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Great Bluefish recipes?

I've got a bluefish filet to cook, my goto recipe for bluefish has been to bake the filets with a mayo-mustard sauce on top -- but I've done this for years and want to try something different. I'd greatly appreciate hearing any good bluefish recipes that you 'hounds might have. Thanks.

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  1. My favorite way is to bake with sliced onion,capers or olives( good olives ) or both,and oregano, lemon or citris of choice and some olive oil then when it firms up I broil charring the fish some .I never steam in foil for me it poaches and has an unpleasant oily taste

    2 Replies
    1. re: scunge

      That's a great technique thanks.

      1. re: scunge

        This is a fantastic preparation - I've made it two weekends in a row! Thank you!

      2. I cover it with garlic & parika butter. Then I cover it with a piperade of tomato, onions and peppers.

        1 Reply
        1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

          I might try this, the piperade sounds good. Another recipe I saw for "blackened bluefish" with cajun seasoning is another option.

        2. This is a fantastic recipe that is pretty much the same as Marcella Hazan's in "Essentials". The potatoes end up just as delicious as the fish- the entire dish sums up to more than its parts.


          2 Replies
          1. re: 4Snisl

            Totally agree. Great recipe. A variation on the same theme from James Peterson is to place the fillets on top of partially baked potatoes and scatter coarsely chopped peeled, seeded tomatoes and pitted and coarsely chopped brine-cured olives around the fish. Whole meal in a dish. I often make this with striped bass and red snapper as well.

            1. re: 4Snisl

              3.5 years later...

              We scored some bluefish from the local fish monger last week and tried this recipe, and it was DELICIOUS! I added mushrooms and thinly sliced onions. Definitely a keeper! This would also be great with other varieties.

            2. Our family tradition is to bake it with rough cut tomatoes, bacon, and lots of parsley. A bit of lemon at the end brings it together, Just smear the fillet with the bacon mixture and by the time the fish is done, the bacon is too and it all blends together. My great grandfather made it this way.

              1. I rub them with this spice rub which is actually my pork rib spice rub:

                4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
                2 tablespoons kosher salt
                2 tablespoons paprika
                2 tablespoons chili powder
                1 teaspoon cayenne
                1 tablespoon black pepper
                1 tablespoon toasted and ground cumin

                Then I turn my grill into a smoker and cook for several hours. As others said, poaching or steaming brings out the strong oily taste so bluefish is best when cooked as dry as possible.

                1. Thanks for all these suggestions, at last something besides mayo/mustard! I went with blackened bluefish (simple ingredients) last night but am looking forward to trying these ideas.

                  1. The greatest tasting bluefish I have ever had was cooking the bluefish whole minus the head, tail and guts. Then place sliced red onions inside the fish and over top. Use a cheap red wine until fish is roughly half way covered in a baking dish. Bake covered with tin foil for 20-30 minutes until done on 350. The onions and red wine cook out most of the fat and heavy fishy taste. Then open the fish and flake out the meat and it is delicious.

                    1. You can mess it up with herbs etc, I think this is a popular reaction to people who do not care for the taste of bluefish, some mayo, lemon, start hot, cook low and slow...

                      1. Frost with a mixture of plain yogurt, fresh ginger and soy sauce. Then grill or roast at 400 degrees. I love bluefish and I have been doing it this way for years. Not oily or fishy at all.

                        1. I love bluefish and once had a wonderful smoked bluefish pate appetizer at Legal Seafood in the days when Jasper White was doing the menu. I've never tried to make this (I normally don't care much for smoke but loved this dish) and don't know if they still offer it.

                          1. My usual is marinade in citrus and grill.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: coll

                              How big are the fillets? Small, or any size for that matter..simply grill with salt and pepper. Leave the scales on...it won't stick to the grill, and when done, the meat lifts right off the skin, leaving most of the dark meat behind. Large fillets- skin, then bake with a topping of bread crumbs, garlic (lots of it), capers, anchovy, parsley and white wine. Use either butter or olive oil to saute the garlic, then add some white wine, lemon juice at the end. Any size fillet- mix some thai curry (any style) with some coconut milk to make a paste. Cover the fillets with it, then grill or broil. If the bluefish is impeccably fresh and from clean water it won't be fishy or strong tasting, regardless of size.

                              1. re: EricMM

                                Although it's a good idea to remove the dark spot. BTW my most favorite way is smoked, I have a friend that does that around Christmastime, and I have to depend on his kindness to get some.

