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Frozen Fish at Trader Joes

chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 08:14 AM

As anyone tried any frozen seafood offered at Trader Joes? I simply cannot find a decent store here were I live that offers fish or seafood that doesn't look awful.

I've treid scallops and lobster at Costco, those were good, but never tried any of the many choices of frozen fish Trader Joes has.

Can you help me? I'm headed over there in about 2 hours and will stop at Trader Joes, so if anyone sees this before I go I will really appreciate you advice!!!

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    normalheightsfoodie RE: chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 08:20 AM

    I like the Cod and Salmon. MAke sure that the pack is vacumed tight and it will be good.

    1. k
      kerryfood RE: chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 08:21 AM

      They have some stuffed fish (flounder or cod?) that we've had in the past for a quick weeknight dinner and it was tasty. I've also had several of their marinated fish fillets (mahi mahi and salmon I think) and they were tasty as well. We have a terrific fish market in my town, so I tend to buy the most from there but I keep the Trader's Joe stuff in the freezer for quick dinners.

      1. w
        wawajb RE: chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 08:23 AM

        I second the previous comments...fresh is of course better, but since you can't get it, trader joes vacuum packed frozen is a fine alternative and great for keeping in the freezer for quick weeknight dinners. I haven't run across any variaties that have been bad, but I haven't tried everything I'm sure.

        So I say, go for it and pick some up. It's certainly better than no fish at all or shelling out big bucks for not so great fish.

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          niki rothman RE: chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 08:29 AM

          The salmon is quite acceptable if you just cook it briefly in a covered pan with teriayaki (TJ's). Sometimes the tilapia is wonderful but every once in a while I've had a bite that tasted slightly musty. But you should try it. it fries up so beautifully and easily when you flour it with seasoned flour. The jumbo tail-on shrimp at $8# is a fantastic bargain. It's perfect. I like to make (boil) Asian rice stick noodles and stir fry some Asian greens and scallions & garlic. Add the shrimp which you just soak in hot water a few minutes to defrost, drain the noodle and, mix in some Asian fish sauce (a staple - does not taste fishy at all) and some sesame oil & soy sauce & a bit of sugar and hot pep. for a fantastic dry noodle dish, or mix the preceeding with chicken broth for a fantastic soup. Another good fish at TJ's - the dover sole. Just cook very briefly - which is true of all fish. (LOL)

          1. c
            Claudette RE: chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 09:46 AM

            Also look in the refrigerated section - the vacuum-packed salmon there, when they have it, is pretty good (better than the frozen).

            1. l
              laylag RE: chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 10:04 AM

              I haven't experienced "musty" tilapia yet and have bought it often. Worth it imo.

              1. c
                carlywood RE: chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 10:13 AM

                I like the salmon and the orange roughy.

                1. Pia RE: chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 10:26 AM

                  Costco also has bags of IQF salmon and mahi mahi which are good (and handy to keep in the freezer for last-minute dinners).

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                    glutton RE: chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 10:36 AM

                    The shrimp (all types) at TJ's are a great bargain. The other fish has also been very reliable, especially when making cioppino and other fish stews.

                    1. leanneabe RE: chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 10:45 AM

                      Some people have not liked the frozen TJ scallops, but I think they're just fine for what they are (frozen, not fresh straight from the shell and off the boat). If you don't overcook them, they are slightly sweet, soft and tender.

                      Agree that TJ has some good frozen shrimp and salmon. Haven't tried their white fish, but I don't see why they wouldn't be good.

                      On the other hand, I frequently buy the large "fresh" salmon from Costco and divide it up for the freezer. Costco's frozen uncooked shrimp is also very comparable to TJ.

                      1. k
                        KTinNYC RE: chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 10:47 AM

                        The mahi-mahi has never let me down.

                        1. g
                          GAT RE: chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 10:50 AM

                          They have a "seafood mix" of calamari, scallops and shrimp that I like. I saute with some olive oil, garlic and a white wine and toss it with cooked pasta, broccoli, and artichoke hearts.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: GAT
                            leanneabe RE: GAT Feb 14, 2007 10:53 AM

                            Yum! I'm going to have to look for that on my next stop at TJ!

                            1. re: GAT
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                              laylag RE: GAT Feb 15, 2007 09:08 AM

                              GAT, I've seen it and thought about buying but was concerned the mix would contain a disproportionate amount of calamari and few shrimp and even fewer scallops. Can you assuage my fear and say it ain't so?

