Local Bounty : July 22

Collared at Catalina Offshore Products

If you enjoy fish and have gotten past the fear of preparing it, you may still be stuck in a fillet or steak world. I know, it’s safe and reliable. But, in a fin to fork world, how about branching out a little and trying some other parts of the fish—like, well, the collar?

And, hey, while we’re at it, let’s talk other types of seafood. Got your heart set on clams or mussels? Well, how about trying some geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck)? It’s certainly out there.

That’s the beauty of Catalina Offshore Products. Tommy Gomes and company bring in not just the usual stuff (although the usual stuff—sea bass, swordfish, shrimp, and yellowtail—are damned good). They bring in the seafood you need to ask about. That you might not know how to cook—or know if you’d even enjoy. No problem. On Fridays, chef Chris Logan comes in to do demos and give you a chance to ask prep questions and sample. On Saturdays, the “Man with the Pan,” Ken Gardon does the same.

I went in last week and Tommy loaded me down with some collars and I got a geoduck primer. Now, you get it, too.

Catalina Offshore Products
From left: yellowtail collars, salmon collars, geoduck

Yellowtail Collars

This yellowtail comes from the along the West Coast, from Baja up to just south of San Francisco. It’s a perfect sushi fish—sweet and a little fatty. You can get a fillet and grill it, bake it, or broil it. But how about the collar? There’s no reason you can’t do the same. At $5 apiece, it’s very affordable and, more to the point, the flesh is ridiculously rich. Logan suggests marinating it in a combination of rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, cilantro, and Serrano chili a day before cooking. Then grill, broil, or bake it.

Wild King Salmon Collars

When Tommy pulled these out of the case I had a moment that took me back to my childhood. I grew up munching on “lox wings,” the thick piece of the smoked salmon attached to the fins and, I realize now, collars, that the deli guys would just give away to kids. No one does that anymore, but oh, the sight of those collars took me back. Salmon collars at Catalina Offshore Products are $2.50 apiece. Marinate them in a mix of lemon, olive oil, parsley, and dill, then steam, put them on the grill, or bake.


Typically we think of geoduck as a Pacific Northwest delicacy. But Tommy’s are hand harvested in Baja and, he admits, have less fat content and are a little less sweet. But, man, are they interesting. You have to be careful when cooking with them since they can get tough quickly. You can prepare them raw, sliced thin like carpaccio or added to ceviche. Or slice them, toss in cornstarch, and quickly pan fry them, then dip in Chinese red chile garlic sauce. Or, make chowder or cioppino, and,  like with clams, add them at the end to just briefly cook. But before you do anything, they need prepping—as in boiling in a deep pot to loosen the skin, shocking them in ice water, cutting them out of the shell and then peeling the skin. Tommy has a video demo that shows how it works. $12 to $14 a pound

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle

Buy a Raffle Ticket, Win This Rare Sports Car

Donate to a good cause to seriously upgrade your ride
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Vote Now for San Diego's Best Restaurants 2018
    From burritos to bottomless mimosas, you choose San Diego’s best eats and drinks in 90 categories
  2. 15 Coolest Jobs in San Diego and How to Get Them
    We asked 15 San Diego professionals with the coolest jobs in town how they landed their gigs—and how we could steal them
  3. First Look: Cloak & Petal
    The owners of Tajima bring Japanese small plates to Little Italy with Cloak & Petal
  4. 31 Best Places to Live in San Diego
    Five local homeowners share their advice, tips, and tricks on how they sealed the deal
  5. Green Rush: Inside San Diego's Emerging Cannabis Industry
    Marijuana's legal. How did it go from evil death drug to medical miracle and billion-dollar industry?
  6. First Look: Bivouac Ciderworks
    A new craft cidery opens in North Park, designed for the outdoors person in all of us
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module