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Questions about bluefish

OK, I'm sure you've heard the recipe for bluefish that goes, "Place a bluefish on plank. Place the plank and the fish on a grill. Cook for 30 mins. Then throw away the fish and eat the plank."
But I grew up in upstate New York loving bluefish. I had no idea there was a stigma. So our fish market has some this weekend and I am wondering:

1. Is it true that bluefish has to be caught pretty much before your eyes to be any good? Or should fish shipped to a good store be OK?

2. Does bluefish actually take well to cedar plank grilling? Or should I leave that to salmon, trout, steelhead, etc.?

Any tips, especially on a grill, will be appreciated.

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  1. Bluefish does need to be very fresh to be good, and when it is very fresh, it is my absolute favorite. I buy it when it is clearly moist and not showing any gaps in the flesh and I cook and eat it the same day, although leftovers are good the next day too. I have never tried planking it. Most often I broil it slathered with a mix of Dijon mustard, lime juice and lime zest.

    1. Since the term bluefish seems to refer to different fish regionally, I'm going to go out on a limb here and talk about bluefish we catch here in the Chesapeake Bay. The best fish I've ever put in my mouth was bluefish we caught while trailing a line on a casual sail. We ate it an hour later. I am sure that was the best fish I've ever had.

      I have never heard of cooking bluefish on cedar planks - it must be a regional prep, but I think it would work since it it has a bit more oil.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Terrie H.

        It's not regional as far as I know. I just had a couple of cedar planks around and wondered if bluefish would work with them.I guess in NY we got them from Long Island or the mid-Atlantic. The fact that they smoke bluefish should be encouraging.

      2. I would think a plank would work as I have had smoked bluefish pate that was quite good.

        1. ask the store when they received the fish, i've had good luck with bluefish from my local supermarket as long as i buy it & cook it the same day it got to the store (granted its not as good as caught it myself bluefish, but hey that isn't always possible).

          i personally prefer bluefish grilled to planked, but have had it planked and it works just fine. i prefer bluefish on apple/fruit wood planks rather than cedar, but this is all a matter of personal taste.

          1. When we used to get it in Jersey, we put it in a pan with butter, parsley, salt & pepper & white wine, usually a Rhine or Moselle, and put it on the grill. Cooked til it was flakey, like us!! It was our favorite fish.