                                1. re: coll

                                  Over a year later: we do it on the grill in a pan with Moselle or Rhine Wine, salt, pepper, and butter.. Jersey Girl, I can't believe people throw them back either. They are fun to catch and so damn good to eat. We were in Jersey too when we ate the most of them. I never see them for sale here in Delaware. Big loss!!

                            2. I love bluefish. I grew up eating it all the time in Pennsylvania and upstate New York.

                              I started a thread a little while ago about bluefish and got some good suggestions. If you have a grill and a cedar plank, you might try this: I had it fileted, and put it on a cedar plank. I used a recipe I found in the NY Times with fresh corn, mushrooms, and rosemary olive oil. The corn and mushrooms were a nice accompaniment but the real benefit was coating it with the oil and a little balsamic vinegar. The cedar gave it just the right touch. I took the little smoky fish left over and made a "pate" with cream cheese and shallots--good on bagels the next morning.

                              1. Not fancy, but this is how we always do it in my family. I've since relocated to NM and miss fishing...

                                Wrap the filets with some salt & pepper up in foil with some butter, sliced onions and tomato slices, throw that on the grill until it's done.

                                24 Replies
                                1. re: Jackie007


                                  Same recipe as my dad, can also do it in the oven that way. Love me some bluefish.

                                  Shockingly, many young men I talk to throw back the bluefish nowadays as junk fish. What is wrong with the youth of today?


                                  1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                    Yup, I'm also from NJ. That's how we always cooked it growing up and the oven was occasionally substituted. I'm 29, and I don't throw blues back.

                                    1. re: Jackie007

                                      Just today added a dozen or so capers with their juice ,oregano ,black pepper to the filet's of one cocktail bluefish and I thoroughly enjoyed the fish . Good olives ,fennel either fresh or seed also work well with oily fish .

                                      1. re: Jackie007

                                        I worked my way through college meat fishing for blues on the Miss Barnegat Light or the Doris Mae 3 to 4 nights a week from late spring to September. Then switched to charters well into December. Used to reel in 300 to 500 lbs of them a night on average and got $.40 to $.75 cents a LB whole fish.

                                        Blue fish never commanded the big bucks like Flounder and Sea bass. Diners were among my best customers and would buy several thousands pounds each during the season. It was a popular menu item with SENIORS.....very large portions at very reasonable prices.

                                        It apparently never caught on with the younger crowd as it is rarely seen on a diner menu anymore. Last year a group I was fishing with bagged a bunch of blues just fooling around and I offered them to a friend for free. He turned them down saying they would sit in his walkin forever because his customers wouldn't order it no matter how good a special he ran.

                                        Personally I liked the 1 - 4 lb blues but I found the bigger ones were strong tasting even after cutting out the dark meat. I know there was a lot of bad press involving PCB's back then and that may have scared some folks off.

                                        1. re: Tom34

                                          I laughed when I saw bluefish marked at $6.99/lb at ShopRite last month. My dad has a hard time finding people to take them when he catches them. I take whatever others don't want. I don't have a problem with the flavor.

                                          1. re: Njchicaa

                                            At $6.99 /lb I would be looking at something else......I used to see burlap bags stuffed full of Blues along RT 72 on the way home......even more burlap bags filled with Mackerel in the early spring.....I guess the reality of cleaning them sets in after a 1/2 hour in the car and away they go......I guess the Highway department just pulled them off the shoulder and into the woods for the critters to have at.

                                            1. re: Tom34

                                              We just had local fresh bluefish at the supermarket for $4.99 and I ran there to get some. It was cleaned filets with the skin on.I grilled it with some teriyaki marinade and enjoyed for dinner, and ate the rest cold next morning. I don't usually like oily fish but there's something about bluefish, even if it's just in my mind.

                                              1. re: coll

                                                We use to fill the giant white 151 QT Igloo coolers with 4 to 6 inches of crushed ice and add about a 1/2 spackle bucket of salt water. The water was so cold it hurt to put your hand in it for more than a few seconds. As soon as the fish was off the hook it went in the ice bath. On the way in the water was drained and the coolers were topped off with more ice.

                                                The fish were so fresh the eyes were like glass, the gills were bright red and the skin was the same color as before caught. You could hold one horizontal by the tail and it stayed straight like a board. The meat was so firm that one pass with a filet knife is all it took. No gill net fish even came close to the quality of the hand line blues we brought to market which is why we got paid considerably more per lb.

