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Eat More Fish. The Right Fish. Here’s How.

Eat More Fish. The Right Fish. Here’s How.

With the help of seafood sustainability guru Barton Seaver, we serve up our fin-to-fork guide to buying, cooking, and enjoying fish responsibly—right now.

At the sloping end of Barton Seaver's quiet street in South Freeport, Maine, floats the Freeport Town Wharf. Seaver—director of Harvard University's Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative, National Geographic Fellow, and former chef-restaurateur—can walk five minutes down to the pier, cast a hooked line into the Harraseeket River, and head home with flopping-fresh alewife, a type of herring, to hot-smoke with applewood on the backyard grill. You've probably never heard of alewife, and that's the problem.

If his line were long enough to stretch out through Casco Bay and into the Gulf of Maine, Seaver could hook a pearl-fleshed, succulent cod. But the latest data make it unlikely, and even illegal: Federal scientists estimated last fall that Gulf of Maine cod had dropped to a scant 3% or 4% of its target population levels, a historic low. Commercial fishermen saw a major revenue stream run dry as regulators consequently slashed the Gulf's legal cod catch by 75% through most of 2015 and banned recreational cod fishing outright.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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The New England cod crisis is local (and nothing new), one story among many about the plight of threatened fish stocks worldwide. For centuries, we've feasted on a slight fraction of the tens of thousands of fish species swimming in the seas. "We've told the oceans what we're willing to eat rather than ask what they're willing to provide," Seaver says. We demanded New England cod, bluefin tuna, snapper, and grouper, and right down every link of the commercial food chain, fishermen, wholesalers, chefs, and retailers complied. So sustainability—fish caught or farmed with minimal harm to the ocean, responsibly managed for us to enjoy for generations—suffers.

For home cooks, fish is an infrequent investment, often pricey, and Seaver understands the reluctance to shell out for something different. "You're going to go with what you know."

Indeed, fishermen chase what pays. "People know just a few—salmon, swordfish, bass," says Wayne Samiere, CEO of Hawaii-based Honolulu Fish Company and a former marine biologist. "There are millions and millions of pounds of great eating fish out there. We don't harvest them because no one has asked us to."

Seaver says it'll take courage from retailers and chefs—tastemakers with the power to create consumer cravings for lesser-known yet sustainable species like dogfish and Acadian redfish (often called "trash fish" because fishermen can't find a market for them). They may not become regular fish-counter fare for many years, he says. Still, change is under way.

Consider herring—a smaller fish that's sweet, aromatic, and richly flavored, like sardines. For years it was mostly sold canned, pickled, smoked, or slathered with sour cream in a deli case. New England fishermen relegated reeking, sun-baked barrels of herring to lobster bait.

"We started getting calls from chefs for fresh herring in 2012," says Nick Branchina, marketing director for Browne Trading Company in Portland, Maine, a specialty seafood retailer and wholesaler for the likes of Manhattan's legendary seafood restaurant Le Bernardin. "When we first tried to buy it from the fishermen, we were laughed off the dock."

But progressive chefs knew fresh-cooked herring was delicious, diners agreed, and retailers now see growing demand for the fish, which fishing boats net sustainably in the Northwest Atlantic. What's more, fishermen can sell pristine herring for six times more as a gourmet ingredient than lobster chum. "We have to sustain fishermen as much as fish," Seaver says.

Samiere sees similarities with monchong (aka pomfret), a Pacific bycatch species he calls "massively abundant." Bycatch is accidental by definition: It snags in the nets and lines of commercial boats targeting other species. Until recently, fishermen just threw the dead bycatch overboard. Now they can find paying markets for it, and if the particular bycatch population is healthy, that's a small win for fishermen, sustainability, and diners.

Chefs and distributors like Samiere are leading the way. Some chefs are going beyond promoting; they're policing. New concerns about Atlantic wild striped bass populations led 10 big-name American chefs to launch the #saveourstripers campaign in May, reducing demand and boosting awareness by taking stripers off their menus.

Now it's time for consumers to take action. Here's how to make a difference as a home cook: Check the latest intel from reliable seafood advocacy groups (see "Go with the Current," left), ask smart questions at the fish counter, and be adventurous. "As fishermen are charged with responsible harvesting," Seaver says, "we're responsible to try something new and to use our creativity to sustain oceans and fishermen.


