From Catfish to Dogfish Shark: Cast a Wide Net for a Sustainably Delicious Catch of the Day
“Everyone loves shrimp, salmon, tuna and cod, the four most popular fish in the country, but there are so many others to consider that are in plentiful supply and absolutely delicious. It’s vital that we take the pressure off these over-utilized species so they’re not driven to extinction by offering diners all of the ocean’s bounty of choices. In the hands of a creative, skilled chef, virtually any type of fresh fish can look and taste amazing.”
- Bruce Mattel, Culinary Institute of America (CIA)
Mattel, associate dean of culinary arts at CIA and former fish butcher at New York’s Le Bernardin restaurant, shares a few species-specific recommendations to keep sustainable seafood swimming to the top of the menu:
- Boston mackerel is a solid choice in the northeast. Dark fleshed and a bit fattier, mackerel can be broiled, roasted or grilled to bring out its flavor.
- Atlantic spiny dogfish, or dogfish shark, is another great, abundant fish in the northeast. Firm and mild tasting, it’s ideal fried – in fact, this was used in England’s original fish and chips – and also works well grilled and in fish tacos.
- Invasive species like blue catfish in the Chesapeake Bay, Asian carp in the Mississippi delta and lionfish in the Atlantic can threaten the sustainability of other fish. One of the most responsible solutions is to create a demand to catch and eat the invaders in great quantities. Entice diners who may be reluctant to try an unfamiliar-sounding seafood with free samples, a bit of education and engaging write-ups on your menu. Versatile and tasty, you can smoke, pan-fry, deep-fry, bake, steam or grill these fish.
- Haddock has an appealing delicate flavor, best showcased with a simpler method like poaching and serving with a light butter sauce.
- Tilapia’s grassy taste goes well with a robust batter and a side of spicy Thai chili sauce. Look for tilapia farmed worldwide in indoor recirculating tanks.
- Turbot is a chef’s favorite for its firm flesh, mild flavor and bones that are excellent for use in stock.
Extend your seafood menu with some of today’s best sustainable choices, according to Seafood Watch:
- Abalone (farmed)
- Arctic Char (farmed)
- Barramundi (US & Vietnam farmed)
- Bass (US hooks and lines, farmed)
- Catfish (US)
- Clams, Cockles, Mussels
- Grouper: Red (US)
- Lionfish (US)
- Monkfish (US)
- Octopus (Canada, Portugal & Spain pots and traps, HI)
- Oysters (US wild)
- Pollock (Canada longlines, gillnets & US)
- Rockfish (AK, CA, OR & WA)
- Sablefish/Black Cod (AK)
- Sanddab (CA, OR & WA)
- Squid (Chile, Mexico, Peru & US)
- Tilapia (Canada, Ecuador, Peru, US, China, Colombia, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico & Taiwan)
- Trout: Rainbow (US farmed)
- Trout: Rainbow/Steelhead (Chile farmed)
- Posted: February 18, 2019
- Categories: Food & Beverage Spotlight