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another fish thread - help me find fish I like

I hate fish, but need to eat more of it. You know the story...

I only like sea bass and orange roughy. A friend said to avoid those at all costs. What else would I like and why do I have to avoid them? I like red snapper and tilapia fried, but of course I am trying to avoid frying the fish. I might like them baked or grilled, I don't know.

Fish I hate:

tuna, salmon and catfish. Any weird tasting or fishy tasting fish.

Thank you!

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  1. Maybe try halibut...its thick and firm and mild tasting. Orange roughy and chilean sea bass are to be avoided because they are seriously overfished. (That said, most "orange roughy" is not the real thing...its usually ocean perch, which is not as stressed..but not so great either.) Swordfish is also mild and good on the grill. Wild striped bass is abundant and also tasty, mild and firm. You may also want to try shellfish instead...just as healthful if its wild caught, although farm raised clams, oysters, and mussels are perfectly fine and not environmentally destructive. Farmed shrimp are a different story.

    5 Replies
    1. re: EricMM

      Thank you. I will look into halibut and swordfish. I still don't understand why I should avoid orange roughy and sea bass. What does "overfished" mean? Does that mean it's not bad for my health to eat it, but it's bad for the fish and environment because of how they catch them? I forgot to mention, I hate clams, oysters and mussels, all that weird stuff. lol. Besides what I already mentioned, I like lobster and shrimp that is it. I might eat crab....maybe, it's good in gumbo.

      Thank you. I'll start reading up on fish, so I won't be so ignorant. *blushes*

      1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

        I would be wary of swordfish ... it is anything but mild in taste. Halibut is good as a mild, nonobtrusive fish choice, however.

        1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

          Be wary of swordfish (and many other large fish) because they contain a lot of methyl mercury. If you're only eating fish for the health benefits this defeats the purpose. In fact, why not just take fish oil tablets if you really dislike it?

          1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

            There are many species of fish that are overfished due to demand and Chilean Sea Bass is one of them. It is actually called the Patagonian toothfish but was renamed sea bass to be more attractive to U.S. consumers. Your friend wished you to avoid it not because there is something wrong with the fish, but because their population has dropped dramatically in recent years do to overfishing.

            For a fish with mild flavor that is good broiled I would also suggest halibut as well as dover sole. Both are available frozen at reasonable prices at Trader Joe's.

        2. There are many guides to help you figure out what fish you're supposed to eat I like this one:
          http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr...

          I'm not the best with recomendations on specific types of fish, although I think pollock is pretty mild flavored and has a nice flaky texture.

          I like to add crunch to fish w/o frying so I dip the fillets in egg or buttermilk and then in either sesame seeds, panko or cracker crumbs. I start the fish on top of the stove in cast iron just to crisp one side of the coating, flip and stick in the oven at 350 until cooked through.

          1 Reply
          1. funny, as i find tilapia to be a weird tasting fishy fish.

            try flounders and other fine white fillets

            1 Reply
            1. re: thew

              That is funny. To me it had no taste. But it was fried and made very spicy. I only had it once, so ...

            2. In addition to some that have already been mentioned, try cod and pollock.

              Here's a nice chart of "mild tasting" fish.
              http://www.cookingfishmonger.com/fish...

              Good luck.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit

                Thank you for that list. I do like cod, I always forget about it though. I see sea bass is not on that mild list. Interesting since I like it.

                1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                  Have you tried miso-marinated black cod? It's like candy! Beacon and several other places serve it.
                  I've pretty much gone off fish--something about the smell. I'm sure it'll pass.

              2. :) Go to a sushi bar and try all the fishes.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  No! That is a good idea though. I couldn't stomach it. I'm trying to ease my way into this fish eating.

                  1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                    I sort of remember you were looking to eat more fishes. Can you tell me why your friend tells you to avoid sea bass and orange roughy at all cost?

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Sea bass is in a similar family as grouper and I find them similar in taste too. Both mild and tasty. Of course if you don't live in the southeast grouper might be expensive.

                      And with the oil spill all gulf fish might be hard to come by in the near future. Also I suggest that you try different methods of preparation. A pan seared tuna teryaki is pretty good and doesn't taste as "fishy" as say a baked fish.