The Man’s Guide to Cooking and Eating Fish

Let’s get right to the point: You already know that fish is good for you, so we won’t waste any time going into how research shows it can improve body composition, suppress appetite, or make you smarter than you already are. If you like fish, you’re probably already eating it. If you don’t, we get it: Salmon is too fishy, and the first time you tried tilapia you freaked out because you thought you had lost your sense of taste. But what about red snapper? Or rainbow trout? How about searing tuna instead of knocking it out of a can?

There’s a lot about fish you don’t know, like which ones have the highest nutritional value or the best flavor, or how to use it to seal the deal on a date, for that matter. Consider this your marine-meat cheat sheet—your guide to getting the body you want, the health you deserve, and maybe even the girl across the hall.


Eat More Fish. The Right Fish. Here’s How. - Recipes

Fresh fish have glassy eyes, not cloudy or opaque.

As a chef, I get asked frequently for recipes or ideas on how to shake up the day-to-day doldrums of weeknight dinner. Often times I'll oblige and share a great tasting fish recipe, and that's where it starts: The whines and excuses are deafening. So, in my best Arnold voice from Kindergarten Cop, "Stop whining!" Here are some excuses I hear the most about cooking with fish, and why I'm not buying it.

"But I don't know anything about cooking fish. I'm afraid! Hold me."

Here's how the famous FDR quote didn't go: "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself. Oh, and cooking with fish."

Toughen up, Sally, it's time to put on your big boy or girl pants (I won't judge) and start cooking with fish. Why is cooking with fish scary to the vast majority of home cooks out there? If I were to bet my next paycheck, I'd bet it on the simple fact that people either feel like or just plain don't know what they're doing.

Well, if that's the case then it's time to get your fish learn on, courtesy of me, a true a-fish-ionado (and a crack whiz with horrible puns).

Right off the bat, the first thing you need to know, and a rule that applies to all cooking that I want you to remember forever, is that quality meals start with quality ingredients. Simple, right? Well, it's one of the easiest and most quickly bypassed tenets, usually in favor of convenience. And as a side note, quality doesn't have to mean expensive. Healthy or quality eating should not be a synonym for an empty bank account. Picking out a quality fish market is obviously the best way to go, but I get that making an extra stop at a fish market or butcher may not be easy. Whole Foods and the like do a decent job as well, just stay away from the pre-packaged frozen stuff, which is different than fresh fish that has been packed in ice. The fresh stuff will be in the fresh meat area, the pre-packaged bad guys will be in your grocer's freezer.

"But I don't know how to pick the right one. I don't want to get sick!"

Stop it. The same rules for bad meat apply to chicken, pork, and beef. You're just used to buying those things and you have a high level of familiarity with the process. You just need to get comfortable picking out good fish. Here are a few tips that should help you along the way.

1. Start by doing a nice visual inspection of the fish. How does it look in general? Does it look fresh? The gills should be red, not brown or grey.

2. If you're buying a whole fish, the eyes are a good tell. You're looking for bright and clear eyes, like glass. Stay away from cloudy or opaque eyes.

3. Check and make sure the skin looks shiny and metallic.

4. Next, pick up the fish. Fish are going to potentially be a bit slippery, but they shouldn't be slimy (like old ham). Feel for firmness just like you would a tomato or avocado.

5. Lastly, give it a good smell. It should smell fresh and briny, like the sea. It shouldn't smell too "fishy."

Overall, don't let the process of picking out fresh fish be a deterrent. When you buy bananas are you "grossed out" by the fact that there are some bananas not worthy of your basket? Does this cause you to stop eating bananas entirely? No, of course not. Get out of your own head.

Also, I recommend that you avoid determining the type of fish that you get before you get to the market. Go with what's freshest and then build around your choice. Sometimes it just wasn't the right day for wild caught salmon. That just means its trout time!

Ha! This one is a classic. Fish are no more scary than Donald Trump or that awful Geico commercial where the two dudes call each other "bro" twenty times. It's dead, it's not going to bite. You bite it, and it tastes amazing. Promise.

