Wild caught sockeye salmon is the gem of the Northern Pacific Ocean. Its intense flavor and brief seasonal availability make sockeye a very popular type of salmon. Sockeye is also called red salmon or blueback salmon. The deep reddish color of its flesh stands out from the paler coloring of other types of salmon. 

Clocking in at five to 15 pounds at most, sockeye salmon is definitely on the smaller side. Sockeye makes up for in flavor and texture what it lacks in size. Sockeye are thinner with more compact meat. They are lauded for their rich flavor profile. 

The sockeye salmon is a Pacific salmon that resides in the Northern Pacific Ocean and the rivers that feed into it. Buyers who are concerned about sourcing can trust sockeye. These fish are usually wild caught and rarely farmed. 

Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon

Company $/lb Min. Order Cost Reviews Rating Website
Global Seafoods $24.00 $120.00 1130 4.6 website
D’artagnan $25.00 $49.99 179 4.1 website
Seabear Smokehouse $28.88 $65.00 273 5.0 website
Sizzlefish $35.70 $124.95 341 4.9 website
Vital Choice $37.33 $84.00 23132 4.8 website
Fulton Fish Market $63.97 $143.94 604 4.4 website

 

Health Benefits of Sockeye Salmon

Like other types of salmon, sockeye has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and potassium. It is a wonderful source of protein. Sockeye salmon is a favorite choice among those who are concerned about personal health and managing the mercury levels of a seafood lover’s diet. Unlike other salmon, sockeye eat plankton almost exclusively, making them less susceptible to contamination in the food chain and random spikes in mercury levels which can occur even in some types of wild salmon. 

 

Sockeye Salmon Cuts

There are two main cuts available when you buy wild caught sockeye salmon online: fillet and steak. 

  • Fillet: when the fish is cut whole in order to separate it from the bone. 
  • Steak: when the fish is cut across, through the bone. 

sockeye salmon steak vs fillet

 

The Best Time to Buy Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye from Bristol Bay and Copper River can be extremely expensive because these are spots with some of the most sought-after sockeye. Different types of Atlantic salmon are more likely to be farmed, making them available year-round. However, the Pacific sockeye is primarily wild-caught, which means interested buyers need to pay close attention to sockeye seasonal availability. Fresh sockeye salmon is usually available starting in late spring through the end of September. This smaller buying window accounts for sockeye’s price hikes as compared to Atlantic salmon. 

Alaska, Washington, and Oregon provide the U.S. sockeye market with wild caught sockeye salmon. Alaska is one of the largest distributors in America. Wild Alaska sockeye salmon is a top seller. The map below shows the range of sockeye salmon off the coast of Alaska and part of British Columbia:

wild sockeye salmon range

 

Buy Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon Online

Check out some tried-and-true seafood companies selling the best sockeye salmon on the market. 

seabear logo

Seabear Smokehouse

This artisan smokehouse operates out of Anacortes, WA. Seabear Smokehouse offers nationwide shipping on affordable sockeye salmon for $23.60/lb. Customers can choose from smoked or canned sockeye salmon, or even sockeye salmon burgers. This highly rated salmon purveyor is committed to customer satisfaction.

Global Seafoods Logo

Global Seafoods

The sockeye salmon candy from Global Seafoods is a must-try. These hard-smoked sockeye fillets are also candied, giving them a unique, sweet flavor. The dedicated researchers help customers with preparation and recipes, and provide nutritional information for each of their products. Global Seafoods also sells smoked sockeye salmon and sockeye filets. Their price comes in at a competitive, but affordable, $24/lb.

d'artagnan logo

D’artagnan

Looking to buy sockeye salmon without breaking the bank? D’artagnan offers sockeye salmon for the price of $49.99/lb. This skin-on, scales-off, pin-bone out” sockeye is caught wild off the coast of Alaska. D’artagnan is Marine Stewardship Council certified for sustainability. Each sockeye salmon page offers recipes and a “Learn More” section where customers can read about the health benefits of salmon.

sizzlefish logo

Sizzlefish

The mission at Sizzlefish is to provide customers with a direct benefit to their health: delicious, nutritious fish. This company offers smoked, smoke roasted, and filleted sockeye salmon. Each of the 14 “perfectly sized” cuts comes vacuumed sealed for freshness. The sockeye salmon at Sizzlefish rings up to $37.50/lb. Sizzlefish has committed to sustainability by partnering with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program, so environmentalists can feel good about ordering wild Alaskan sockeye salmon from them. 

vital choice

Vital Choice

Vital Choice has an exciting range of sockeye salmon products. Sockeye is sold canned or filleted (whole and petite). A smoked sockeye lox could be a great addition to the next brunch. Vital Choice’s sockeye salmon rings up at $37.33/lb. The sockeye and halibut duo option is particularly intriguing for those who need some variety. Environmentalists will also be impressed by Vital Choice.This company only sells sustainably-caught seafood and donates a portion of its profits to environmental programs.

fulton fish market

Fulton Fish Market

This New York City market has had its finger on the pulse of the American seafood industry since 1822. Fulton Fish Market sells wild caught fresh and frozen sockeye salmon. The cuts are either fillets, or a whole, headless sockeye salmon. This high quality sockeye is sold at $63.97/lb. Though Fulton Fish Market does have high-end pricier cuts, it also offers a wide range of affordable sockeye options.

 

Sockeye Salmon Recipes & Preparation

Wild caught sockeye salmon is easy to prepare. Its versatility makes it a great starting point for amateur chefs. With minimal effort, you can wow your guests or family. Make sure to remember that the intensity of sockeye salmon’s flavor should guide the dish. Avoid adding flavors that overwhelm the sockeye’s robustness. Let the sockeye hold its own– you won’t be disappointed. 

  • Bake: Make sure to wrap the salmon in tin foil to seal in flavor and ensure the texture is moist. Pop sockeye salmon in the oven at about 350 degrees until the meat cooks evenly. 
  • Grill: Sockeye’s firm meat is ideal for grilling. Dress the salmon very simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a preheated grill. Flip after 5 minutes. Remove when the fish begins to flake in the center.
  • Fry: Place rinsed sockeye into hot oil skin-side up for about 5 to 7 minutes. Flip and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes. 

Don’t forget the cedar plank! A cedar plank lends itself well to cooking sockeye salmon. Soak the cedar plank in hot water and add seasoning. Cedar planks can cook sockeye salmon in the oven or on the grill. This method reduces the risk of overcooking and post-grill cleaning.

 

A Quick Note About Freezer Life 

The freezer life of flash-frozen sockeye salmon is about 2-3 months. This timeline is most accurate if the salmon is vacuum-sealed and properly contained. After 3 months the quality of the fish reduces noticeably, though the salmon will likely be edible for up to 6 months.

 

Smoked Salmon: A Sockeye Favorite

Sockeye is probably the most popular species of smoked salmon. We at Quality Seafood Delivery would be remiss not to spend a little time talking about what makes it so special. 

Oil content is a huge factor in how smoked fish tastes. A higher oil content means the smoked meat will be moist and flavorful. Sockeye’s high oil content makes it phenomenal for smoking, second only to perhaps king salmon which has the highest oil content. 

The firm texture of sockeye salmon is particularly good for hot-smoking, though it is delicious cold-smoked, as well. Its compact flesh tends to withstand heat better.

Smoked salmon usually lasts 1-2 weeks under the right conditions. Though some people might suggest putting smoked salmon in the freezer to prolong its shelf life, that likely affects the quality of the smoked salmon.

 

More Info and Articles about Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon

 

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