sockeye is derived from the Halkomelem word suk-kegh, which means “red fish.” The language is spoken by the indigenous peoples along the lower Fraser River of British Columbia. Today you find them down the coast of California, also New York, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, Alaska and Canada.

Many think the name red salmon refers to the colors of the spawning males, but it’s actually the deep red flesh of the meat. Sockeyes are known also as blueback salmon because of the silvery blue coloration of the fish. During spawning, male sockeyes undergo dramatic physiological changes, including an increase in body depth and the development of a pronounced kype, a hook-like secondary sex characteristic which develops at the distal tip of the lower jaw. The body turns brilliant red, while the head turns green.

Sockeyes are among the smaller of the seven Pacific salmon species, but their succulent, bright-orange meat is prized above all others. They have a lifespan 0f 3 to 5 years, range from 24 to 33 inches in length and weigh between 5 and 15 pounds. Like all other Pacific salmon, they are born in freshwater. Then they will take the trip of migration into the ocean that offers them saltwater. They will return to the freshwater later on for mating. A female can lay between 47 and 205 eggs. Less than 1% will survive the first year of life. It is estimated that between 10 and 30 million of them are annually fished.

Sockeye salmon’s orange-red meat provides a delicious change from other fish varieties. Sockeyes can be grilled, baked, steamed, smoked or roasted. It is also eaten raw as sushi or sashimi. It is higher in calories than pink salmon but lower than farmed Atlantic salmon. The fish is rich in protein, a necessary building block for muscles and organs. Two particularly beneficial forms of fat found in sockeyes are the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which boost heart health, brain performance, joint health and the immune system.

Sockeye salmon contains a small amount of cholesterol, about 45 milligrams per serving but are high in vitamin B12, essential for blood cell formation, DNA synthesis and proper brain functioning. A single serving of sockeye salmon provides about 80% of the daily value of the vitamin. Other vitamins present include niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, riboflavin, thiamin and vitamins B-6, E and A. Sockeye salmon also contains selenium, a mineral that’s an antioxidant and important in thyroid function and immune system activity.

Appreciating the Healthy Red Fish in Seattle

Enjoy our cold shared plates at I Love Sushi, one of them is the bright red and delicious sockeye salmon sashimi and, our sockeye salmon roll, one of our classics. Served gluten-free and great for those on a restricted or special diet.

Herbs, Spices and Seasonings: Japanese Cuisine Essentials

Essential Ingredients for Traditional Flavors

Here’s the list of herbs, spices and seasonings that the Japanese consider essentials to Japanese cooking.

Bonito flakes are used to make dashi and as a seasoning in many other dishes. Bonito or skipjack tuna belongs to the mackerel family. The fillets are cooked, smoked, dried and cured with mold in a process taking several months. Once hardened, the fillets are shaved into flakes, called katsuobushi.

Kombu is a sea kelp that is dried and used most famously to flavor dashi broth. Kombu is high in glutamates, giving it a savory umami flavor that is often imitated by monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Mustard powder or karashi is powdered mustard seed, sometimes blended with dried horseradish. It needs to be diluted with a bit of water, or it can be purchased as a paste. Karashi is hotter and more intense than Western mustard, and is used sparingly as a condiment or as an ingredient in dressings and dipping sauces.

Sansho powder, or Japanese pepper, is a golden spice ground from the seedpod surrounding the berry of the prickly ash shrub. It has a citrusy, minty aroma and flavor, and a slight tongue-tingling effect. It is used in shichimi togarashi and as an all-purpose seasoning.

Sesame seeds or goma, both black and white, are used widely in Japanese cooking as a seasoning and garnish in sweet and savory dishes. Both black and white seeds benefit from toasting before use to bring out their flavor and aroma.

Shichimi togarashi is a blend of seven dried and ground spices that often includes red chiles, sansho, roasted orange peel, yellow and black sesame seeds, ginger, hemp seed and nori. It’s commonly used to flavor soups and noodle dishes and as an all-purpose seasoning.

Wasabi powder/paste is Japanese horseradish. Fresh wasabi is largely unavailable in the West, but is easily found dried in powdered form or as a paste. The powder needs to be reconstituted with a bit of water; the paste is ready to use but quickly loses pungency after opening. Wasabi has a very pungent flavor and aroma and is paired in small amounts with sushi and sashimi.

Flavors Uniquely Japanese in Seattle

Experience the unique flavors of our soups, cold plates, lunch and main menus spiced with herbs and seasonings essential to our cuisine. Come visit your favorite Japanese sushi restaurant in Seattle.