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Feb 5, 2009 05:07 PM

Fish livers - YUM!

A week or so ago, I found a fresh halibut liver for sale at my local grocer's. The butcher said he had just cut up the fish that morning and that someone had already bought the halibut eggs. I love fried fish eggs, but I had never cooked a fish liver before. (Actually, I have had ankimo a number of times, and enjoyed it, and I've also tasted canned cod livers from Spain, which was similar to foie gras.) But I hadn't come across fresh fish livers before. Since I didn't have any better ideas, I simply pan fried the liver in butter and sprinkled it with salt, assuming it was done when it changed color and firmed up a bit.

It was delicious! It tasted more like brains (the fatty-minerally flavor of which I like very much) than liver, and it had a creamier texture than foie gras. Now I wonder why I haven't seen fish livers on sale before! It's way too good to throw away. is this a secret treat fishmongers and chefs keep to themselves? And does anyone know of other ways to prepare a fresh fish liver?

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  1. ,i worked as a steward/cook on research ships 21 years, i used to get "roe" mullet from the NC Outer Banks, the sandy bottom makes the fish liver & gizzard have a cleaner taste than a muddy/bay bottom. anyway i learned to clean the fish, soak them in salted milk for a bit and pan fry them,simple flour breading ( very lite) salt & pepper. (of course being from savannah i had the tabasco there) we also salted the mullet roe and fried it, but is very rich to one`s system.i liked lemon juice and tabasco on mine, most guys would just put ketchup and or horseradish(cocktail) on them. the "local" name for the liver
    & gizzard of the mullet ( often called a jumpin` mullet) is called "pluck", hence howit is removed when cleaning it.,,florida mullet might be good on the gulf coast as it is a sandy bottom and mullet are smoked very often & sold along the coastal fishing villages.

    1. When I was child 12 or so my father would go up to northern Minnesota to fish. Once when we went, he and his brother caught some large fish. I am not sure of the species but they were fresh water fish and were big enough to save the liver out of. They sauted them with onion and fresh mushroom. I will remember how good they were always. From then on I loved mushrooms which I wouldn't eat before. I am not sure why we don't see them in the store but I sure would like to have them again.

      1. At a weekend celebration with my 13 Mayan friends in Cozumel, our pibil baked-in-the-ground redfish was accompanied by a foil packet of several dozen trigger fish livers. I was required to eat a few as part of my initiation as an hermano. Oily and very strong in taste, but said to be very healthy and "manly". Maybe an acquired taste?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Veggo

          Fish livers probably vary greatly in flavor, and I wouldn't be surprised if some were unpalatable. Fortunately, the ones I've had have only made me want to try more. I wonder whether cold water fish have sweeter livers than tropical ones.