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Sep 24, 2010 09:56 AM

Shark Meat or alternative ?

All this talk of Viva Goa in the Marina took me back to vacations I had in Goa with my parents back in the 70's.

I have many great food related memories from those days in Goa.

One of the dishes I crave from those days is Mori Ambot Tik - a fiery curry made with shark meat.

So - where can i buy shark meat ? Or maybe a Goan expat can point me to a good substitute.

Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch recommends avoiding it and mentions Pacific Halibut as a substitute - I am not convinced Halibut will fit the bill.


Viva Goa
2420 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123

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  1. Maybe swordfish? Halibut's not much like shark.

    1. I have bought shark steaks at the new Berkeley Bowl in Emeryville but I'm not sure if it is always available. I recommend you call. I agree with Robert that swordfish would make a good substitute.

      Berkeley Bowl
      2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

      1 Reply
      1. re: nestorius

        3rd that. When I was starting to cook back east, it was shark that was the substitute for swordfish that was no longer available.


      2. Have you considered catching your own? Leopard sharks seem to be plentiful and easy to catch.

        1. Local-caught leopard sharks are OK:

          I know they're in estuaries like Tomales Bay

          2 Replies
          1. re: SteveG

            You can catch them in the Bay, but I think they have pretty high accumulations of toxic chemicals.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              There are plenty of leopard sharks in San Francisco, Richardson, and San Pablo bays. I've never targeted them, but have caught plenty while fishing for other species.

              Most are undersized (the minimum length is 36"). But more significantly, the leopard shark I've eaten has had a distinctive and unpleasant flavor. Now I just throw 'em back.

          2. From a Goan expat: Ambot Tik can be made of skate wing and is usually found in Asian seafood markets. They can also be caught off the Tiburon pier.

            5 Replies
            1. re: gourmetwannabe

              Correction: Catfish in lieu of shark is usually substituted.

              1. re: gourmetwannabe

                Skate, catfish, and shark are about as different as three fish can be.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Although skate and shark are closely related, and both have been used to punch out counterfeit scallops.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Unfortunately, those bogus scallops are heavily breaded and deep-fried, and are often found in "Captain's Platters" -- and most people just don't notice because a lot of fried fish on these plates tastes like bad french fries.

                  2. re: Robert Lauriston

                    When I was in Goa, I had it frequently in Ambot Tik. I've also had it with catfish and it pairs quite well.