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Local trash fish

I'm looking to find some locally-sourced but often hard to find fish in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville. I'd especially like to find porgy (aka scup) and Acadian redfish, but am interested in anything else that you think might be good eating, especially served raw as a crudo. I've not had much luck at Courthouse, Fresh Pond Seafood, or New Deal. Any ideas?

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  1. I am sure I have seen scup at Market Basket in Burlington. The fish there is very good, due to high turnover. You could call ahead and ask.

    Another possibility for trash fish is H-Mart, just around the corner. However my impression has been that local sourcing is not a priority at H-Mart. For example, even though mackerel are a local fish, whenever I look, the mackerel at H-Mart come from Norway.

    1. In the past I have bought scup at Roslindale Fish Market. Everything he sells is very fresh.

      1. Try Red's Best Fish.

        They are at most of the Farmer's Markets downtown; probably other spots too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: 9lives

          9lives is right. I've bought either scup or tautog from Red's at the Farmer's Market. Sorry, I can't remember which it was.

          9lives, Have you seen scup at Happy Family in Chinatown? I can't remember. By the way, have I thanked you for letting everyone know about that small shop.


          1. re: BostonZest

            BZ, Glad you like Happy Family. Pretty sure I have seen scup there.

        2. I'm surprised you haven't had much luck at New Deal. I seem to recall seeing scup (from R.I., I think) there regularly. You might want to talk to them about what you're looking for and see if they can get it for you.

          1. In Marblehead at 5 Corners Kitchen they often have Dogfish and at Rowans in Beverly Scup .... Just in case your ever up on the North Shore.

            1. Asian Seafood shops are going to be your best bet for trash fish. H-Mart in Burlington is definitely worth checking out for unusual fish - though I don't remember seeing Scup/Porgies there. And Seafood stores - including the larger Chinese supermarkets in Chinatown and nearby - are likely to have very different types of fish you won't see at an american supermarket. And last Thursday before Labor day, I passed by Red's at the Dewey Square Farmer's market and remember them having scup, but at a price I would never pay!

              7 Replies
              1. re: Jacksup77

                H-Mart has a very large variety and from what I've seen and bought, their fish is quite fresh though I have no idea of its source. www.capeannfreshcatch.org has dayboat fish from the Gulf of Maine. I've had their bluefish, hake, haddock, pollock,
                monkfish, yellowtail and blackback flounders. They sell at a few farmer's markets too. Typically, the fish was swimming within the previous 24 hours; never more than 48.

                1. re: greygarious

                  h-mart labels country of origin, but very little of their fish is local.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    Good to know - thanks. I once posted on CH about buying whole squid there and when cleaning it, finding 7 tiny fish inside. Since most of thom were still clear-eyed (!), I imagine the interrupted diner was snagged within a day of being sold, regardless of where it was caught.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      everything i have ever gotten there has been super-fresh. never had an issue with that, but i don't always feel "right" buying fish from korea and peru since gloucester and new bedford are in my backyard, ya know?

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        Yes indeed. I had a whole fish share from Cape Ann Fresh Catch in the spring, and am now one of the volunteers who distributes the shares to members.

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          Reminds me of the fantastic "sheepshead" special I had last week at The Azorean.

                  2. re: Jacksup77

                    I did a walk by most of the seafood markets in chinatown (sun sun, happy family, ming yu) and they all had scup, macks and squid. Ming yu had chix lobsters $3.99/lb.

                  3. Should you venture down Route 95 to Rhode Island a local fish purveyor, The Local Catch, has a booth at the fabulous Hope Street Farmers' Market every Saturday morning during the summer. It moves indoors in the winter.

                    The wide variety of fish is always very fresh, caught by the owner and other local fishermen in the waters off Rhode Island.

                    Last winter I had its red fish several times and scup is listed on the Species Guide in the attached link.

                    I usually buy haddock or cod but am always on the lookout for dabs and John Dory, sweet, white flesh fish. And when in season scallops, oysters, and sword fish. Nice smoked tuna and bluefish too. ;

                    The Hope Street Farmers' Market is located not far off Route 95 -S on the Providence/Pawtucket line, just a few exits from the Massachusetts state line in Attleboro.