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"Take a Pass on Chilean Sea Bass"

jenniferfishwilson Feb 7, 2002 12:07 AM

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 RE: jenniferfishwilson Feb 7, 2002 12:13 AM

    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 RE: jenniferfishwilson Feb 7, 2002 09:13 AM

      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
        Jill D RE: Shepherd B. Goode Feb 7, 2002 09:16 AM

        Overfishing. This SJ Merc article spells it out.

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

      2. f
        Fatemeh RE: jenniferfishwilson Feb 7, 2002 11:58 AM

        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
          patrick RE: Fatemeh Feb 7, 2002 12:37 PM

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

          1. re: Fatemeh
            augiespal RE: Fatemeh Feb 7, 2002 02:29 PM

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

            1. re: augiespal
              Fatemeh RE: augiespal Feb 7, 2002 02:36 PM

              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
              Detlef Chef RE: Fatemeh Feb 8, 2002 10:33 AM

              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. c
              C. Simon RE: jenniferfishwilson Feb 7, 2002 12:04 PM

              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 RE: jenniferfishwilson Feb 7, 2002 12:05 PM

                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. d
                  Detlef Chef RE: jenniferfishwilson Feb 8, 2002 10:41 AM

                  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
                    Pia RE: Detlef Chef Feb 9, 2002 02:42 AM

                    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. b
                    Bruce Cole RE: jenniferfishwilson Feb 8, 2002 11:22 AM

                    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

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