Chef Jack Yoss Explores Seafood in Alaska

Seafood in Alaska with Food and Beverage Today

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Exploring Seafood in Alaska
Chef Jack Yoss goes for the big catch - seafood in Alaska

We all don a uniform of hip waders, and armed with a shovel trudge through the mud, knee deep in spots, looking for the tiny telltale air pockets that signify a razor clams home. Seems easy; locate an air pocket, dig a foot or so, reach down and claim your prize. In reality, our hands are numb from digging in the frigid earth, we are covered head to toe in black mud and the clams are few and far between. At any rate, we harvest enough for lunch and head back to the lodge.

Back at the lodge we quickly clean our catch, scaling and filleting the fish, shelling the clams. We eat a lunch of nuoc cham marinated white king salmon with glass noodles, miso marinated black cod, rockfish ceviche, cornmeal crusted razor clams with garlic aioli, a sashimi plate loaded with halibut, sole, cod, black bass, rockfish and lingcod lightly dressed in a tart truffle ponzu. Then the coup de grace, a whole fried twenty-pound yellow-eye rockfish with king crab fried rice and sweet and sour sauce. I could ramble on about the flavors of each fish but suffice it to say, with the fish being caught only hours earlier, this was the freshest and best tasting I have had in my life.

seafood in Alaska, razor clams, Alaskan seafood

I later learn that Alaska is home to delicate spot prawns, impossibly sweet side stripe shrimp (best eaten raw), briny oysters, numerous varieties of crabs, steamer clams and the most flavorful scallops you can imagine. So next time summer rolls around push your local seafood purveyor to do a little legwork and offer more than the standard halibut and salmon. You will not be disappointed.

I checked in with a couple of up and coming west coast chefs to see what they were doing with Alaska seafood and managed to lure a few of their favorite recipes from their current menus.

Chef Chad Newton of San Francisco’s Fish and Farm likes to serve skate whenever available. He notes that skate is a versatile fish and pairs well with deep, earthy flavors. His food combines flawless French technique with California sensibilities creating exciting dishes such as; Skate with braised oxtail and sauce bordelaise, Skate with manila clams and lamb jus or Skate with sweet onion puree, chanterelles, melted romaine and port reduction. The relative inexpensiveness of skate means that you can get these dishes for around twenty dollars, which for San Francisco and all the love that goes into it, is a steal.

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