That said, if you're worried about bones and scales or cutting off the head, that's fine. Don't buy a whole fish. We live in a world where the vast majority of that work will have already been done for you. Just know you're leaving some tasty fish on the table by only eating filets and flanks. But if you need to work your way up to the whole fish, that's understandable, just think about it as a gradual process of your culinary education.

"But I don't know how to cook fish!"

Ok, now that you have your fish, what are you going to do with it? Prep it, of course. Although, special bonus points if your answer was “take a picture of it and post it on Instagram” to brag about how much of a better cook you are than your friends.

Like a quality cut of beef or poultry, you can cook it without prepping it. But why? Cook with intent. Be purposeful with your actions.

Herbs, spices, butter, citrus, these are all fabulous ways to pretreat and prepare your carefully selected fish friend. Pick your favorite flavor palate and build from there, or find a recipe online like you've done a million times before.

From there the world is at your finger tips. You can start by breading and frying the fish. That may be the fish cooking equivalent of training wheels, but I'm not here to judge people who are willing to try new things. Start slow and work your way up.

Grilling, baking, smoking, or poaching are all great methods, and work best with different cuts and kinds of fish. Do your best to try new things and see what works best for you.

As for the “skin on or skin off” debate, it's really just a matter of personal preference. If you're going to pan fry a skin-on filet, I recommend taking a knife and scoring the skin (cut a handful of long slices down the skin) to help prevent the fish from curling up on you in the pan.

The one thing I can't stress enough? Don't overcook your fish. If you want to know why the fish at the restaurant tastes better than the fish you cook at home, chances are you're overcooking your fish. If you don't like cooking fish because it makes your house smell like fish, chances are you're overcooking your fish. If you don't like eating fish because it falls apart on you or tastes like a hockey puck, it's definitely because you're overcooking your fish.

So, to recap, when your mom asks what you learned today, here's what you can tell her: Cook more fish. and cook it less. That's today's lesson. Oh, and stop whining. or Detective John Kimble will not be happy.

Ben Vaughn is an award-winning chef, and best-selling author, restaurateur and television personality. You can find more of Ben's writings as a weekly columnist for the Las Vegas Sun, a weekly contributor to the Daily Meal, and on his website bvate.com.

Ben's newest book Southern Routes was released in 2015. Ben is also the host of the digital series The Breakfast Show on the Small Screen Network


Eat The Enemy: 3 Ways To Cook Lionfish, The New King Of The Underwater Jungle

This story is part of "Eat The Enemy," a HuffPost series on edible invasive species, non-native plants and animals you can help contain from the comfort of your dinner table. Not all invasive species are edible, and some included in this series can be dangerous, including lionfish and wild boar. Please take caution when foraging or hunting for your own food.

Reinhard Dirscherl via Getty Images

E ven if you haven't heard of them, you've probably seen a lionfish in an aquarium. The fish are native to the South Pacific and Indian Ocean, but have recently been creating big problems for the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast of the United States. In the past decade, the little fish has started to take over reefs and push out native species.

Lionfish appeared off the coast of Florida in the early 1990s, but it wasn't until the 2000s that their population exploded and the fish spread to the coasts of other countries. We'll probably never know for sure how the lionfish made the jump from the Pacific to the Atlantic, but many suspect it may have arrived in Florida as an aquarium pet released into the ocean.

The U.S. Geological Survey has a terrifying graphic that shows how quickly they have spread in the last decade. The most recent data shows lionfish as far north as Rhode Island and as far south as Venezuela. USGS biologist Pam Schofield told HuffPost that the lionfish's spread is "remarkable and unprecedented."

"You can think of lionfish as a form [of] pollution -- a biological pollution -- that is spreading through our coastal waters," Schofield said.

Like most invasive species, lionfish have few competitors. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, they are now a top predator in reef communities and eat indiscriminately, consuming more than 50 species of fish and invertebrates. They can outcompete other ocean species, cause extinctions and alter habitats.

So, how to stop them? Scientists at NOAA said they think it's unlikely the lionfish will be eradicated. But it is possible to control their spread and reduce high populations. That's why some are trying to make lionfish a popular dinner item. The Reef Environmental Education Foundation, or REEF, has published a lionfish cookbook and maintains a list of restaurants serving lionfish.

