JTR

“Trash Fish”

Rate this topic

24 posts in this topic

Let’s hear all about your experiences eating “trash fish.” 

 

I’m a firm believer that MOST fish in the ocean are edible and quite good when prepared correctly. That said, I’ve also loved fish since the age of about 2, which I think is an anomaly. 

 

As posted in another thread, mackerel is great when prepared as shime saba (pickled mackerel) and served as sushi/sashimi. I’ve also made a tomato based fish stew with mackerel that turned out fantastic. And I’ve smoked it, which is fantastic served on a ritz cracker with some cream cheese based spread.

 

I spear fish a lot, and when I get the chance to shoot a large cunner/bergal, I always take the shot. These fish have a nice flakey flesh, extremely similar to tautog. I’d cook it any way you cook tog or any whitefish really.

 

Down in Florida, I ate both jack crevalle and blue runners. The jack, I bled immediately, then I filleted and cleaned of any dark meat, then just pan fried it with salt, pepper and some Everglades seasoning. It was delicious. The blue runner was also bled immediately and served as sashimi - and excellent sashimi I might add. I know there are some high end sushi joints serving blue runner these days, as they are considered excellent to eat and sustainable.

 

Dogfish is one fish that I’ve only had once, served in a gumbo at a restaurant in cape cod. It was excellent and you’d never know you were eating dogfish.

 

This year I plan to eat skate, but they’re just hard to catch big ones from shore. Hopefully I can get a decent sized one to try out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I can say is be careful. Several of the fish you mention carry significant amounts of parasites and I'll wager you're not freezing the fish under the conditions required to kill the parasites. Also Be aware that not all fish in semi-tropical and tropical water are safe to eat. Several species (barracuda is the first to leap to mind) carry a toxin called ciguera <sp?> which can have very painful if not deadly effects when eaten and it does not break down in the cooking process. So eating any fish that carries ciguera is potentially life threatening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

13 mins ago, MakoMike said:

All I can say is be careful. Several of the fish you mention carry significant amounts of parasites and I'll wager you're not freezing the fish under the conditions required to kill the parasites. Also Be aware that not all fish in semi-tropical and tropical water are safe to eat. Several species (barracuda is the first to leap to mind) carry a toxin called ciguera <sp?> which can have very painful if not deadly effects when eaten and it does not break down in the cooking process. So eating any fish that carries ciguera is potentially life threatening.

I’ll admit, the blue runner was not frozen. The mackerel however was frozen for the recommended 7 days. 

 

I definitely was staying away from barracuda, due specifically to ciguera.

Edited by JTR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will try about anything at least once. I would even try bunker if I had one in a situation where I could prepare it super fresh, but that is yet to happen. But I have eaten both houndfish and ribbonfish, and both were very, very good I have caught in OBX, have no issue with mackerel, eel,, skate and likely a few others I am forgetting. When I was a kid, my Uncle and my Grandfather and I would butcher the dreaded sollygrowl as a bait stealer and dump them back overboard, Today, if I caught a decent sized one, the tail would be coming off and going into a pan (think monkfish.......)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I kept dogfish a few times.  Cleaned it immediately.  The live babies attached to the egg sacks skeeved me out a bit when cleaning them(the seagulls loved them), but the meat was good fried.  I doubt I'd keep many or freeze it.,.

 

Sometimes I keep harbor pollack.  Have had sea robin.  have had skate, but not cooked it myself..  I like mackerel when fresh.  On the grill.  The italians/Portuguese locally cook them and they are damn good.  Not really trash fish, but more what I would consider bait.......I've had sardines and smelt.  Both are good

 

I'll have to try cunner again.  We get big ones by me.  Easily 2-3 pounds.  Only time I kept one, I found it mushy when I cooked it and wasn't thrilled.  Not sure what I did wrong, as everyone says they are like tautaog.  Cusk is wormy, but I've kept them. 

 

My favorite "trash fish"  is bluefish.  I like it way better than striper 

Edited by jkrock

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sea Robin is good, and actually worth it if they are large.  The tail is really the only useful part.

