BLOG UPDATE 5/23: The commercial fishing season for wild Alaskan Copper River salmon began May 14. Post a comment on this thread to tell others where you found the fish around town.
We are no longer on Copper River Salmon watch, as it seems stores have the fish now, or they will soon. Please do comment if you see it around town, especially if it's reasonably priced.
For those of us searching for a more economical option to Copper River salmon, I asked Nancy Hebb, director of the Bayview Cooking School at Olympia's Bayview Thriftway, and Mike Carver, seafood manager at Metropolitan Market Proctor, for seafood that costs less, but delivers flavor and texture:
"Sea scallops," recommended Hebb. "We have them for $8.99 a pound right now," she said. "You can poach them and sauté them. There's a billion things you can do with them. They're rich and creamy, these scallops are high in protein." One of her favorite recipes is to marinate the scallops in lime juice, kosher salt and a little sugar. Marinate for an hour and you've got scallop ceviche. She served it for dinner last night on romaine leaves.
Said Carver, "As far as salmon we have a fresh steelhead fillet that is fantastic and that retails at $8.99 a pound." You can substitute steelhead for any salmon recipe.
It's not cheaper, but there is a salmon at Proctor Metropolitan Market that is just as tasty, according to Carver. "Taku River (wild) salmon is just as good as Copper River salmon. It's $24.99 a pound. That's the one I wait for every year. People tend to look it over, but it's right up there with Copper River. It's a fatty, big net-caught fish." He said today (May 18), that he just got a shipment and he has plenty.