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Where to buy orange roughy or sea bass?

I hate fish, but will eat orange roughy or sea bass. I can't find them anymore. Not Costco, not whole foods, trader joes etc... Ralphs has orange roughy but it's frozen in the pre-packaged bags. don't want that.

Hate tilapia, salmon so please don't recommend. To fish experts if I like OR and SB do you think I'll like halibut?


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  1. This is an endangered species.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sr44

      What is the endangered species? Orange roughy or Sea Bass or the Halibut?

    2. Chilean sea bass is endangered; orange roughy is labelled subject to exploitation. Both are carried at the Fish King in Glendale. It seems you like non-fishy white fish in which case you will probably like halibut. You might try mahi-mahi or even cod. If you can find haddock that would be a good choice as well

      1 Reply
      1. re: ebethsdad

        Actually "Chilean sea bass" is not a bass, but a grouper. It is endangered regrettably. And it is imported. Makes great cevichey. There are several fish that are called "sea bass." The local white sea bass is plentiful and very tasty.

      2. Best place I've found for sea bass is San Pedro as the fish is local. The boats bring it in and the local stalls and restaurants sell it very fresh. Orange roughy comes from a distance, I believe, so is never quite as fresh. As a matter of fact, I was craving fresh sea bass the other day, so we had lunch at the 22nd St Seafood Grill in their marina just past the Ports of Call. Sure enough, my sea bass was perfectly mesquite grilled and came with some vegies and rice properly cooked. And it was very fresh. Not fancy or gourmet. Served with a wedge of lemon and some nice tarter sauce. Generous portion too. I took half home for dinner.
        Halibut is not in season right now, so it comes in frozen. I'm talking about ALASKAN halibut which is much better than the local or "pacific" halibut. Fresh Alaskan halibut is great if you can get it. But you'll have to wait for the season to open again...which should be soon, like mid-March.

        1. I would say yes, you should like halibut.

          1. Yes on Halibut, unless you can find Crappie on the west coast. SM Seafood will cut you a fresh slice if you pre-order or stop by when they are not busy. If you are shopping at the above mentioned for fish, I understand why you don't like it. Whole Foods will be honest with you and if you call and make a request they'll at least try and let you know what's coming in today. Reel Inn, south Malibu will be straight with you.

            It sounds like you want a "white, flaky fish" trust your senses with fish, it's ok to smell it and the sight of the fish should not look "slimy" ~~~good luck~~~

            1. According to this article, Trader Joe's stopped carrying orange roughy in July 2009 as part odd their sustainability efforts.


              Mr Taster

              1. So, just saw this and maybe I am making false statements, but sea bass that you've probably had before is actually Patagonian Toothfish which was craftilly renamed Chilean Sea Bass in the early 90s. I understand that it is now sustainably fished in very southern waters near the antarctic circle. You may like it because for a whitefish, it is actually pretty oily which gives it a richer taste.

                Go to this link for more information.

                On another note, I used to work in my family's commercial fish market as a kid and all orange roughy is frozen since there is nowhere in north america that its fished. Actually almost every fish you eat that is not brought to the restaurant that day by a fisherman is frozen or at least kept on ice and nearly frozen from the minute they catch it.

                1. You should like Halibut. Tough to cook at home though if you don't have much experience since it can dry out quickly. It's something for you to look for at a restaurant that does fish well though.

                  I would also recommend true cod and monkfish. Cook the monkfish all the way through. It has a texture similar to orange roughy and I think it tastes even better. Monkfish has been referred to as "the poor man's lobster" which incidentally was also a nickname for orange roughy back in the day when it was more popular. Also usually very good at restaurants.

                  Both true cod and monkfish are white fleshed fish without fishy odor and textures similar to the fishes you like.

                  1. I bought a lot of (frozen() French sea bass at Shun Fat in Monterey Park a couple weeks ago.

                    Will defrost that day (make sure it drains well). I roasted it and served on a bed of fava beans with a saffron buerre blanc. It went over very well.

                    1. This issue comes up repeatedly - the names you're using are basically creations of marketers at this point, so it's tough to tell what you were eating at the time. "Sea bass" can be dozens of species among several unrelated families, for example.

                      Agree w/ above posters that you're probably looking for a very mild, flaky, firm, non-fishy, and non-muddy fish. Halibut's a good bet, but I'm seeing Dover sole a lot these days, so that's another option. Agree also that I'd go to any fish market or counter like Whole Foods with your request and they should be happy to help you select one for your tastes. And, if nothing appeals, just wait a few weeks or so, and something may come in.

                      1. if you like SB, you might consider black cod/sablefish also known as gindara in japanese supermarkets.

                        1. Yep, you should like halibut.

                          Also, mahi-mahi and sole.

                          (And John Dory, Ono, Opaka-paka and grouper, but those are harder to find in these parts.)

