It’s a Wrap! Teach a Man to Fish – the Sustainable Seafood Event Concludes
The Sustainable Seafood Blog Event is done. As we end this adventure, the new one begins: making all these great dishes.
Huge Thanks to all who participated in this event. To call it a success would be an understatement.
- In just two weeks, I received a boat-load of great recipes. From elaborate to quick; gourmet to home-style; from near and far. They all look terrific.
- Our catch includes over two dozen recipes, including two videos.
- Entries came from big fish to small fry – highly acclaimed chefs, an author, home cooks, and food bloggers, like me.
- We’re all learning. (Can I push it further and say we’re in school?) As Chef Barton Seaver explains, it’s a dynamic area. Some fish stocks have come back from being nearly depleted, like abalone. Others are still in danger, such as Chilean Seabass. I particularly appreciated the readers who shared their own “sustainable seafood 101” stories with us on their blogs. I know you will enjoy them, too.
- And speaking of 101, two fellow writers on Suite101 shared their recipes and knowledge, too. Links are included to other resources, and recipes down below.
How to get the most out of this round up:
- I’ve organized this alphabetically, by main ingredient, beginning with Abalone from Chef Pahk of the Silverado Resort in Napa Valley.
- For each recipe submitted, I have included a brief intro to the main ingredient from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch pages. I have included a live link to the item’s profile there. Scroll over, click – there you are.
- I have also included live links to each participant’s blog or website. In a couple of cases where the recipe was not hosted elsewhere, I have posted it on my blog here and included a live link to that post.
- Most of all: share these recipes and what you’ve learned with your fishmonger, your family, your friends.
Pairings from our beverage board. (What, you thought I’d let you go thirsty?) Subscribe to a feed or sign up for my newsletter (see sidebar) for updates. Beer, wine, sake, tequila…what will they recommend?
And now, for our beautiful recipes, cheers to sustainable seafood and to all our participants…
Abalone farming has helped to reduce damage to the wild population off the West coast of the US.
Chef Pahk and the resort share a commitment to sustainability and it shows. Chef Pahk is CIA trained and a Hawaii native, was named one of “America’s 2000” and was invited to cook the New Year’s Eve dinner at the James Beard house…
This recipe is an elegant example of his skill and it’s also a success story, of sorts. Abalone was nearly fished to extinction. We may have learned, just in time, how to responsibly manage the abalone populations. Mahalo, Chef!
Calamari or Squid is a good choice and jumbo squid may be the best choice. Jumbo squid are line-caught so little damage occurs through by-catch. Little is known about their overall populations so the more common squid may be the better choice.
Chef Silvia Bianco of Food411 shares her recipe for this calamari with pine nuts and tomatoes. She also offers three other recipes from her book Simply Sauté. (Seafood Risotto, Salmon with Wild Mushrooms, and Tilapia Pomodoro) Please find the recipes here.
U.S.-farmed catfish is a best choice because it’s farmed in an ecologically responsible manner. We have two catfish recipes for you, one by a guy who literally teaches men to fish, among other things. Ryan Newman is a NASCAR driver and seemingly all around good guy. Take a look at his foundation and charitable projects.
Here’s Ryan’s award-winning catfish recipe (he donated the $10,000 award to one of his charities of choice, his spay/neuter pet shelter project.) I give this one, and Ryan the checkered flag. (Have to ask my sister-in-law Chrissy if I got that right…)
Janet Gresham of the blog Catfish Bytes sends us this sweet and spicy glazed catfish recipe. This has an appealing Asian-style glaze, citrus and red pepper combine in this recipe that will get a green light from your doctor. It looks quick to prepare, too. Might be the answer to “what’s for dinner, tonight?”
Since Tigerfish is in California, they used the West Coast Seafood Guide. “The manila clams used in this recipe are almost from an entirely farmed-source, categorized under “Best Choices” in the West Coast Guide and the prawns I have bought are USA farmed-prawns also classified as “Good Alternatives” in the guide.” This recipe of Clams and Prawns steamed with egg whites looks gorgeous.