                      Where you live is sometimes important in terms of fish type and quality.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        She was rushing and didn't really elaborate, but said something about mercury(which freaked me out) and overfished fish, as was mentioned above.

                        1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                          Ah, I see. You should check out the mercury list. I don't think either fish you mentioned ranks the highest on the mercury list.

                          Here is the list from FDA, the highest are tilefish, swordfish, shark and mackerel king:

                          http://www.fda.gov/food/foodsafety/pr...

                  2. I know you said you hate salmon - I do as well. BUT - that being said, I was in a situation several years ago where I really didn't have a lot of choice. And boy, was my mind changed by this recipe. I even begged for the recipe.

                    CEDAR PLANKED SALMON WITH MAPLE GLAZE

                    INGREDIENTS:

                    1 cup pure maple syrup
                    1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
                    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
                    3 tablespoons soy sauce
                    2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger root
                    2 1/2 lb. center cut salmon fillet with skin - greens from 1 bunch scallions

                    DIRECTIONS:
                    1. Simmer above ingredients in a small heavy saucepan for about 30 minutes, or until reduced to about 1 cup.
                    2. Preheat oven to 350 F - if using a cedar plank, lightly oil and heat in middle of oven for 15 minutes or lightly oil shallow baking pan large enough to hold salmon.
                    3. Arrange scallion greens in one layer on plank or baking pan. Place salmon skin side down on scallion greens and brush with half of glaze. Season with salt and pepper and roast in middle of oven just until cooked through-approx. 20 minutes if using baking pan and 35 minutes for the plank. Heat remaining glaze in a small saucepan over low heat just until warm. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and serve over salmon as a sauce.

                    23 Replies
                    1. re: boyzoma

                      I am trying to learn to like salmon. What kind should I buy that is the least fishy tasting? I see so many kinds out there & it is confusing. I want MILD. I love mild fish & my favorite is halibut--when I can afford it.

                      1. re: sparkareno

                        It really depends on where you live. The first thing is to get as fresh as possible (not frozen). I'm from the Pacific NW, so Chinook is usually available. Steelhead is also very popular. I've used both. Hope that helps.

                        1. re: boyzoma

                          I live in LA. Are the 2 you mentioned the milder tasting ones? Do I get wild salmon?

                          1. re: sparkareno

                            Well, since I am not a salmon expert, I won't recommend something I have not tried. But in LA, you should have some great fresh choices. I would have to ask other CH's to say if one type is better or milder than another. I hope that helps. Sorry if I cannot be more specific. But please try it. The maple glaze is definitely something to behold and may mask even a stronger fish.

                            1. re: boyzoma

                              I don't think the different species of wild salmon differ in taste all that much.

                              King obviously will be fattier than something like Chinook, which, in my opinion, will only affect mouth-feel and not the "flavor" of the salmon.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                so is fattier a good thing? forgive my fish ignorance. Normally fat is a good thing for beef/pork/lamb for the flavor. The maple glaze does sound wonderful but I am just hesitant to buy the "right salmon". Do I need to buy it with the skin--which I am not going to eat?

                                1. re: sparkareno

                                  Yes, fat is a good thing. At least for me, the more fat in the salmon the tastier it is, it just has more flavor.

                                  Skin on or off is really up to you.

                                  Here's a suggestion. Buy yourself a nice fillet of either good wild King or Sockeye Salmon. Steam the fish by adding some rosemary, lemon slices and chunks of ginger in your water. Depending on the thickness of your fillet, steam for about 6-8 minutes. Let it rest on your serving plate for about 5 minutes, then sprinkle with some sea salt and fresh ground pepper ... and enjoy.

                                  The scented and flavored water will infuse your fish with just a hint of earthy goodness, and the salt and pepper will enhance the natural flavors of the salmon without overpowering it.

                                  It's probably a personal thing, but I just have a really big thing against using heavy sauces (esp. something like a maple glaze) on such a flavorful cut of fish like salmon.

                                  Good luck.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    Ipsedixit,

                                    Salmon fat is good for you too (most people anyway). That said. Isn't it true that wild salmons have more of a gaming taste than farm raised salmons? As such, shouldn't sparkareno get farm raised salmon to avoid the fishy taste which he/she dislikes.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      Re: farmed v. wild.