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                              dubedo RE: chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 11:26 AM

                              I bought some frozen vaccuum-packed ahi tuna filets from TJ's, and I had low expectations, but they were really delicious. The texture was suprising, very firm and flaky and not at all mushy. Even the "fresh" (probably thawed) tuna I get from my local supermarket is often mushy. They didn't have the same bright pink color (don't know if that was the freezing process or the type of tuna), but they cooked up beautifully.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: dubedo
                                d
                                djohnson22 RE: dubedo Feb 15, 2007 09:13 AM

                                The weird bright pink color is an indication that the tuna has been treated with carbon monoxide.

                              2. s
                                sidwich RE: chef chicklet Feb 14, 2007 03:03 PM

                                I admit, my default dinner when I come home late and tired is throwing a couple of their frozen panko-crusted tilapia fillets in the toaster oven and making a side salad. They're actually pretty good.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: sidwich
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                                  CrazyOne RE: sidwich Feb 14, 2007 04:34 PM

                                  The panko breaded tilapia is a favorite at our house now too. I might be inclined to try some of the other fish, but our tastes in fish differ. I like salmon, mahi-mahi, etc. and she likes only light white fish. Plus, our experiences attempting to cook fresh or frozen unbreaded fish tend to end in disaster, no matter how precise the directions. Grill, oven, pan, no go anywhere. But the panko tilapia comes out great in the oven as directed. Makes a good fish sandwich too if you like that sort of thing.

                                  Oh, and try it with some TJ's corn and chile salsa on the top.

                                2. chef chicklet RE: chef chicklet Feb 15, 2007 12:41 PM

                                  Okay a report from my shopping trip to the TJ store. I bought Roughy which I guess is Orange Roughy, nice big filets, salmon, and mahi mahi. I was in heaven. Saw some swordfish, since that breed can have parasites, I passed. I saw shrimp but wasn't sure about that either.

                                  Anyway thank you to all that responded, I will try the halibut next time and the stuffed sole...

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                                    aelph RE: chef chicklet Feb 15, 2007 02:07 PM

                                    The frozen seafood selection is what makes TJ's imo. Best bets, I agree, include the tilapia...it was so nice when they were carrying packs with individually-sealed filets...I didn't have to defrost and cook the entirety...that whole cooking-for-two thing. I've been doing the panko prep for years: seasoned flour(whatever appeals spicewise at the moment), egg, panko. Their rock shrimp were perfect for po-boys, but, as is TJ's want, they disappeared from the shelves awhile back. Oh, obviously, by panko tilapia...I intend frozen filets that I dredge and fry myself. I am unfamiliar with this pre-panko-d product.

                                    1. Danimal n Hustler RE: chef chicklet Feb 15, 2007 11:54 PM

                                      don't forget the white ruffy's as well, great bargain.

                                      1. chef chicklet RE: chef chicklet Feb 16, 2007 07:47 AM

                                        I also bought some shrimp wrapped in phyllo and we had them last night for an appetizer. These actually have inspired me to do them on a larger scale with curry sauce. Anyway,
                                        I would buy these again, they were small, but pretty tasty with the dipping sauce. They were around $6 but there were plenty and just the thing to have on hand for unexpected guests.

                                        1. l
                                          Leslie RE: chef chicklet Feb 16, 2007 12:55 PM

                                          The frozen fishfrom TJ's is usually not as good as fresh, assuming you have a fish market that sells the freshest. It does beat the quality of most supermarket fish counters. I buy their salmon because they have wild caught, not farmed, salmon and at a good price. As previous members mentioned, check that the wrappjng is still tightly vacuumed sealed. Also, frozen fish is usually frozen right on the boats, immediately after being caught. It therefore can be fresher than " fresh" fish, that takes a few days from catch to table.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Leslie
                                            chef chicklet RE: Leslie Feb 17, 2007 07:33 AM

                                            Thanks Leslie, exactly, We do not have a fish market, and the fish at the supermarkets, well, I'm just not willing to take the chance, When I asked the young man behind the counter when their fish came in he said well, I'm not sure but we sell this first before we put it out..... Blehhh.
                                            So until I can get to a fish market, Trader Joes it is. And by the way, the roughy was pretty darn good!

                                          2. IndyGirl RE: chef chicklet Feb 18, 2007 05:54 PM

                                            Yup, it's good. I trust most things at TJ's to be of good quality. Their roughy is good, as is their salmon (don't buy anything preseasoned or premarinated, though! those are usually bad no matter where they come from!), their squid rings, and their shrimp.

                                            1. ChefJune RE: chef chicklet Feb 18, 2007 06:35 PM

                                              We enjoyed the wild Alaska Salmon in chimichurri sauce. Quality was excellent, and it tasted great!

                                              1. k
                                                kmelton RE: chef chicklet Feb 22, 2007 07:35 AM

                                                The frozen white ruffy at Trader Joe's is good. I made it with a parmessan crust and it was terrific. No fishy smell when cooking and no fishy taste. I will definitely purchase again.

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