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How to Substitute Local and Wild Fish from the Monterey List to Your Fishmonger’s

“Thanks, Linda. I’m so frustrated trying to buy good fish. Before my dad passed away (almost 3 years to the day) he kept us all in speckled seatrout and red fish from the Gulf–truly fresh. Texas doesn’t allow the speks to be sold here commercially and the only redfish you see in the stores are farm raised. They don’t taste the same. My husband won’t eat tilapia or salmon. Doesn’t leave too much! On this list, Mahi Mahi is about all that is available that he will eat. (Sea bass is like a fortune hereabouts.) There are some other local fish you don’t mention that are painfully hard to clean like drum and sheepshead. Do they pass for striped seabass?”

signed: Barbara
How to Substitute Local and Wild Fish
Since fish in the case will vary based on where you live, you will find things in your market that I can’t get and so on. But I’d say if its in your local case,  its marked wild,  line caught, and not farmed, get it. I’d say regarding the bony nature of some local fish, the easiest way to cook ’em is to do what the Chinese do. Steam the whole fish with just a bit of sesame oil and scallions and maybe a touch of soy. Then you can just pick at it. Makes for a nice, intimate experience. Sure, go ahead. Lick your fingers.  and ps: that husband of yours has good instincts. I hate farm-raised tilapia and salmon because the taste is icky. But add to that the risk from the feed they offer to farm raised fish and no one should buy it.

Today, I bought a local, wild caught piece of halibut and some Florida wild caught shrimp with the heads still on.  Now you know that’s good stuff. Not that any thing you buy can hold a candle to fish you caught. Here’s a woman at a lodge in Ireland where we went salmon fishing. Now honey, that was fresh fish. Thanks for writing. el