                                      This is really a personal thing. But farmed to me has NO TASTE and the texture reminds me of babyfood. Plus, farmed salmon has a higher ratio of Omega6 to Omega3 fatty acids, which makes it less healthy than its wild counterpart.

                                      Bottom line for me anyway is farmed salmon tastes like corn feed baby food. Wild salmon, meanwhile, tastes what salmon *should* taste like -- even if one considers it "more of a gaming [sic] taste".

                                      If one prefers the taste/texture of farmed salmon, better to just eat surimi and save yourself the $$ and call it a day.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        I think this makes sense---I want less salmon flavor ( I know that's wierd to you salmon lovers) so maybe I should try farmed. Then maybe I can work my way up to wild...... baby steps.

                                        1. re: sparkareno

                                          Yes, I bought up farm-raised salmons for that reason. Like ipsedixit, I prefer wild caught when possible, but I am ok with either really and I know many like farmed raised due to the tamer-taste. Put it this way, I used to prefer light beers and thought dark beers are too strong. Now, I love dark beers and think light beers are a bit bland. Best.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              You kidding, right? I think there is always a concern for safety for genetically modified foods.

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  I'd worry more about the PCBs in farmed salmon than it being GMO.

                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                    You think "there is always a concern for safety for genetically modified foods"?

                                                    I could care less about the safety FOR gentically modified foods -- their safety is not my concern.

                                                    If GMO's taste good, I'll eat them.

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      Ha ha ha. I meant our safety. Sorry for the typo.

                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                        I knew exactly what you meant. Being facetious.

                                                        I don't believe that the supposed "dangers" of GMO are well-founded, or even believable for that matter.

                                              1. re: sparkareno

                                                Good for you sparkareno. I believe in baby steps. As that is what I like. I don't necessarily approve of heavy sauces, but if it is something you want to try, please do it in moderation. And if a sauce helps, go for it. It was the one way that got me back into eating salmon. From there, you can "graduate" to other things. This includes a lot of other fish as well. I hope you have fun with your experiments. Don't rule anything out unless you taste it, then turn it into your own dish!

                                            2. re: ipsedixit

                                              Because it's so flavorful, salmon can stand up to assertive sauces, while mild fish can't. Try this recipe; it might just change your mind.

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            King salmon is the same as Chinook. Wild salmon has a variable taste...sometimes it can be a bit muddy. The best farmed salmon is the organic salmon from Ireland...fed on shrimp/crab byproducts, so it doesn't waste resources, but it has the best flavor of any farmed salmon I've seen. Also the organic farmed king salmon from the west coast. Fantastic flavor...and so fatty it tastes like bacon. My only complaint is that its a little bit on the soft side.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              I think there's a huge difference in taste, particularly between sockeye (which literally makes me gag, and I'm a fish and especially salmon lover) and something rich like king salmon.

                                    2. re: boyzoma

                                      I have made this recipe at least once a month for years. It rocks!

                                    3. Rockfish, if you are on the east coast, is a good, white, mild fish. Sturgeon, if you can find it, is an extremely mild (some folks complain "flavorless") steak-like firm fish. Flounder and other flat fishes tend to be very mild as well.

                                      1. So I'm trying to understand why you NEED to eat more of something you hate. Many many people manage to survive - in quite good health - without fish altogether. You hate it - don't eat it. Problem solved. Take some kind of fish oil supplement if that's what you feel you require, or eat just plain eat less meat and more vegetables if it's about the type of protein. I just don't think food HAS to be medicine. It can be medicinal, for sure, but you can get much of what you need to be healthy from many different sources. I'm not a nutritionist so I can't tell you what else contains what you would like to be getting from fish, but I'm sure this information is available. It's not like fish is free or cheap or an easily available food - it's expensive and much of it is ecologically marginal. Eat something else that you like and be done with it.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Nyleve

                                          You might be right. However, I feel as though I am simply in the dark about it, and not ready to bail on it just yet. I have eaten fish made by others that I enjoyed.