Pacific Halibut is the best choice where long-lining is the method of harvest. As Halibut are bottom-dwelling fish, other methods result in wasteful by-catch and environmental damage. Wild-caught California or Greenland are also acceptable.
Sesame-Crusted Halibut – Dolores sends her post from California, where she writes Chronicles of Culinary Curiosity. I love Dolores’ post because she shows how easy it was to make a dish using a smart seafood choice. She reviewed her Seafood Watch Guide, had a brief conversation with her fishmonger, then sat down to a beautiful line-caught Sesame-Crusted Halibut dinner. I’ll bet her fishmonger was happy to have an enthusiastic and informed customer, too.
Hake, also known as whitefish, is listed as a “good alternative” in our guide. Be sure to purchase Silver, Red and Offshore hake that is wild-caught.
This Dalmatian Fish Soup recipe comes to us from Croatia where it’s called “mol.” Maninas shares a family soup using “mol.” Looks like a comforting broth and a second course of poached fish. Just grab some good bread.
Mussels are cultured throughout most of the world. Cultured mussles account for approximately 90 percent of the world mussel consumption. Major producers: China, Spain, Italy, Thailand, France and New Zealand. The U.S. imports most of its mussels from developed nations with stringent environmental regulations.
Mussel-farming methods, similar to oysters’, are environmentally sound, do not rely on fishmeal or fish oil. Diseases are rare so antibiotics and chemicals are not necessary. Well-run bivalve aquaculture operations actually benefit the surrounding marine environment. My favorite mussel trick? Use the first empty shells as tweezers to snag the rest of your mussels from their shells…nature’s tools.
Pepy a.k.a Andaliman, who writes The Art and Science of Food gives us Indonesian Mussels, an exotic Indonesian recipe by way of Canada. This entry includes information about Vancouver’s sustainable seafood program and restaurants that participate.
Rockfish, Striped Bass or Greenheads as they are variously known are a “best bet” when US, wild-caught. (also see Sea Bream, below)
We’re delighted to have a true leader in the area of sustainable seafood participate. Chef Seaver has won numerous awards and accolades, he offers his recipe for Rockfish and also tips about how we can each make responsible and delicious choices.
Here’s Chef Barton Seaver’s recipe for Seared Chesapeake Rockfish over minted pumpkin and crispy kale.
I asked him to share his thoughts. First, he reminds us that sustainability is about flexibility.
“We have to be willing to admit that what we know today may be wrong tomorrow as there is more research, various developments in techniques and myriad possibilities of changes that cause us to continually
reevaluate our choices. Sometimes it is necessary to try unfamiliar things, but I have found that this is part of the fun of the dining experience. I choose to source all my produce and fish from small farmers and fishermen because I know how they operate. It takes more work at the beginning, but knowing that I’m serving the best food possible in my restaurant is worth the small investment of time.”
In addition to the Monterey Bay Aquarium guides, he says, “Anyone can easily choose more sustainable products…. there are a number of consumer guides to help choose the best fish, including Blue Ocean Institute’s Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood.”
Wild caught Alaska Salmon is the best bet. Look for Coho, Sockeye, King, Pink and Red salmon. Avoid farmed salmon. Did you know Alaska is the first state to have legislated safe and sustainable fishing policy? It can be a challenge to ensure that your salmon is actually wild and not farmed. Be sure you trust your fishmonger.
Wild smoked salmon strata comes to us from afar. It looks divine and this blogger probably hides her identity to prevent us all from dropping in for brunch!
Check out the Isolated Foodie whose “cooking trials at the far edge of nowhere” are worth a visit, even if only a virtual one.
Sardines are a “best choice” as populations are healthy.
Sanja from Croatia offers us a recipe for Fishermen’s Lunch. This is something that would certainly keep a fisherman happy. Crushed, pan-fried potatoes, golden onions and fried sardines. (Nothing like those silly little canned things Americans grew up with.)