To reduce populations as much as possible, organizations like REEF are sponsoring derbies, where fishermen compete for prize money to see who can bag the most lionfish in a day. Still others are working on improving the market for lionfish in the Caribbean and the U.S. while improving methods to catch them.

Norman's Cay in New York City is one restaurant trying to bring the issue to a mainstream audience. It serves lionfish brought from Florida, the Caribbean and the Gulf from a variety of fishermen. Lionfish cannot be caught using conventional commercial fishing methods, which makes creating a market for them difficult. Most are caught by hand, either with hand nets or by spearfishing.

Ryan Chadwick, co-owner of Norman's Cay, has worked hard to secure a steady supply of lionfish for the restaurant. He discovered the lionfish problem as Norman's Cay was opening. "I thought it would be great if I could somehow incorporate serving an invasive fish on the menu in a Caribbean-themed restaurant," he said. He buys them from divers and fishermen all around the area affected by lionfish, as well as from lobster fishermen who inadvertently catch lionfish in their traps. In a new video, Chadwick explains the lionfish problem and why the restaurant decided to serve them.

When we asked about trying lionfish for ourselves, Norman's Cay invited us to come down to the restaurant and see how it was prepared. We share the delicious experience with the photos below. And keep scrolling for another recipe from The Lionfish Cookbook!

These lionfish have been cleaned and de-spined, and are ready to be cooked. Lionfish have spines along their back and belly that can deliver a venomous sting if touched. But the venom exists only in the spine once removed with kitchen scissors, the fish is safe to handle and eat.

Norman's Cay sources lionfish from many different divers, who spear the fish one by one, and lobster fishermen, who trap lionfish as bycatch. When the restaurant began serving lionfish, Norman's Cay co-owner Ryan Chadwick would dive for the fish himself and bring them back to the restaurant. "Unfortunately, in the beginning, it was very inefficient, I'd have to go down, dive for three or four days, catch as many fish as I could, clean them, pack them in coolers . " Chadwick said.

Chef Victor Daniels showed us one way the restaurant prepares the whole fish, by pan frying it in oil. The fish is seasoned with salt and pepper before going into the pan.

Lionfish can be cooked all kinds of ways, and the flavor of the fish is mild. Here, it is steamed with vegetables and herbs.

The fried lionfish turns golden brown and gets crispy as it cooks. Chadwick told HuffPost that Norman's Cay tries to promote lionfish more than any other menu option. Customers like it, too. Often they call ahead to make sure the restaurant has a fresh supply before going there to eat.

The fish aren't just cooked whole. Fillets are fried and prepared the same way as whole fish, or served in tacos, which Chadwick said are one of the restaurant's most popular lionfish options.

The fried lionfish is drizzled with honey and truffle oil. Servers at the restaurant are educated about the lionfish issue and can explain to customers where the fish come from and how eating them helps.

After the honey, the fish is topped with spicy pickled peppers, onions and carrots, along with some of the vinegary brine. Daniels told us the recipes are from his from home, in Jamaica.

The filets get the same preparation as the whole fish. In order to make catching the fish easier, Chadwick is working on developing a trap that will lure lionfish. It's not an easy task, but may make it easier to establish a commercial market for the invasive species. "Eventually I'd like to create my own supply chain in the Bahamas with these traps," Chadwick said.

The steamed fish is done cooking. To convince customers to try lionfish and educate them on how it helps ocean ecosystems, Norman's Cay puts notes about lionfish on every table.

Each of the dishes is beautifully plated with lime slices and green onions.

Tasting the final dish. The lionfish had a mild flavor similar to other white fish and a pleasant, meaty texture. The lionfish generally gets a good reception with customers. "People like to try new things," Chadwick said.

Want to try another recipe? Here's a different take on lionfish, reprinted with permission from The Lionfish Cookbook. REEF also has resources for finding lionfish in your area.

Photo: David Stone/The Lionfish Cookbook

Lionfish Nachos from The Lionfish Cookbook by Tricia Ferguson and Lad Akins

8 wonton wrappers* 1/2 cup oil 8 lionfish fillets 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce* 2 tablespoons sweet Thai chili sauce* 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 cup seaweed salad* 1/4 cup wasabi mayonnaise*

*Items can be found at Asian markets.