                                                If you really like it and are near the ocean you could wait for the party boats to come in and score as many as you want for probably less than $20.00. Might even get them for free. The Miss Barnegat Light offers free ice to its fishermen so their fish may be better quality. Fish caught at night are also better because its cooler and there is no sun beating down on them.

                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                  This is like food porn! I'm on the East End of Long Island so we get our share of bluefish, guess the fact that some folks look down on it is the reason I've had the unlimited opportunity to find out how much I love it!

                                                  1. re: coll

                                                    Your location should have some good spring and fall Stripers as well. Strict limits on size and quantity make them a lot harder to come by though. You would need something really good to barter with like a prime porterhouse to get one of them out of a fishermen's cooler.

                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                      Oh I didn't say bluefish is my favorite! Stripers are, for sure, how did you know? And hubby craves fluke/flounder when he he's in the mood, so I usually pick up a few different things. We have enough seasons to make life interesting. I wish I knew more fishermen, but there are some great seafood stores with very good prices in our area, where the fisherman bring the fish directly. Hunts Point is not in my vocabulary!

                                                      1. re: coll

                                                        Just a lucky guess on the Stripers given where you live. Red gills & clear eyes are key to spotting fresh whole fish. Fillets and shell fish are best left to the nose. I don't care how many strange looks I get at the fish counter I always ask to smell it. If it smells clean like the ocean its fresh. If it smells fishy and you start to crinkle you nose and have to take a couple more sniffs its best to move on. IMHO, a second favorite fish that is super fresh will always be better than a first choice that is getting old.

                                                  2. re: Tom34

                                                    Any comments on immediately deveining a caught bluefish to make them taste better?

                                                    1. re: zzDan

                                                      Do you mean bleeding like whats done with tuna? Never seen it done to a blue fish & don't know if it would help or not.

                                                      1. re: zzDan

                                                        You have to cut the dark spot out before you cook it, not a big rush though.

                                                        1. re: coll


                                                          Coll is right.... there is a line of dark meat that runs down the center of the filet and it becomes more pronounced as the size of the fish increases. There can also be a very thin layer of stronger tasting meat right under the skin.

                                                          The dark stuff can easily be cut out of the filet & if you skin the filet you can take an extremely thin slice off the skin side with a sharp knife to remove the thin layer of stronger tasting meat. .

                                                          If the strong flavor bothers you try to find smaller 1-4 lb fish. They are much milder. The little snappers have virtually no fish taste.

                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                            Thanks for translating what I meant to say. You and Coll. What I read was it had to be cut away on the boat or right after. Any opinion on that? Thanks.

                                                            IOW if left there the taste permeates so if not cut away soon, the damage has been done

                                                            1. re: zzDan

                                                              It may help....filet it, skin it & cut the dark strip out as soon as caught. If you filet it alive just keep the fingers away from its mouth. I fished commercially for them and have a 2 inch scar on a thumb from a bite that went right down to the bone.

                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                Dangerous fish. Not as dangerous as sharks, but still dangerous. When we'd go fishing & swimming off boats in Long Island Sound in mid to late summer, someone always kept watch for Bluefish schools. You'd know they were coming because the baitfish would be leaping out of the water. That meant we'd be leaping out of the water as well. A Bluefish feeding frenzy is no time to be in the water.

                                                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                  Yeah, when they get in a frenzy they will eat anything. When hooked in the mouth they bleed like crazy in the water and often another blue fish will take a bite out of them. Also had hammerheads go after them while their being reeled in. Quite often they will school up around the wrecks and the divers are not crazy about them either.

                                                2. re: Njchicaa

                                                  In fairness, bluefish were $1.99/lb at Shoprite (Middletown, NJ) yesterday. Not free, but the cheapest seafood they had.

                                                  1. re: Njchicaa

                                                    Njchicaa, tell your Dad I will take them any time, any place! My father used to go on the boats out of Belmar, but since he passed, I lost my source...


                                            2. re: Jackie007

                                              Great idea. One question--if you're wrapping it in foil is there a difference from doing it the oven? Does the grilling give it something special?

                                              1. re: chefMolnar

                                                There's no difference, really. Generally, when my family is up in Stonington, CT, most cooking is done on the grill. My stepdad's cabin there is old and has no air conditioning. So the grill is preferable to using the oven in the summer.