                                          1. re: Nyleve

                                            I don't hate all fish. I cook halibut, snapper, shellfish & a few others. I know salmon is extra healthy & I don't hate it--I just don't love it. I have tasted it a few times where I actually liked it so there is hope. Plus salmon is ubiquitous--on every restaurant menu..always on sale etc. So I'm just trying to broaden my horizons which I will do thanks to all the wonderful suggestions on here. Believe me, there are plenty of foods that I hate that I wouldn't eat even if they promised to add 10 years to my life. BTW, fish oil capsules are nasty--I burp the taste of fish oil all day--no thanks.

                                          2. def try halibut.
                                            i do a halibut with leeks and tarragon if you're interested.
                                            also do a fennel/onion/tomato/halibut stew thing that's easy with herbs too.

                                            have you tried blackening tilapia? i take parchment or foil, spray with pam, sprinkle filets with blackening seasoning on both sides (S & P too), then place them on paper or foil and top with thin lemon slices and some fresh parsley sprigs; i'll drizzle with a little veggie broth, then seal and bake at 375 til they flake easily 10 min or so?

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Emme

                                              Isn't blacken fish done on cast iron pans at very high heat with butter?

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                Blackening *seasoning* - i love Chef Prudhomme's or Joe's at Costco.

                                            2. I really enjoy pickerel (walleye) cooked Chinese-style:

                                              Steam a whole pickerel (with the head on) till the flesh flakes easily. Immediately transfer to a large serving plate and scatter a few sliced green onions and finely sliced ginger over. Sprinkle a few dashes of soy sauce. Then, VERY CAREFULLY pour 1/3 cup very hot peanut oil over the whole fish. You have to be constructive with newspaper etc to not get splattered. You are really supposed to use boiling peanut oil, but that scares me.

                                              Serve with plain boiled rice.

                                              If you are on the West coast you could always try sand dabs simply pan-fried.

                                              Butterfish (black cod, sablefish) is really delicious when marinated in brown sugar, mirin, sake, and soy sauce, and then seared.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: souschef

                                                Are you Canadian by chance? I noticed whenever we went fishing in Ontario that they called the walleye pickeral. The hot peanut oil in your recipe sounds good but sort of defeats the purpose the OP had in trying to eat more fish.

                                                1. re: John E.

                                                  Yes, I am Canadian. The peanut oil does defeat the OP's purpose, but I am a firm believer in not avoiding anything like the plague - once or twice a year for some things is very acceptable. And it's a great dish.

                                                  Is this prehaps the place to insert a quote I love? :

                                                  “Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming ... WOW! What a ride!”

                                              2. You should also employ poaching as a cooking technique for fish. It renders a lot of the fishiness out of the fish. This is how I weened my wife into eating fish years ago.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                                  Then what season it real good when done? Poaching always makes the food sound nasty to me. Like I am just boiling it.

                                                  1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                                                    Poaching is different from boiling. The poaching liquid can be seasoned and enhanced with wine but poaching results in very mild flavors. Now that my wife will eat most fish I don't poach since I would usually have to make some type of sauce to serve with the fish to give it flavor. She's still not a fan of salmon but will eat it raw in sushi or when I make Nova lox

                                                2. For cooking technique you could always do fish "en papillote" ( in a parchment paper bag) with onions, veggies etc.

                                                  1. In our house growing up fish was only served with butter and lemon (mustn't mask the delicate flavours...) and the kids all hated it, but once I gave myself permission to season the heck out of it, I found it to be quite tasty.
                                                    So for example: roll up sole fillets and roast them with tapenade on top. Any tapenade will do, but I think its an old Delia Smith recipe and if I recall hers had lots of parsley, sundried tomatoes, and capers in addition to olives, garlic and olive oil.

                                                    I love the sound of the recipe above with the hot oil poured over top. And while most cooked salmon is way too fishy, I think I'll give the cedar plank suggestion a try. Also, do you like sushi? I find it to be a lot less fishy, really.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: waver

                                                      I love sushi, especially mackerel. It is a lot less fishy, but of course has to be spanking fresh. A restaurant I went to in San Francisco a few years ago really raised the sushi bar for me (pun intended).

                                                      Tapenade does not usually contain parsely.

                                                      In our house growing up fish was served with all sorts of spices, curried, etc.