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Excluding Shellfish, Which Fish Are in Your Regular Rotation?

We only prepare a few regularly--salmon, trout, sole, and when we can get it, flounder. The cost of many fish is prohibitive, and given that we live 600 miles from the ocean, there is a real possibility that that expensive stuff won't be particularly fresh. For this reason we've scrubbed snapper and orange roughy off our list. We've never had a problem with the aforementioned four, fortunately.

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  1. Salmon, trout, mackerel. Love halibut, but it's too expensive to be in regular rotation.

    If we include canned / in a glass: sardines (smoked or not), herring (ditto), trout (smoked) yellowfin tuna in olive oil (for tuna salad), anchovies -- so many ways to use those lovely lil buggers.

    If we include pickled -- herring.

    6 Replies
    1. re: linguafood

      Good thought to involve the smoked and canned formats, too.

      We have a genuine old-schoool fish smokehouse not far away, and it's amazing stuff.

      1. re: Bada Bing


        I just got a smoker and am hoping to get my feet wet with sardines, salmon and mackerel soon :-)

        1. re: linguafood

          There's nothing like smoky feet that are wet with sardines, salmon and mackerel.

          1. re: Perilagu Khan

            I know, right? I'll take pictures for that smoky fish feet fetish website :-D

            1. re: linguafood

              Hey, those pics are worth cash The foot fetish fans have, ahem, deep pockets ;)

              1. re: Bada Bing

                There are times that I revel in my ignorance.

                Like now.

    2. I live in NE Mass, but the only fish in real rotation in our house are mackerel and salmon (for me) and for H, scrod, the ubiquitous New England white fish group. We're blessed by the location but the pox upon our household is that H does not like fishies as much as he likes shellfish.

      1. I live on the coast and even here fish is usually expensive. I try to eat local species like bluefish, porgies or black seabass, but they're not my favorite. More often I'll have sardines, herring, tilapia, cod, occasionally flounder or sole. Over the summer I made blowfish pretty frequently. Trout is an occasional treat and I surprisingly have two filets of chinook salmon on hand that I purchased on rare sale.

        1. This coast/non-coast distinction is meaningless in 2013. I live in Chicago and I can guarantee that I can get lots of fresh fish quickly (sometimes quicker than on the coasts, depending on the coast and the fish). If you're in range of an international airport and large-volume wholesaler you have access to very fresh fish regardless of geography.

          12 Replies
          1. re: ferret

            In the US and other developed countries, I can see your point. NOT in third world countries.

            I'll give you Sri Lanka as one example. My inlaws in Kurunegala, about a two hour drive from the coast, cannot get decent fresh fish. They only eat fish when they're in Colombo, which is on the coast.

            1. re: LMAshton

              That's why the qualification of "in range of an international airport and large-volume wholesaler" is there.

            2. re: ferret

              Regardless, all too often the fish I encounter is not sufficiently fresh. And I suspect such a problem increases with distance from the coast.

              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                The distance from the coast is less of an obstacle, witness the amazing sushi and fish available in Vegas ( for a price, of course). I think it has more to do with old habits and preferences of "inlanders" that have not changed with the amazing transportation available today.

                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                  I would think it's specific to the retailer. Some stores are scrupulous about freshness, others less so.

                  1. re: ferret

                    Very true. But if people won't buy fresh fish, it soon won't be fresh.

                2. re: ferret

                  < If you're in range of an international airport and large-volume wholesaler you have access to very fresh fish regardless of geography>

                  And that's the key. I have relatives in Idaho. If it isn't trout, it isn't fresh.

                  1. re: mike0989

                    Since you are taking into account the int'l airport caveat - this is incorrect. I live in Boise and while we're not in the category as, say, Vegas, there is actually more than trout.

                    And c'mon, we have a Joe's Crabshack :)

                    1. re: enbell

                      I'll add a caveat on the above. The nearest airport is Idaho Falls. Boise is the Big City for them.

                      1. re: mike0989

                        There is a wonderful rainbow trout farm outside Twin Falls.

                      2. re: mike0989

                        mike0989, you are right. Fresh is a relative concept.
                        I have Japanese friends. The wife grew up on an island. A lot of fish in the diet, caught by "neighbours". The fish was fresh. Then she moved to Tokyo. The fish at the famous Tsukiji fish market? No way that it was fresh.

                    2. Grouper, yellowfin tuna, wild caught salmon, Chilean sea bass (sorry), pompano, mangrove snapper, swordfish.

                      1. I like monkfish quite a bit. The cookbook by Patsy's in NYC hasa great monkfish wrapped in prosciutto recipe.

                        1. flat fish, especially halibut and brill. they are still plentiful here, but for some of them their days are numbered.

                          (flat) fish 3 times a week.

                          1. I live on the West Coast and it all comes down to what is in season. Wild salmon when available always makes it. We also like yellow tail and sand dabs when they are available. We occasionally add halibut to the mix.

                            1. We live in the greater Boston area and generally eat fin fish once a week. Favorites are flounder, sole, cod, and haddock. Love striped bass when we can get it. Swordfish is a rare treat because of concerns about mercury.

                              1. I love fish - regulars include:

                                Canned: sardines, tuna, salmon
                                Fresh: yellowfin tuna, red snapper, mahi mahi, swordfish, King salmon, sea bass, rockfish

                                1. It kind of depends on the season. Spring to late summer or early fall, King salmon when I can get it. Arctic char, local fluke and flounder, sea bass, weak and blue fish in season.