Place oil in a small frying pan and heat oil until hot. Place one wonton wrapper in at a time. Cook briefly until it starts to bubble (approximately 10 seconds). Turn over and cook another 10 seconds. Remove and drain on kitchen towel.

Put wasabi mayonnaise into a squeeze bottle and set aside. Combine sweet soy sauce, sweet chili sauce and soy sauce together in a bowl and set aside. Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Cook lionfish fillets in skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until flaky and tender. Cut or flake lionfish so it is in small pieces. Toss lionfish in soy sauce mixture.

Place lionfish on wonton wrappers, top with seaweed salad and drizzle with wasabi mayonnaise.


Spring Vegetables and Salmon in Paper

How about avoiding the smoked salmon, since not everyone likes it? This uses salmon fillets. They do tend to be more expensive, but they also offer many more health benefits since you get more nutrients.

Ingredients:

  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3tbsp oil of choice
  • 6 salmon fillets, remove the skins
  • 1 lemon, sliced into 12
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, chopped
  • 1 cup of sugar snap peas, with strings, removed
  • 12 sprigs of tarragon
  • ¼ cup of dry white wine of choice
  • Place some salted water into a saucepan and boil
  • Add in the carrots and simmer for three minutes, before draining and setting aside
  • Preheat the oven to 400F
  • Chop up 6 pieces of parchment paper into heart shapes and brush with the oil
  • Place a piece of salmon on one-half of the hearts and then brush the top of the salmon with the oil
  • Season the salmon and place two slices of lemon on each
  • Divide up the vegetables among the six hearts and then add two sprigs to each
  • Finally, sprinkle with some white wine and season with more salt and black pepper
  • Fold over the other half of the heart and seal in the salmon and vegetables
  • Place in the oven for 15 minutes and then serve with sides of your choice

You can serve this with some wild rice if you don’t want the usual potatoes. It also works extremely well without any side dish at all. You’ll get the full flavor of the salmon and vegetables.


Easy Baked Tilapia

While it's baking, I pull together some brown rice or quinoa and a green veggie for a simple, healthy dinner.

If you want to try some other tilapia recipes, my kids also love Asian Fish in a Packet and these Tilapia Recipes for Kids.

What you'll need to make this recipe at home:

This is such an easy recipe. You'll likely have most of what you need to make this one at home already. Just add the fish to your grocery list and you'll be all set.

I like to keep frozen tilapia fillets on hand so that I can pull them out, thaw, and whip up this great recipe the same day! It's perfect in a pinch and it keeps me focused on healthy options.

  • 1 lb. tilapia fillets
  • olive oil or melted butter
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges (optional)

How to make your own baked tilapia:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Lay tilapia in baking pan and drizzle olive oil or melted butter over fillets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Add garlic and sprinkle with parsley.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.
  5. Before serving, squeeze lemon over the fish (my kids don't like that, but I love the flavor!).

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase after clicking on a link, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

What kitchen supplies do I need to make this great dinner recipe?

My favorite kitchen supplies make cooking at home easy:

Can I have this delicious baked tilapia on Weight Watchers?

I've been doing WW since March 2017, so I've added this frequent meal to my app.

According to the app, each serving of Easy Baked Tilapia is just 2 Freestyle points. That's if you use olive oil. If you use butter instead, it's a little higher.

If you are trying to make this a zero point dinner you can forego the oils and butter altogether for a &ldquofree&rdquo meal.

I love pairing this recipe up with healthy veggies which are also zero points on the Freestyle program.

If you have points leftover you can even pair this delicious recipe up with some brown rice or quinoa!

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More family friendly fish recipes

Here's the great thing about fish&hellipit cooks SO quickly. I love that on busy weeknights I can have a nutritious dinner recipe on the table in no time.

The problem is that not all kids like fish. Here are some great family friendly fish recipes so you can work on getting your family to eat more of these easy, wholesome, delicious meals:

That's right, fish recipes that even young kids will beg for! I love finding creative ways to get my kids eating more fish.

It's so healthy and easy to make. Plus, encouraging them to be adventurous eaters at a young age helps set them up for better nutrition, healthy choices later in life, and less stress in the kitchen for me.

