There’s a new salmon player in the US and it’s called Ora King. They culture sustainable king salmon in New Zealand in 5 sea farms and hatcheries in Marlborough Sounds. Supposedly it’s the longest and most sophisticated selective breeding program in the world (they’ve been breeding since 1994), with every fish individually tagged by hand and tracked (that’s over 200,000 fish) so that they can control in-breeding.
Ora King’s salmon goes from harvest to airplanes within 12 hours and a few of restaurants in Los Angeles have started carrying them, including Nobu and Craft. I was invited to a tasting at Nobu of appetizers and sushi made with Ora King salmon. With the eating local movement going on, the question is: is the taste of Ora King salmon worth the miles traveled from New Zealand? The answer is yes!
At Nobu, we tried different preparations of the Ora King salmon. The most representative of the texture and flavor is certainly the sushi and sashimi, and I think I had seven pieces of sushi that night … Ora King salmon has a rich flavor and a wonderful firm, oily texture. We ate so much so salmon, including the salmon tartar w caviar.. On endive, salmon with dried miso, yuzu, and olive oil. A lovely dish that showcases the flavor of the salmon.
Ora King produces a flaky and moist cooked salmon as we tried in the seared salmon With the overfishing issues these days, sustainable aquaculture may be the way to go, and I do
think the quality of Ora King is worth getting it from New Zealand! Just look at the quality of restaurants that carry it: Nobu, Craft, The French Laundry … they’re only a handful right now, but hopefully we will see it at more restaurants. If you’re interested in procuring some, contact Ore Dagan @fishinLA.