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Feb 6, 2008 09:47 AM

What kind of fish to buy? And where?

I live in a northern Detroit suburb and would like to add fish into my diet on a regular basis. I like the flavor of red snapper and fresh brook trout and would like to branch out. I want it to be budget friendly (say $12 and under per pound).

Is frozen comparable to fresh? The only frozen fish I ever had was the walleye, pike, perch and other great lakes fresh fish my father would bring home from fishing trip- which was always deep fried. (Yuck)

What places are the best to buy it. (surprise- there is not a fish monger in the close area that I can afford to purchase at regularly) I have looked at the fish in my local kroger and was not impressed by the limp dull yucky looking fish.

Thanks for the input.


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  1. I have the same problem. The CH board steered me to Trader Joe's for frozen fish. Actually I have not been disappointed. With halibut, tilapia and salmon always in their freezer, I've tried several, and all were nice.

    1. I think that for the most part frozen is not too bad, fresh is better but most of us don't have fresh readily available. I have great luck with talapia, no matter how I cook it and that is what I usually buy. Trader Joe's is a good place as is Costco (I know, go figure!). If you shop at a more upscale grocery store instead of the local low price leader you can often get some very good quality fish.

      1 Reply
      1. re: russban

        I have to say I have never been overjoyed with talapia (frozen or freshly thawed). The last usage resulted in a mushy product and that was from an excellent home cook. Too many other choices. Agree with trying Trader Joe or Costco though.

      2. I have actually come to enjoy farm-raised catfish. We almost always have it blackened using the recipe from Joy of Cooking. I guess my main goal is to get fish that is farmed or caught in the U.S. That doesn't mean much for over-fishing, but at least I can be pretty sure there are no bizarre chemicals lurking in my seafood.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Procrastibaker

          I love farm raised catfish, as it is a very versatile fish that stands up to strong flavors and different methods.

          Cod, Hake, talapia, freshwater and saltwater perch are commonly available and are very good for the non-fish lover. I do insist the fish was raised in the US, as there is questions about the safety of farm-raised fish from Asia.

          sea-bass, grouper, salmon are fun to play with.

        2. We've moved this thread from the Home Cooking board to the General Topics board. For specific ideas of where to buy fish in Detroit and what might be available there, please post on the Midwest board.


          1. I don't live in your area but have two suggestions for you.

            First of all, I love grouper. It's a white fleshed fish and is great grilled.

            Secondly, ask the fish person at your Kroger when the fish comes in and go on that day. See what looks good and start from there.


            6 Replies
            1. re: Davwud

              I cooked some flounder the other day and had forgotten what a lovely fish it is. But I agree that you should try and get the freshest fish that you can, and go from there.

              1. re: Davwud

                Asking the fish guy is a great idea. Also, just straight ask them what is good on the day you're in the store. If you're skeptical about the quality and they say everything well ... find another grocery store (or say something to the manager). I do this at Randall's, Central Market (our local foodie mecca) and my favorite fish monger and haven't been disappointed.

                Tilapia is my go-to weeknight fish. I've been using it more and more, and it really is a very flexible, relatively inexpensive piece of fish. Of course down here in Texas we may be getting locally farmed Tilapia, not really sure. For variety's sake, you should also be able to get farm raised salmon at that price.

                The salmon can definitely be gotten at Costco, but I've found it to be pretty hit or miss. Sometimes it's absolutely great, sometimes completely flavorless. I know they carry other fish, but I haven't tried any of it.

                1. re: mikefoody

                  You're right about the "Everything" answer. When I do shop for fish in this one grocery store I usually ask what the person at the counter would take home. It usually serves me well.


                  1. re: mikefoody

                    i want to like tilapia, but i find it has a swampy taste more often than not

                      1. re: thew

                        Hi Thew.There are a few different types of Tilapia from different regions around the world.I have had the type that tastes swampy and that came from South America.Whenever I bought the Tilapia from China,yes China,it was always very good tasting.I served a ton of it at a restaurant in Florida.No one knew what it was so they were skeptical(they all like their Grouper down there).I told them if they didn't like it I wouldn't charge them.I had many repeat customers.One more thing.The Grouper was $7.99 per pound wholesale and the Tilapia was $1.80 per pound.My customers were happy and so wasn't I.