Printable Easy Baked Tilapia Recipe:

Can't make this delicious tilapia tonight? That's all right! Here's an easy way to print and save the recipe for future use.

You can always come back here to find the recipe but the printable version below means you have a one page printout on hand for the next time you need a quick, simple, and delicious dinner recipe.


Nice Catch!

Used to be, a Gone Fishin' sign tacked on your door meant you'd shuttered up your cares for a day and ventured someplace remote and quiet to cast your line into the cool, bountiful deep.

These days your cares are apt to come along for the ride. You reel in a flopping beauty but, hmm. perhaps you shouldn't eat it. It could be toxic with industrial contaminants, or maybe it's some drug-addled mutant escaped from an aquafarm. It could even be one of the last surviving members of an endangered species. But wait! At least you didn't kill any dolphins or loggerhead turtles while catching it, and besides, you do need to up your intake of omega-3s.

If you're confused about fish, welcome to the club. Everyone is confused about fish and seafood these days, even the experts. Marion Nestle, PhD, is a professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University and the author of What to Eat, a very smart book with five whole chapters devoted to shopping for seafood. She says, "For me personally, it's just way, way too complicated. I can't keep it straight."

But here's the catch: Just because it's okay to be confused doesn't mean you're allowed to be apathetic. You have to care about the seafood you eat. You just do. (And it's surprisingly easy to do the right thing, as you'll see shortly.) Because—remember passenger pigeons? Of course not. Nineteenth-century Americans ate them by the platterful, and look how that turned out: They're extinct. Unless you want to tell your grandchildren that you blithely gobbled up the last remaining members of a magnificent species, you should avoid certain fish and crustaceans altogether, at least until their populations recover—bluefin tuna, for example, which you may know as toro at the sushi bar, and which is wobbling on the brink of total obliteration.

Reel In or Throw Back?

A few well-informed consumers can make a huge difference by putting pressure on providers to alter harmful practices. Here are seven smart choices you can make right now:

  1. Carry a fish list. These wallet-size cards rank more than three dozen types of seafood in order from best choices to worst in terms of both health and sustainability. They are published by the Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), the Monterey Bay Aquarium (mbayaq.org), and the Blue Ocean Institute (blueocean.org) you can download a list from their Web sites. The Natural Resources Defense Council, meanwhile, publishes a comprehensive guide to sushi (nrdc.org). And if you're a parent, check out kidsafeseafood.org for the best options for growing bodies.
  2. Eat low on the food chain. Smaller fish—sardines, anchovies, farmed trout, fresh tilapia, arctic char—and bivalves such as scallops, clams, and oysters don't build up as many contaminants as do the large carnivores. Small fish also reproduce quickly, so their populations can recover from overfishing much more easily than the long-lived giants. "This is the best general rule of thumb," agrees Carl Safina, PhD, author and founding president of the Blue Ocean Institute, an advocacy group, "because the larger the fish grow to be, the more likely they are to be both depleted and carrying a higher load of chemicals." Limit your consumption of predator fish to no more than once every two weeks.
  3. Diversify your seafood diet. The broader the variety of crustaceans, bivalves, and fish you eat, the more you'll reduce your exposure to any one contaminant and ease the pressure on a particular species.
  4. Look for the Marine Stewardship Council stamp of approval. This independent certification organization sends its detectives around the world to examine wild-capture fisheries. They give their label only to the leading lights in the field. A list of retailers carrying MSC-certified seafood can be found at eng.msc.org.
  5. Buy Alaskan. "As a gross generalization, Alaska has the best-managed fisheries of any region in the world," says Safina. "They took a banking approach to fishing: Live only off the interest and preserve the capital." Today their wild seafood populations are healthy in every sense of the word. Look for Alaskan salmon, halibut, and sablefish, and consider replacing half the canned tuna in your diet with canned Alaskan salmon.
  6. Try something new. The next time you visit a restaurant, order an unfamiliar fish. "You aren't going to go into a grocery store and buy something you've never tasted before," says Barton Seaver. "At a restaurant, entertainment is part of what you're paying for. There are hundreds of species of edible seafood, but most restaurants offer only ten or 12, tops. By making something unfamiliar taste good, chefs can sell a solution."
  7. Avoid farmed atlantic salmon for now, but don't write off aquaculture outright. Farmed freshwater fish such as catfish, barramundi, and trout and bivalves such as oysters and clams are among the best choices available. And Kona Kampachi, a type of yellowtail, is being raised sustainably on innovative open-sea farms off the coast of Hawaii. With virtually no contaminants, it's a smart alternative to wild tuna.