 

Skate was ok, but not worth the effort in my opinion.

 

Spiney Dog was actually good fried, but the developing pups were enough to make that be a one time thing for me.

 

Smooth dog was ok, at best, but not really worth it imo.

 

Large Cunner was ok, but I don't see why so many people like it so much.

 

Trigger Fish, considered a nuisance fish by many, is one of the best, if not the very best, eating fish in our waters.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think big sea robins are just as good as flounder.

Dogfish is another surprise for me alot of people hate them but I think that they are worth the effort cleaning. I was on a trip where we caught about 60 of them so me and the amigos bleed them, ripped there guts out, cleaned, them skinned them and then put them in lemon water for a couple hours before we pan fried in a large pan. Was tons of fun seeing how they were cookied. Fish was delicious with fresh lemon. We missed out on the big bluefish and bass but at least we got some decent fish out of them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of the fish considered inedible by some simply need better care than many give. Blues need to be bled and iced immediately. Robins are a targeted species in Europe, called "Gurnard". I'll keep the real big ones when fluking. Excellent fried or in stews and soup, their relative the Scorpionfish is considered required for Bouillabaisse.

 

Freezing is only required for raw eating, like sushi or ceviche. The acid in the latter is NOT enough to kill parasites!  AS I understand it, ciguatera is rarely fatal, it just makes you wish you would die. I ate cuda in Cancun before I knew better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Steve in Mass said:

I am pretty sure that Great Britain imports large amounts of dogfish for use as fish and chips.........

I've heard that also

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/1/2019 at 5:57 AM, Steve in Mass said:

I am pretty sure that Great Britain imports large amounts of dogfish for use as fish and chips.........

I'm pretty sure the Bits are still using cod, from Iceland. Germany is the country using he doggies for fish & chips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

On 6/1/2019 at 5:57 PM, gellfex said:

Freezing is only required for raw eating, like sushi or ceviche. The acid in the latter is NOT enough to kill parasites!  AS I understand it, ciguatera is rarely fatal, it just makes you wish you would die. I ate cuda in Cancun before I knew better.

I have heard of several people dieing from ciguatera, most in areas where the doctors/hospitals are unfamiliar with it. But I have also heard of a few fatal cases in Hawaii.

'Cuda are one of the question mark fish, in some areas they are safe to eat and in other areas they are treated like they are carrying the poison.

Edited by MakoMike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 mins ago, MakoMike said:

I have heard of several people dieing from ciguatera, most in areas where the doctors/hospitals are unfamiliar with it. But I have also heard of a few fatal cases in Hawaii.

'Cuda are one of the question mark fish, in some areas they are safe to eat and in other areas they are treated like they are carrying the poison.

I've read of people in certain poor Caribbean nations who've had it a dozen times. And that it's very regional. I was lucky I guess that the Panga guides in Cancun were right that there was no local Ciguatera, but I'm not sure it's worth taking the chance. The science is that the poison originates in algae that makes it's way up the food chain concentrating along the way. I don't understand why it's riskier eating cuda than grouper or snapper. Seems to me they'd be eating the same prey species.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Escolar, or “white tuna,” is another fish that I want nothing to do with. It’s served often in sushi restaurants. It has the potential to cause you hours of pain on the porcelain throne.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 mins ago, JTR said:

Escolar, or “white tuna,” is another fish that I want nothing to do with. It’s served often in sushi restaurants. It has the potential to cause you hours of pain on the porcelain throne.

I believe the issue with escolar is that there a fat in them that is indigestible and which is larger quantities can cause the runs.  I've eaten escolar sushi (only a couple of pieces at a time) and it is delicious.

 

The idea of what constitutes a trash fish interesting.  I once saw a cooking show with mystery ingredients and one of the ingredients was porgy although the actual label given to the ingredient was "trash fish".  Personally, I like eating porgy and do so with regularity, both grilled and smoked.  I happily eat sea robins and actually fished for them two weekends ago (they make great blackened fish tacos and the bones make the best stock).  I like mackerel as well.  If I ever caught a decent size dogfish, I would happily try that as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.