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Mar 31, 2013 10:46 PM

Would You Help Me Expand My Fish-Eating Repertoire?

I've long wanted to ask this question (and I have done my share of googling, to no avail) and today I realized that CHs might be very helpful with this. It's about expanding my fish eating repertoire. btw,I live near Boston. Most people have their own idiosyncratic taste buds, and I def do. My taste runs to (with some exception) very flavorful , often rich fatty fish. I like, cook, make sushi with, and order: hamachi, red snapper, grouper, bluefish, salmon, arctic char, sturgeon, escolar(in small doses), tuna, chilean sea bass, black cod/sablefish, shrimp, swordfish, halibut, trout, skate, portuguese sardines, mackerel , eel, and occasionally cod. And also, btw, (though not fish): squid, octopus, scallops, blue crab, clams, oysters, abalone, lobster, mussels, crawfish.)

What I have not cared for: tilapia, sea bass, haddock, shark, monkfish(though i love monkfish liver), smelt, shad roe.
If you know any of the following fish, and given what i've listed, do you think I might like any? : fluke, pollock, flounder, john dory, orange roughy, farm raised catfish, ocean catfish, perch, turbot, ono,cobia, marlin, redfish.
Might you have any other recommendations? I do appreciate your bearing with me here. Thx. so much for your help.

oh, a bit OT, but >>a fav restnt. has been doing a special w/ tilefish, but I read some pretty convincing stuff about not eating tilefish; do you have thoughts about that?

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  1. I love catfish; cook it on a regular basis and because I'm from the south, fried catfish is my favorite way to make it. Pretty simple: skin the fish and either filet it or cook it whole - I season mine simply with salt, pepper, onion powder or fish seasoning and dust it in cornmeal then fry in a cast iron (or other skillet in a peanut or vegetable oil until crispy over medium heat. It only takes a few minutes on each side. A little hot pepper sauce and a splash of vinegar and my oh my!! Another way I like catfish is in a stew with tomatoes, onions, garlic etc. Plenty of recipes online.

    Redfish is delicious blackened (you have to like spicy seasoning for this dish) Here's a good recipe, adjust the recipe if you don't need six servings:

    John Dory is a delicate fish; I would not do too much to it except perhaps just spray a non stick cooking pan with spray, season the fish with salt and pepper, sear on both sides and drizzle with lemon butter. Don't over season this fish with strong seasonings or sauces.

    Marlin usually come in steak form (at least in my area); its good for smoking, grilling, even sashimi or ceviche style...

    Ono or Wahoo is good in fish tacos, fried or grilled with like a salsa or lemon/parsley or olive, shallot, caper gremolata

    10 Replies
    1. re: Cherylptw

      cheryl, any way you could describe their flavors? that's what i was looking for. also, your catfish is prob wild? or does farm raised catfish also have alot of flavor?thx

      1. re: opinionatedchef

        is there such a thing as ocean cat? I always thought it a river fish. some describe it as 'muddy'. the best I can say is: it is to whitefish what crawdads are to shrimp. fleshier and a bit gamier. I love it.

        1. re: hill food

          In Florida we have two ocean cats. Hard headed and sailfin. Sailfins are normally preferred as they are not bottom feeders. I normally catch them trolling a 6 inch lure in 8 to 30 feet of water. And a 6 pound cat puts out some great fillets.

        2. re: opinionatedchef

          I'm not Cheryl, but I'll put my 2 cents in. I think of catfish as a very mild flavored fish. I usually have it fresh from our local lake, and hence find farmed really bland. Since most are bottom feeders, whatever the eat may be reflected in the taste. Fried in cornmeal is definitely delicious, but not good for you! Since it's fairly firm, it's a very good fish for grilling, and other preparation, adding seasonings and sauces for extra flavor.

          I've lived in Thailand and traveled lots of Asia. I love the place, but I won't go near any fish, shrimp, etc that is farmed there.

          If your catfish is "muddy", then it may well be the variety called a "mudcat", generally thrown back, and not kept for eating. Kind of yellow-grey in color. IMO best eating is channel-cat, and blue-cat. I don't know New England lakes and rivers too well, but I'm guessing they are too cold for these varieties.

          I'm jealous of the huge variety of fish you are already using!

          1. re: arashall

            i had no dea you could find catfish in lakes; that's cool. My mom was a rural VA girls and she always said catfish(river) were so sweet beCAUSE they were bottom feeders.......... I don't have easy access to all those fish; some i have had when we travel (sturgeon,grouper,black cod.)

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              catfish prefer running water, we used to keep our ponds stocked with channel cat, but they don't breed well in still water so tend to eventually die out. river ones are better (less muddy) than pond ones. and thx to IRFL for that info about salt water cats. I learn something everyday w/o even trying! how cool is that?

              like arashall, I too, am jealous of the variety available.

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                Tons of catfish in lakes, but many of the lakes have rivers running through them so the water is moving. My Dad and nephew went fishing last night and brought home 11 good sized keepers, so tonight is a family fish fry :-)

                1. re: arashall

                  man, i am feeling really stupid. or really geographiclly challenged. I did not know that rivers run THROUGH lakes. I thought a lake was like a dead end. here i come.

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    oh they're all fed and drained by something. our ponds have creeks and springs, lakes have at least streams. it's just not always obvious without WPA dams.

              2. re: arashall

                Real catfish isn't mild, it is sweet.

          2. You have much more fish experience than I do so I can't really chime in on that but the tilefish recommendation is based on mercury which as many government recommendations is an 'at your own risk' sort of decision. Swordfish is also on the do not eat list and tuna is quite high in mercury as well but I eat them frequently as an accepted personal risk. I imagine if you're not eating it frequently you could give it a try unless there is some other issue I'm not familiar with regarding tilefish.

            1. We love catfish, domestic only, after reading of the filth in some of the Asian 'hatcheries'.
              I cook it in the oven with butter, basil, garlic, salt & pepper and a little cayenne, then drizzled with lime juice. 425 for 20 min, or til done!!
              I haven't made it fried as we eat low carb, but should probably try it with almond flour.
              We hadn't seen it in Sam's Club for a many months, then I read that the floods had messed up the hatcheries, and then they got hit with droughts that also played havoc. It is back now and we are delighted.

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                1. Croaker is unbelievably delicious, Clean and cook whole, saute until brown, then watch out for the bones (fish forks demonstrate utility here) but watch out for yellow croaker from China

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: law_doc89

                    What's wrong with yellow croaker from China? I had it at a Shanghainese place in SF and it was great.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      do a google search and you will find intercepted shipments contaminated with all sorts of toxins and toxic adulterants.