Unless you’re out in the waters yourself, it’s pretty hard these days to find fresh, local seafood. Think that salmon and his buddies chillin’ in the Safeway case came from the San Francisco Bay? Er – probably not.
That’s why Petaluma’s Anna Larsen is our new best friend for subaquatic foods. Larsen (pictured above, showing off her sashimi-grade albacore at Mission Pie, one of two weekly drop-off spots) is the one-woman conductor behind Siren SeaSA (sound it out – pretty clever, eh?), the only seafood CSA that delivers the finest local and sustainably caught seafood to the Bay Area public. Larsen works with small fishing boats from Fort Bragg to Monterey to bring her customers the freshest fish, mollusks, and crustaceans.
Her promise? That none of her seafood has been out of the water for more than two days. “It’s my goal, and it’s worked out so far!” said Larsen at a recent CSA drop, with a nervous grin.
The finicky nature of the sea makes Larsen’s weekly CSA menu as stable as the waves themselves. And though she can’t make concrete promises of what she can or will deliver, it hasn’t stopped her customer base from tripling since July.
Currently, Larsen drives about 250 miles every Saturday to deliver her maritime booty to hungry folks in Petaluma, San Francisco, Oakland, and Mountain View. If you’re not en route or need a mid-week drop – no worries, plans for expansion are coming for the new year.
Aside from the food karma you’re reaping, the best part of the Siren SeaSA experience is the same reason why picking up a cool find at a garage sale is so fulfilling: you know exactly where your seafood comes from: the funny and outrageous fishermen* who catch it, and the nice gal that brings it to you. After all, the C in CSA does stand for community.
And look! Larsen was nice enough to share one her favorite recipes with The Local Dish. Fingers crossed, local black cod should be available soon.
Miso Black Cod
Courtesy of Anna Larsen, Siren SeaSA
There are quite a few Miso Black Cod recipes out there and many of them are quite good. For me, it is more about mastering the technique and feeling free to make the alterations that suit you. This is a very straightforward approach, so feel free to add or eliminate ingredients. It is pretty hard to mess up! – Anna
Four 4-oz black cod fillets, skin on (The crispy skin is my favorite part!)
1/3 cup white miso
3 Tablespoon mirin
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
Prepare the fish by removing the pin bones, if they are in. An easy way to do this is to place the fish over the round back of a bowl, skin-side down, and remove the pin bones using pliers or tweezers. After the pin bones are removed, rinse and thoroughly dry the fillets.
Combine the miso, mirin, garlic, ginger and brown sugar in a large bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Coat the fillets in the miso mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Fire up your broiler on high. Remove the fillets, scrape off the extra marinade, and place them on a rack on top of a baking sheet. Place them skin-side down. Broil for approximately 4 minutes, or until the flesh is golden brown.
Turn the fillets over and broil until the skin is lightly browned and very crispy, about 4 minutes. Serve hot!
*Ask nice — Larsen has some good stories!