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Jul 5, 2013 11:57 PM

Reintroducing Fish

So every one in my family always loved fish and seafood except me. I am allergic to shrimp, I never liked oysters or clams. I do remember liking scallops somewhat and Shad Roe when I was a kid, and then also cracking crabs, but other than that it was strictly breaded fried fish with tartar sauce and that was pretty much my limit. Maybe a tuna sandwich with extra mayo. My doctor has encouraged me to add fish back to my diet. I tried tuna and didn't love it even with the extra mayo. So I need a primer - I will be cooking only for myself, so therefore I will not be buying whole fishes or large quantities, so even if it's expensive, it's fine. What fish doesn't taste fishy? What's the best place to buy it? What are the best ways to cook it without the addition of a ton of butter, mayo or breading? I live in the suburbs of DC in Montgomery County. I regularly pass by Safeway, Giant, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Food Lion, and sometimes I go to Wegmans. I also go to Costco some as well. (HOWEVER I generally try to hold my breath when passing the fish/seafood areas in supermarkets because I can't stand the smell) I am willing to go to a fish market, but I would prefer it not be too far or down in DC because if I am going to eat fish regularly I would want it to be more easily accessible. I would also be willing to try a few different kinds in restaurants around here if anyone has recommendations, but I don't know where would be the best place to go.

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  1. Perhaps, there are a few exceptions but virtually all fish sold in markets will not be fishy - otherwise people wouldn't eat it.

    Being a fish lover it's hard to say which fish would be better for someone that doesn't like fish. However I find the mildest tasting fish to be tilapia, sole or flounder, cod, and sea bass. For the most part, white meat colored fish are the mildest. With that said, I think rainbow trout is pretty mild yet on the darker side.

    By the way, a good sauce may help you initially past the fish taste. And probably the best fish to eat is wild salmon but it has a distinct flavor - not fishy just different than almost all other fish.

    Good luck.

    1. it's good you mentioned your locale. Whole Foods, Wegman's and Teeter's probably are the best choices among the 'big' markets for fresh. there is a truck North of Chevy Chase once a week or so that brings in New England goods.

      I heard a tip recently about soaking frozen fish/shellfish in salt water for a while before patting dry and cooking to remove that 'fishy' smell - have yet to try but makes sense.

      I dunno hit a restaurant that does it simple like a Hank's or Blacksalt and take notes and then research similar for recipes.

      1. My ex was like you. We could never go to a seafood restaurant because she hated thesmell. I got her to try a grilled tuna steak. She was shocked ate the taste. She assumed it would taste like canned tuna. Believe me, you won't need extra mayonnaise.

        4 Replies
        1. re: wadejay26

          even at that, canned tuna can vary wildly in quality and flavor.

          to those of us who like it, "fishy" connotes being off or not-fresh. as mentioned it should simply smell briny and of the sea.

          if your doctor is advising you to eat fish for improved health, there is little point in eating farmed fish like salmon or tilapia. the nutritional profiles are utterly corrupted by their industrial feed and unnatural living conditions.

          wild fish is more expensive but far cheaper than a restaurant meal. experiment at first with mild fish like haddock, cod, sole, flounder. these also cook quickly and just a bit of butter and a squeeze of citrus is really all they need. you can make a quick pan sauce with a bit of butter and wine.

          i buy wild salmon in cans at trader joe's for the convenience factor of always having it around for over a salad or making patties.

          do some googling for asian or mediterranean recipes and look for flavor profiles that appeal.

          if you liked shad roe as a kid, you may have a more adventurous palate than you are willing to admit.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            I will second the suggestion of the TJ wild salmon. Also, for fresh fish, I like to grill it, so as to not get a fishy smelling house. Often I just put the fish on a piece of foil, with olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs and put on the grill... I cook over direct heat, but you essentially bake the fish.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              While wild maybe superior in omega 3, farmed is still a better choice than not eating fish

              1. re: scubadoo97

                i disagree, but each can make up their own mind.


                although, lol, if the op is looking for fish that doesn't taste like fish, farmed may indeed be the better choice for that.

          2. There is so much happening in the seafood world these days that instead of giving you my own opinion I'm referring you to the recipe page from the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch. The categories are easy to navigate and you have a choice of recipes using the best fish to buy or you can start by browsing a grand list of well known chefs.


            I've been a seafood lover all my life and thankfully not allergic to anything. We've been eating fish 2ce a week years. There is no need for any fish to smell fishy. Fish should smell clean from the ocean. When you are at the market the best way to get a piece of fish you want is by asking the seafood manager what s/he suggests that's the freshest that day. If you're not familiar with the fish mentioned, ask for an explanation and even how to cook it. Good luck w everything and I hope you get to enjoy seafood from now on...

            1. Tilapia and sole are fairly mild and are quite good if dusted with flour, sauteed in a little butter or olive oil, and served with a squeeze of lemon.
              Salmon has a little stronger flavor, but if you see wild caught salmon at Whole Foods, give it a try. Get a filet, dust with a little Old Bay and broil.

              2 Replies