Many ocean-dwelling populations are simply too fragile to stand a chance against human voraciousness, especially when we've got modern technology on our side, including sonar devices to find fish, nets the size of your hometown to collect them, and giant vacuums to slurp up the bottom-dwellers. The seven seas are no longer big enough to offer their inhabitants a place to hide.

Six billion people on Earth, and we're all hungry for the same few fish. Aquaculture ought to help solve the problem&mdashand eventually it will many innovative, responsible people are going into the field and changing it from within. But ghastly fish farms remain all too common, notably those where Atlantic salmon are raised on a diet of antibiotics, fish by-products, and salmon-pink dye.

It isn't just the welfare of these creatures that matters. Your own health is at stake when you belly up to the seafood buffet. Mercury, dioxin, and PCBs get into the water from rain and runoff and into the bodies of wild fish. Fish that eat other fish build up alarming amounts in their flesh. While some people argue over just how much mercury is harmful, no one claims it's good. And everyone agrees that children, new and expectant mothers, and women planning to get pregnant should shun big predator fish&mdashswordfish, shark, tilefish many would add albacore tuna to that list.

Now for the good part: Let's say you're a fanatic about your health but don't really give a hoot about the environment, while your husband feels the opposite. No need to argue! The same choices often solve both problems. Check out the guidelines listed in "Reel In or Throw Back?" on the previous page, then try something new. Shrimp, salmon, canned tuna, pollock, and catfish together make up 76 percent of all the seafood consumed in the United States, but they're hardly the only fish in the sea. Barton Seaver, executive chef and partner in Hook, a sustainable-seafood restaurant in Washington, D.C., suggests you rethink your fish prejudices. Sardines and anchovies, for example, sound more like punch lines to bad jokes than great dinner options, but they're high in omega-3s, low in contaminants, and abundant. And, if you haven't sampled them since you were a picky kid, you may be surprised at how wonderful they taste.

Perhaps all these tips and warnings are just too taxing for your omega-3&ndashdeprived brain. Well, sorry, you're not off the hook. The next time you're about to order mahimahi in a restaurant, just text 30644 and type in the words fish and mahimahi on the message line of your PDA or cell phone. In seconds you'll get a reply from the Blue Ocean Institute rating your choice: green (great), yellow (good), or red (not smart).

So there you are, outfitted like a modern-day Captain Nemo, with information rather than harpoons, of course, and ready to make your way wisely through the briny depths. Time to go fishing once again.


8. Like land animals, labels mean nothing

We know that &ldquocage-free&rdquo and &ldquofree-range&rdquo don&rsquot carry much weight when it comes to the welfare of farmed animals. The same holds true for fish. &ldquoDolphin-safe&rdquo labels are about as reliable as the legally reneged &ldquohappy cows come from California&rdquo slogan. Notes are forged, lies are taken at face value, and dolphin-safe or sustainably caught labels are passed out as easily as ketchup at a fast-food joint. You can&rsquot justify fish with a meaningless label.


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How to Store and Cook Tuna

How to Store Tuna

Unwrap fresh tuna when you get home from the store and pat dry with a paper towel. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place on the lowest shelf in your fridge.

How to Cook Tuna

Rinse and pat dry. On a greased broiler pan, broil 4 inches from the heat for 8 to 12 minutes or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork turn once halfway through cooking.

One pound raw tuna yields three 4-ounce servings of cooked fish.


What goes in Acqua Pazza

Here’s what you need to make this wonderful Italian poached fish dish:

I used snapper for this recipe which is ideal for this recipe. The fillets are fairly thin and the flesh is a bit flaky but firm enough to hold up to this method of cooking.

Best fish for Acqua Pazza

This dish works best with fairly firm white fish fillets that are not too thick. Here are some suggestions:


Watch the video: GRAPHIC - How to fillet a fish - Sea bream - Japanese technique - クロダイのさばき方 (October 2021).