                                  We used to have Chilean sea bass putanesca a couple of times per month, but have stopped buying due to over fishing issues.

                                  Two things we never eat are tilapia and swai.

                                  1. I'm from the midwest, where I ate perch, walleye, bass and various kinds of trout and salmon. Then I moved to Florida and my fish of choice are grouper, mahi-mahi, sea trout, and snapper of various sorts. The problem is that overfishing and pollution have sent the price of fish through the roof. I can't believe that a pound of grouper costs more than a pound of filet mignon or strip steak.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: gfr1111

                                      The last trout I purchased--red trout, by the by--was 13 samolians per pound, and that was one of the less expensive options.

                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                        I had never heard of red trout until you posted. I wonder if it is a west coast fish. It is unknown to me in the east. I would think that someone in the distribution chain went for it, thinking that he could get away with it because it is a well accepted fish type with an unusual and appealing colour. (Salmon and trout colour varies with the fish's diet.)You could have been charred. But you write that it was one of the less expensive options.
                                        Where do you buy your fish? Where do you live?

                                        I bet that it tasted much like the usual rainbow trout ($4-5 a pound whole, cleaned in Toronto), particularly if you fry it.

                                        For a nice meal try speckled trout, with salad and a Thousand Island dressing to start and for dessert spotted dick.

                                        By the way, do you think that your fish may have been a coral trout? Or a red herring?

                                        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                          Speckled trout in Toronto? You're not talking Gulf speckled trout or Atlantic spotted seatrout which are very hard to come by commercially. Is this a different fish?

                                            1. re: enbell

                                              Different animal from what I get. Sounds delicious, enjoy. Fly me up!!

                                          1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                            I actually know nothing about red trout except that along with rainbow trout, it is the only trout available in my city (Lubbock, Texas) and the price of the two is about the same, although the red tends to be slightly cheaper.

                                      2. Cod, haddock, trout, wild salmon, pickerel, lake perch,sea bream, branzino, hake

                                        1. Cod is my biggie, but I like Alaskan salmon and whatever is being sold as "red snapper," I think a kind of rockfish. Mahi-mahi doesn't rock my boat as it used to, though I like it now and then. Thing is, Mrs. O no longer participates in any animal consumption, so my fish-eating has become a solitary pursuit. I'm actually reluctant to get sand dabs because of her former passion for them; I'd hate to look as though I were rubbing it in. But I do love the hell out of those too.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              Hilarious! I must admit that I hardly cook fish anymore, leaving it to restaurants that I trust---not many!

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                I could see that coming - Ipse Meatloafed us. But 2 outa 3 ain't bad.

                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                  Wild salmon - I want you
                                                  Chilean sea bass - I need you
                                                  Filet-o-Fish - There ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you

                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                    Yeah, but she forgot Mrs. Paul's Fish sticks!

                                                2. Salmon and seer fish. Seer is also called batang in Singapore and is known as king mackerel elsewhere from what I read.

                                                  We like the little fishes we can get in Sri Lanka - they're called sprats, but I don't know what they're called elsewhere. They're lovely when coated in salt and chilli powder and deep fried until they're crispy. Yum! But we can't get those fish in Singapore. :(

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: LMAshton

                                                    You remind me that I also regularly buy milkfish (also known as bangus). Most of the fish I purchase comes fresh from the fish monger, but I'll make a special trip to the freezer case or canned goods aisle at my Asian market for bangus.

                                                    1. re: LMAshton

                                                      Sprat--or some fish that goes by that name--is also popular in some Caribbean islands.

                                                    2. Anything that I know for sure is local and fresh. For DH, always flounder, always fried. For me, tuna or striped bass are top picks, I like them grilled. But I will go with bluefish or whatever is on sale, as I watch the prices go up and up and up.

                                                      1. Whatever is on the hook. In order, saltwater catfish, sea trout, and snapper.

                                                        1. Halibut in season; yellow fin tuna year round. Both fresh,

                                                          1. Salmon, trout, Great Lakes whitefish, squid (not shellfish, right, but also not what you meant?), freshwater perch, codfish. Like others, I love halibut (Alaskan) but the price is often a deal-breaker.

                                                            Every so often I'll get some monkfish, but I avoid it generally on sustainability grounds.

                                                            1. There is no regular rotation because many fish is seasonal. Of the fish that are not seasonal I usually buy what is fresh and on sale or whatever my two neighbors, who are avid fisherman have caught and wish to share.

                                                              1. -Bluefish
                                                                -Striped bass

                                                                1. Halibut
                                                                  True cod
                                                                  Dover sole
                                                                  Gravlax, lox, sable, anchovies (do these count?)

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. Speckled Trout, Redfish, and Flounder in that order, but the fishing is on hold. The ruptured Achilles seems to be fine, just waiting for the hip replacement. For now, Alaskan Cod.

                                                                    1. Atlantic Cod
                                                                      Atlantic Haddock
                                                                      Bluefish (in season)
                                                                      Rainbow Trout
                                                                      Smelts (in season)

                                                                      1. I tend to buy from a local fish shop which has mainly NC catches:

                                                                        trout (fresh and salt)

                                                                        once in a while:

                                                                        From Costco I get salmon when they have wild. Once in a while they have a nice price on other varieties in a small enough size I can use.

                                                                        About the only seafood I don't care for is skate - it's a textural thing.

                                                                        1. We eat whatever looks best at the market, usually sword, tuna, blue, halibut, wild salmon, occasionally flounder.