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"Take a Pass on Chilean Sea Bass"

  • j

65 local restaurants pledged not to serve Chilean Sea Bass aka Patagonia tooth fish (gosh--wonder why the marketers changed the name?) for at least 5 years. I LOVE Chilean Sea Bass. Any ideas for substitute?

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  1. m
    Melanie Wong

    I love Chilean sea bass too, and confess that I've eaten it guiltily three times in the last year.

    Give black cod a try. It's also known as sable and has a similar fatty texture when steamed or broiled.

    1. s
      Shepherd B. Goode

      I try to keep informed, but here I'm confused, so help me out. Why did 65 restaurants vow not to serve Chilean sea bass for five years?


      1 Reply
      1. re: Shepherd B. Goode

        Overfishing. This SJ Merc article spells it out.

        Link: http://www0.mercurycenter.com/front/d...

      2. How about monkfish?

        It doesn't get much respect, but I've really enjoyed it on the occasions I've had it. It's really rich, but isn't as flaky as C.S.Bass. Really nice, mellow flavor.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Fatemeh

          I second the monkfish, if you can find it. s'good.

          1. re: Fatemeh

            Monkfish is also seriously overfished and is on the Seafood Watch Chart of fish to be avoided.

            1. re: augiespal

              huh. i guess I should've checked before offering it up as a suggestion... ;-)

              I'm surprised, though, since I hardly ever see it anywhere - whether at fish markets or at restaurants. Is it because it's used to make fake crab meat that it's been overfished?

            2. re: Fatemeh

              Make that another vote for Monkfish. There may be other fish that are more like Chilean Sea Bass, but Monkfish does share it's richness. It also happens that right now the Monk is exceptionally good. From time to time, it's not so great, but lately, pure bliss.

            3. Maybe it's because I'm a UVa grad, but I've always found Wahoo to be a able substitute for Chilean Sea Bass. There's nothing quite like Chilean Sea Bass, but Wahoo, when prepared properly, is nearly as good.

              1. k
                Karlito's Way

                Chilean Sea Bass is/was popular in restaurants because it is virtually indestructible on the grill or in the pan. Its flesh is very oily/moist and texture is not sensitive to overcooking. If you're a sensitive fish cook there are many options that have much more interesting texture and flavor. I've worked in restaurants that will not serve it, and I have a strong bias against it. The local halibut is excellent right now as are the sand dabs, john dory, black bass, white bass, and sole. In closing, I'm always banging the drum against aquaculture (farmed salmon, trout, and steelhead). When a wild fish is available why would anyone choose to eat a captive with negative impact on the evironment, wild stock, and some argue your health?

                1. This is a bit of a risky pick, but perhaps you can try Escolar (sometimes called black bass). The stuff taste great and is every bit as rich as Chilean. Don't eat too much or you may end up with the, ...well how does one sugar coat this... the runs. For most people the danger zone starts at about 8oz. Apparently there is something in the fish that blocks the bodies abilty to digest the oils in the fish (or so I've heard).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Detlef Chef

                    I wonder if the escolar is the same fish we would sometimes find the Philippines, labelled "local gindara". It had a stronger, fishier flavor and a tighter texture than real gindara, and it was at least as oily as Chilean Sea Bass. And, yes, indulging in more than a modest quantity had a disconcerting effect on the digestive system.

                    Could fish oil have been the inspiration for olestra, or whatever that stuff is called, in fat-free potato chips?

                  2. Apparently, the Guardian UK is reporting today that Loch Fyne, a chain of restaurants in England, is taking monkfish, skate, and swordfish off of their menus in response to statistics showing the species are in decline due to overfishing...
                    Might want to choose an alternative other than monkfish...

                    Link: http://www.sautewednesday.com