Introducing our new series,Hooked: Newlyweds in the Kitchen, where Boston-based couple Kim Watson Ito and Justin Ito-Adler chronicle their love of seafood and a whole lot of quarantine cooking. Follow their adventures here and on Instagram and Facebook at #hookedonwulfs
Kim and I got married on February 22, 2020. Exactly one month and one day later, Governor Baker announced a stay at home advisory. Overnight, Kim became Head of Household Cleanliness and I became Chief Cook and Dish Washer. Supermarket deliveries were a must, but we had a MAJOR seafood craving and I stubbornly refused to let the Peapod guy pick out my fish. We soon discovered Wulf’s Home Delivery via friends from the restaurant industry. Cut to five months later, and seafood is now our biggest expense apart from rent. We started writing about it for kicks and Wulf’s said they’d print it. Huge mistake on their part, but hopefully you take something away from our seafood addiction. Even if it’s just a momentary distraction from the melting ice cream cone that is 2020.
Salmon is Kim’s favorite fish by far. It’s one item that is always on order from Wulf’s. At this point, we’ve tried every variety Wulf’s offers, but two standouts for us are the Ora King Salmon from New Zealand and the Loch Duart Salmon from Scotland. With every fish we try, we have a few house rules. First, we try it raw with nothing on it. Next, we try it raw with soy and wasabi. After that, we experiment with ceviche or cook it in some capacity. Here is our hot take on this battle of the fishes.
Round 1: RAW
Justin: The first thing I always notice about this fish is the texture. The fish is compact with a tight grain, yet the texture is soft. It almost smells like it has been pre-cured out of the package with a super clean, salmon-y grassiness to it. It is a somewhat paler pink than some cuts and eats consistently from the center of the loin all the way to the belly side.
Kim: This fish tastes good but it’s a little bland. I miss Ora King.
Justin: If you told me that this was some crazy fish I didn’t know about, I would probably believe you. It is a very fatty piece of salmon. The marbling is insane. Out of every fish we get, this is probably my favorite to slice. Despite the dramatic stripes, the fish slices completely uniform and holds together perfectly (almost) every time. This is a flavor bomb.
Kim: Told you.
Round 2: DRESSED
Justin: This is my new prototype for Salmon. It is flavorful, clean and delicious. It is great with soy and wasabi. A pinch of lemon brought it home, but I should have added it as I went because it ‘cooked’ it a bit faster than I anticipated.
Kim: This fish is a nice vehicle for soy and wasabi. I might have gone a little heavy on the wasabi. *sneezes*
Justin:This is probably the best raw salmon I have ever had. It needs nothing; but is amazing dressed as well. A pinch of salt to round out the fattiness was a welcome addition. So good…
Kim: Told you.
Round 3: COOKED
Justin: This fish seared BEAUTIFULLY. The skin crisped up quickly and it took a nice butter basting. Flaked beautifully, even cooked mid rare.
Kim: This is okay, but I think I’d rather we do it as ceviche next time.
Justin: It was great with a quick sear, but it almost feels like a waste. I’m not sure what they feed these fish, but it tastes expensive. With some of the fats rendered out, it had more of a familiar distinctly salmon flavor than served raw. Would prefer the Loch Duart cooked, but definitely wouldn’t send this back.
Kim:I’m not into cooked fish, but this is good. I’m sure it’s against the rules, but I’d like it in a taco.
Kim: In the end, we are a house divided. But marriage is about compromise, so we’ll do that by ordering Ora King moving forward.
Justin: Between us internet friends, I do agree with her that the Ora King is one of the best raw fish I have ever had, but I give the slight edge to the Loch Duart for versatility. It would make an incredible gravlax or smoked salmon as well. I struggle to think of a way I wouldn’t want this fish, and I’ll keep ordering until I find one.
Kim Watson Ito and Justin Ito-Adler are newlyweds living in the North End of Boston. One is a professional writer and the other is a former restaurant industry professional. We’ll let you discover who’s who. Their kitchen is tiny, but their appetites are big. Hooked is a collection of their trials, tribulations, and tastes as they explore the wide world of Wulf’s seafood.