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Good smoked fish?

I'm just back from a family visit in Scotland, armed with several Scottish cookbooks. Now all I need is some good quality smoked fish, particularly haddock and big, fat, mackerels.

Anybody know of fish shops, preferably in the East Bay, where I can get fresh smoked fishies, or high-quality packaged ones? I know I can get smoked mackerel at places like BBowl, but the stuff from the plastic pouches is often rubbery and chewy - fresher stuff would be better.

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  1. i know this isn't exactly what you asked, but swan's has really great dry-smoked salmon. they have a smoked other white fish, but i've never tried it. i've had good smoked trout from bi-rite in the mission of sf, but that was a while ago.

      1. re: wolfe

        Another vote for Creekside! I particularly like the smoked albacore.

        Has anyone tried the smoked butter?

        1. re: wolfe

          El Granada is on the Peninsula not in the East Bay

          1. re: ola

            "preferably in the East Bay" but not exclusively but thanks for the information.

        2. Hudson Fish sells at farmer's markets in Berkeley. The selection is limited to what they recently caught, very fresh.


          1. Mackerel's readily available and cheap, you might want to consider smoking your own.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Tokyo Fish has a brand of packaged smoked fish in the case that I'm not familiar with - I haven't yet tried it.

              1. re: lmnopm

                Thanks, all! I really do need haddock, which is not a local fish. If I cannot find some packaged, I may ask a friend with a smoker to help out!

                1. re: JoEllenZ

                  You might try Euromix, they have a lot of smoked fish. 4301 Piedmont, Oakland

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Success - Tokyo Fish had Ducktrap River smoked haddock! Note, they do not necessarily know that it's there, you have to push them to look, but they had several frozen sides.

                    I am intrigued by and will try Euromix soon! Thanks again for your help!

            2. La Bedaine has exceptional smoked fish. His cured trout and mackerel are both incredible.

              I like the gravlax at Berkeley Bowl, which is pretty inexpensive. It's behind the fresh fish counter on the sushi side.

              In San Francisco I'd head out to Russian markets like New World on Geary or maybe Europa Express. They have lots of smoked fish, some of which you can taste.

              Blue Smoke (Blue Ocean?) attends several farmer's markets including Alemany and Redwood City (both Saturdays) and has both hot and cold smoked fish at reasonable prices. It's been posted about before.

              BiRite has excellent smoked salmon and trout, but it's not cheap.

              1. Wondering if you ever found smoked fish like you wanted? I too would love to find smoked Haddock, preferably un-dyed "Finnan-Haddie" . I'm from Scotland and miss being able to make a good smoked fish pie, cullen skink, or kedgeree. I live in the east east bay. Berkeley is do-able but I wouldn't go into SF for it. There are mail-order places online but they charge something like $35/lb !

                4 Replies
                1. re: scotsgranny

                  She replied above as follows re Tokyo Fish on San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley:

                  "Success - Tokyo Fish had Ducktrap River smoked haddock! Note, they do not necessarily know that it's there, you have to push them to look, but they had several frozen sides."

                  1. re: scotsgranny

                    I did not try places like Euromix in Oakland, but did find ducktrap smoked (dyed) haddock at Tokyo Fish in Berkeley (which is worth a trip if you like fish, full stop). It was fine, frozen so a bit watery, and made a very tasty cullen skink. At the same time, it is not at all the quality of proper Scottish smoked fish. I do plan on getting more this winter, because cullen skink is really a necessity for me at least once or twice in the rainy winter months. Good luck, Scotsgranny!

                    1. re: JoEllenZ

                      Many thanks ... it is a cold "dreich" day today and I'd give anything for some cullen skink!

                      1. re: scotsgranny

                        How funny - I was just thinking that a good cullen skink would hit the spot and came here to research where to find smoked haddock!

                        Just an Anglophile...

                  2. I just did an Irish meal for a crowd and ended up substituting for smoked haddock hot-smoked salmon (from a plastic pouch, purchased @ Costco)--and while obviously different and not freshly smoked, it was delicious--great flavor and texture (not rubbery or chewy). A number of guests remarked on how good it was. And the price was right.

                    I believe Monterey Fish smokes fish (not haddock and probably not mackerel--trout and salmon). Ditto Verbrugge.

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: sundeck sue

                      Thanks -- I've used that sometimes in substitution but it is a totally different flavour. Costco have sold smoke trout in the past which worked fairly well. Thanks much!

                      1. re: sundeck sue

                        Costco in SF currently has Blue Hill Bay whole smoked whitefish. Good flavor.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Thanks I'll see if our local Costco has it!

                          1. re: scotsgranny

                            Someone posted last week that only SF, Foster City, and Mountain View have the whitefish salad. Whether all three have the whole whitefish is another question, probably best to call first.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              I've never seen the whitefish in Richmond, although I'm only there every couple of months on average.

                          2. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Found the Blue Hill Bay smoked whitefish at our local Costco in Concord. So, we shall see how it works. Not sure whether to use it for a smoked fish pie, cullen skink, or kedgeree.

                            1. re: scotsgranny

                              Oh, please make cullen skink and let me know what you think....

                              1. re: CarrieWas218

                                I may make a version of cullen skink using some nice thick cod and adding the smoked whitefish for flavor I don't like that this Blue Bay stuff is dyed, that's for sure.

                                1. re: scotsgranny

                                  Yikes! Never mind...

                                  Still on the hunt for smoked haddock!

                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                        Artificial yellow food colouring is often added to smoked fish to make it look more golden (or perhaps to camouflage a bad/fake smoking job?)

                                        1. re: scotsgranny

                                          That explains the smoked haddock I smuggled home from England last year... It was yellow. Still tasted good though!