                          1. Thank you all for the replies. So helpful. Yes, it was Chilean Sea Bass that I used to get and enjoyed. I recently had some catfish that a friend made, she said she got it from Costco, I liked it, but I've been down this road before, when someone else cooks a certain fish I usually hate, it's OK to me, but when I make it, it's awful. I usually don't even like catfish fried and I like everything fried.

                            So fish I might like... Mahi Mahi, Halibut, Alaskan halibut, Monk fish(awful name), Dover sole, grouper. Btw, I do like Cod.

                            Last questions, of those listed which one has the most health benefits? I know salmon is the healthiest, but it's so nasty to me. Also, maybe I'm wrong but some halibut is pink no? If so, should I avoid it? Does it have the same taste?

                            Thanks to everyone. I'll try to get some at whole foods. Costco should be good to right? My fear with buying from Costco is if I hate it, I'll have a boat load of it. Pun intended.

                            Edited, how do I post so my post goes at the bottom? Just reply to the last post? Is that the only way?

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                              in my experience, the source and manner of preparation have a big impact on how fish comes out. in general i recommend japanese markets for getting fish - they tend to take the best care in terms of keeping it fresh. if you can smell the fish, do not purchase fish there. (BTW i just saw chilean sea bass for sale at the mitsuwa in san gabriel)

                              as for salmon being nasty, it might to help understand what you find "nasty". if it's the "fishiness" you can avoid a lot of that by avoid overheating it (and cooking off the volatile fish oils which end up kinda stinking up the place). i do this by using a variation of poaching known as crimping. the basic idea is to keep the cooking liquid from ever going above 190 so as to keep those volatile fish oils from cooking. you can do this pretty risk-free by bringing the cooking liquid to a simmer (bubbling just starting), adding the fish (should cover by about 1/2"), keeping the pan over the heat for about another minute, (to replace the residual heat lost by the addition of the fish) then turning off the heat and leaving the pan covered for about 20 minutes. the water never goes more than 190 degrees or so, and the transfer of heat from the water gently raises the temperature of fish to where it denatures (depending on the particular protein, anywhere from 110 degrees - which is why high fevers are so dangerous as it would cook your brain - up to about 170). you can google crimping for more specifics as the technique works for all seafood in general, but it varies on the density (something like swordfish is pretty dense)

                              1. re: barryc

                                What do you mean " if you can smell the fish?" I can always smell fish at any market, it stinks.

                                1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                                  If the fish you smell "stinks" then you need to find a different market.

                                  Fresh fish smells like the ocean.

                                    1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                                      I don't buy fish at Ralph's. Sometimes the fish counter as a good place will smell a little fishy. But the fish, itself, should not, especially not after a cold rinse. If it does, buy your fish elsewhere.

                                      FWIW: Costco and Whole Foods often have good fresh fish. I would much sooner get fish there than Ralph's.

                                      1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                                        I don't buy fish at Ralphs, LuLu, at least not the ones near me.

                                        It's almost impossible to make general statements about the fish departments at chain grocery stores. Certain Ralphs I'm sure are fine because they have high turnover, others probably not so much. So it just depends.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          IMHO the exception to no fish at Ralphs is when they get fresh Copper River salmon. Great stuff, great price, but only available for about a month. It won't help the OP who doesn't like salmon, but it is one thing Ralphs does well.

                              2. The Whole Foods in WLA (Barrington/National) had Chilean Sea Bass last Saturday (2/9). They said that it is now off the endangered list. Price $30+/lb.

                                1 Reply
                                1. I just remembered, the Arcadia Supermarket (in Arcadia, coincidence, right?) has sea bass steaks, as well as filets.

                                  1. Lulu, I'm trying to figure out your "I hate fish" comment. Perhaps as a child you were served some bad fish. There is nothing worse! But when its fresh and good there is nothing better. I didn't fall in love with fish and seafood until I came to California. For really fresh and delicious fish you might try a decent sushi bar. What about other sea creatures, lobster, crab, oysters, scallops, clams, mussels......? I'm afraid to ask. I think I will order the trout tonight.....there is a mild fish you might like.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Baron

                                      You know Baron, I used to go fishing with my dad all the time as a kid, I liked it. maybe, I just grew out of it. I have liked it when other people cook it, maybe as someone above mentioned it's my cooking method. I like lobster & shrimp that's it.

                                      1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                                        Perhaps I shouldn't try to convert you as there are plenty of things I just will not eat: amphibians, like frog or alligator, eel, snails, rabbit, liver, etc. But consider that there are health benefits to eating more fish. I love a good steak, but I have it much less these days. Nice that your Dad took you fishing. I too love to fish.

                                    2. I got some Dover sole from Costco and liked it, not fishy at all, but the slices are paper thin. I had it for lunch today, it was so thin it was only 3 ozs

                                      1. I have friends who hate fish too. None of them will let a piece of fish come anywhere near their mouths. Believe me, if you really hated fish, you wouldn't be able to eat any type.