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May 29, 2002 03:41 PM

sub for chilean sea bass

  • w

I really love Chilean Sea Bass, but I want to support the boycott to avoid overfishing (see NYT article below). What are some good substitutes? I love the mild, flaky, buttery taste of this fish. I like halibut, too, but somehow the poor Patagonian toothfish tastes so much better. Looking for cooking suggestions/recipes, restaurant rec's, etc.


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  1. Skate (a ray-like creature) has some, but not all of those qualities, and I almost always order it if I encounter it on a menu because it usually is a sign that a chef knows her seafood well....

    3 Replies
      1. re: Karl S.

        I 2nd or 3rd skate. It's a more delicate fish than Chilean Sea Bass. But it's really wonderful.

        1. re: LisaLou
          wow i'm a dog

          Anyone know where I can find some skate to try in LA/OC?

          Thanks much!

    1. Sea Sense recommends true sea bass as a substitute.


      3 Replies
      1. re: amy3

        So the only true Sea Bass to avoid is the Pelagic Trawl Sea Bass? And all Chilean Sea Bass of course.

        1. re: yobofofas

          "Pelagic trawl" is a fishing method, not a fish. To avoid that, look for "line caught" or ask your fishmonger (and only buy fish from a reputable source that can tell you where it came from) and get yourself a Seafood watch card for your region.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Seafood Watch also has a free iPhone app that is very useful.

      2. j

        Saturday noticed a San Francisco grocery store chain (Andronico's)is carrying chilean sea bass again. Claimed the crisis was over. Any chance that could be true? Or is just fishful thinking?

        1 Reply
        1. re: jenniferfishwilson

          Not true-- they're only in it for the $$.

          The problem is, even if they are selling a legal catch, it still perpetuates the use of the fish, and thus provides a demand for the illegal catch.

        2. I'm a bit of a bear (oy) on this topic. I carry with me the pocket lists put out by several different organizations on safest. moderate, and least safe choices of fish (in terms of whether they're endangered or endangering, as in the case of raised salmon). The reason I do that is that no single one of them lists all available choices.

          I hope I added the links properly below; I've not done it on Chowhounds often enough to feel confident. You can navigate via one or the other of those sites to one most applicable to your area and then order or download versions to keep with you.

          Believe me, I empathize with any frustrations others feel: I have to keep my saturated fat intake extremely low. I don't mind eating almost all-vegetarian at home, but it's nice to have some seafood choices when I dine out, especially at my favorite: Hong Kong-style seafood houses.

          I'd be amazed if Chilean seabass had miraculously recovered overnight! If it hasn't, shame on Andronico's.


          1. Try this recipe (not chilean sea bass, but good texture and flavor that may be similar):

            Put some Orange Roughy in a glass dish and add one inch of Campbell's Chicken Broth (do not dilute). Squeeze fresh lime over it. Pile on a bunch of fresh cilantro and top it with a few slices of fresh lime (makes it pretty, too.) Cover with Saran Wrap (plastic wrap). Microwave on high until done (8 oz. usually takes about 7-8 minutes).

            2 Replies
            1. re: kc girl

              I had an orange roughy appetizer at a Japanese restaurant in LA. I love sea bass too and I really thought this was the closest thing to it. The restaurant, by the way, was KaGaYa where the appetizers are inventive, nicely presented and delish--followed by great shabu shabu.

              1. re: Sonia

                Orange roughy is NOT a good substitute, it is also in danger of being overfished. Read warning below.