                                            3. This is an old thread, but FWIW this recipe for "Bluefish with Portugaise Sauce" is one of my favorites:

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: drongo

                                                Yes - Bluefish also pairs well with any type of Portuguese or Spanish-type tomato-based sauce. Works well with Mackerel too! :)

                                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                                  The acid of tomatoes cuts through and compliments the oiliness of those fishes. Barilla spaghetti sauce would do the trick, just add a little of your own herbs, garlic, celery etc plus more salt and pepper. Plus a little cayenne. I did all that but it was with simmered lamb shank not bluefish

                                              2. When we had friends who fished in Provincetown and often caught more bluefish than tuna, they would always cook the bluefish this way. Turn oven on high, place fillets of fish skin side down in a roasting pan and cover with a few strips of bacon. Bake until you can smell the fish - usually by then the bacon has dripped its smoky goodness all over the fish which is now perfectly cooked.
                                                Don't eat the skin- it's just there to keep the fish from sticking to the pan.

                                                1. I LOVE Bluefish, & enjoyed fishing for them when I lived on Long Island. Also loved catching the little Snapper Blues at the end of summer. A hoot to catch, & delicious to grill whole & eat.

                                                  These days I have to depend on the markets here in VA, & Bluefish is one fish (along with Mackerel) that has to be absolutely positively pristinely fresh because of its high oil content. Not that all fish shouldn't be pristinely fresh, just that high-oil-content fish particularly need to be handled well & shipped quickly.

                                                  My favorite way of preparing nice Bluefish filets (when I can get them) is "Greek" style. I rub the filets with extra-virgin olive oil & a dash of red wine vinegar, sprinkle liberally with dried oregano & some crushed red pepper flakes, & then cover with thinly sliced red onion, thinly sliced tomato, crumbled feta cheese, chopped fresh oregano if available, & thinly sliced lemon. Sometimes I'll add some pitted chopped Kalamata olives as well. I then bake until done.

                                                  (Since husband doesn't share my love of Bluefish, I buy another fish filet that he does enjoy & just prepare it the same way.)

                                                  1. Don't really have a recipe, but years ago I spent a summer working for a multi-generation, family owned fish market and all the elders said that the cheeks are the best tasting part of the fish.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                                      Doing bluefish fillets later today - some great posts here... Thanks 'hounds. A mustard and olive mix methinks. Savory rice pilaf (or orzo the same way) as a side.

                                                    2. Your recipe is great, I also make that.

                                                      Try using a cast iron Dutch oven on the stove top. Add butter and some fresh dill. Add blue fish and cook fairly quickly, skin side up. Flip once and it is done soon afterwards. Serve with a homemade tartar sauce or as is with lemon .
                                                      Tartar sauce: mayo lemon chopped cApers parsley shallot or onion

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: fara

                                                        I'll have to try a dutch oven, but I do like broiling.

                                                        A couple of weeks ago I tried grilled bluefish with jerk seasoning... pretty good! I also had some broiled in the oven with Romesco sauce and that was also good.


                                                      2. Today's CSF fish share was bluefish, which had me doing imaginary cartwheels. I man the cooler at the pick-up location and greeted the customers who have whole fish subscriptions with the Jaws quote: "You're gonna need a bigger boat!" They all lost the color in their slack-jawed, scared faces as I pulled their 2Ft+-length dinners out of the ice. I was very glad to have a fillet share.

                                                        FWIW, I think it was Dr. Andrew Weil who was the authority I heard say that the most nutritious part of fish is the skin and the flesh just under it. I find skin delicious as long as it is crisp. For bluefish, one of the Essential Pepin recipes calls for making a few diagonal, half-inch deep cuts in the skin side of fillets, then rubbing salt, pepper, and oil onto the skin and into the cuts. The fish is then broiled, skin side UP, a couple of inches from the heat, for about 6 minutes until the skin is brown and crisp. The fish is not turned, because the slits ensure that it will cook through. It is accompanied by leeks and green beans that have been cooked with melted butter, lemon, and garlic.

                                                        Tonight, I spread a skin-down bluefish fillet with a mixture of honey dijon mustard, citrus and balsamic vinegars, onion powder, fried onion bits (TJ version of the French brand in the canister that is used for THAT green bean casserole on Turkey Day), and TJ 21 Seasoning Salute. Broiled. Wow!