Sanja claims not to be a cook. Check out her Fresh Adriatic Fish blog. Don’t you think the steps, the how-to advice (like how to recognize good, fresh fish) and other little tips on prep reveal a natural at work?
Bay scallops are preferable to Sea scallops. Farmed scallops are a good choice as the practice is generally safe for the environment. Scallops have low impact on the environment as they are filter feeders and no fishmeal is used in the farming. (photo is Kathy Maister’s recipe, see above.)
Black Rockfish is the best choice. Several fish sold by this name are caught by unsound methods. Look for wild-caught or hook-and-line caught fish by the name of: Black bass, Black rock cod, Sea bass, Black snapper from CA, OR, WA or Wreckfish or black sea bass Atlantic wild-caught.
Sabra writes Cookbook Catchall from NY and shares this recipe culled from a book called Culinaria Eurpoean Specialties. There’s also a recipe for Romesco sauce to go with the elegant Salt-baked Sea Bream.
I saw Chef Seaver prepare a salt-baked fish at the Southern Exposure event in Greenville. It looked easier than I thought…give it a whirl!
Shellfish are usually good choices, be sure to consult your favorite guide for advice on shrimp, langoustines or crab.
This Brodetto recipe was submitted by Delicious Italy. This is a terrific site I discovered when writing about culinary travel and the home cook or “Cesarini” travel trend.
There are four types of brodetto corresponding to the different fishing localities in the region – ‘Ancona’, ‘Porto Recanati’, ‘Fano‘ and ‘San Benedetto del Tronto’. Like our U.S. fisherman’s stew “Cioppino,” Brodetto is made with local fish, caught that day but unsold. The fishermen of Le Marche might use squid, crustaceans, langoustines and over 550 species of fish from the Adriatic coast. Even if you can’t get to Italy right now, visit the site and you’ll fall in amoré.
Shrimp or Prawns
Pink Shrimp from Oregon or Spot Prawns from British Columbia are the best bets when buying shrimp.
Trawling is a method used to harvest shrimp from other regions (including Black Tiger Shrimp, Tiger Prawns and White Shrimp) and can cause damage through by-catch or other fish caught in the trawling nets dragged through the water or along the sea floor.
Michelle A.K.A. The Greedy Gourmet asks…“Have you ever reached satiety but carried on eating anyway because the food tasted so good? What about hiding dinner leftovers in a “secret corner” in the fridge, hoping no one else in the house will notice, and having a little midnight feast before anyone discovers your booty?”
Yes, Michelle. Yes, I have….If I make these Pan-fried Butter & Garlic Prawns, however, I’m sure there will be no leftovers at all. Michelle’s a South African in the U.K.
U.S. farmed Tilapia is a best choice. Farming methods in other countries have caused environmental problems both through escapes and pollution, both of which threaten local environments.
A Kerala Fish Bake comes to us via Florida. Coconut milk, chili, turmeric, it sounds complex but is promised to be easy. The story that begins with the long journey from India to Florida and from novice to skilled cook is one that many of us can, no doubt, relate to.
Links to other resources:
- The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program
- The Blue Ocean Institute
- The Marine Stewardship Council
- Marine Conservation Biology Institute
- The Ocean Wise Canada Program
- The Oceana Network
Olivia Wu of SFGate.com gives straightforward advice about what to ask your fishmonger in this article.
Suite101 writers share recipes, more info on sustainable seafood choices and cooking techniques here:
- Know your source and your fish. Read about diners in Florida who were duped.
- Timothy Dzurilla shares his paella recipe here.
- Mary Luz Mejia shares recipes from the Endangered Fish Alliance in her Sustainable Fare.
- My own collection of S/O/L/E (Sustainable/Organic/Local/Ethical) recipes, articles, news on these topics. Includes: Cockles & Langoustines, Swordfish Provençal, Razor Clams, Ginger-scented Tilapia, and more.