There’s more to the crew at the Pike Place Fish Market than tossing salmon to delight the tourists. In their new book, “In The Kitchen With The Pike Place Fish Guys,” the fishmongers (with Leslie Miller and Bryan Jarr), share some history, some philosophy, and plenty of recipes from their own kitchens as well as Seattle restaurant colleagues.
The fishmongers and friends are heading out on a national tour (they’ll be tossing fish with Hoda and Kathie Lee once again on the Today show March 11), but will be back for more local events later this month (here’s the schedule). We Seattleites are luckier than most, of course, in that we can wander up to the stand any time we like to ask for advice or pick up some tips — or maybe a nice fillet for dinner. Here are a few tidbits from the book:
Those famous fish tosses? “We buy specific ‘stunt’ salmon just for throwing, and when they are no longer worth of tossing (after about a hundred tosses they get a litlte funky), we freeze them. When we have enough, we donate them to Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo and nearby Wolf Haven International to feed the animals.” (It’s not all for show — the ones they sell are thrown once “to get them behind the counter,” they noted in a comment on their Facebook page.)
Sustainable fallout: The fishmongers worried whether customers would support them in their 2010 decision to sell only sustainable fish. (They no longer carry monkfish, for instance.) Instead, they were flooded with support. “People enjoy doing the right thing, especially when you make it easy to do and easy to understand the reasons behind it.”
Secret ingredients: One of the company’s most popular seasoning mixes, its Northwest Seafood Seasoning, is a mix of 1/3 cup dried minced garlic, 1/3 cup dried granulated onion, 1 tablespoon fine sea salt, 4 teaspoons dried granulated lemon peel, 1/3 cup dried dill, 1/3 cup paprika, 2 tablespoons celery seed, 1/2 cup dried parsley, and 1/4 cup medium-grind black pepper. Blend it all together and it will keep in a covered container for at least 6 months.
File photo by Alan Berner/The Seattle Times