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Trash Fish?

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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 January 2013 at 16:16
Karl's reference to trash fish got me to thinking---always a dangerous thing.
 
There are two classes of trash fish. First are the species that currently do not have commercial value. I say "currently" because that's always subject to change. An example here would be triggerfish. Triggers are one of the tastiest fish that swims, but most anglers throw them back.
 
The second group are those gamefish which enjoy a local, regional popularity, but people nearby won't touch them. For instance, in Massachusets they love bluefish. But right next door in Maine natives won't touch them.
 
So, what I'm wondering is, what "trash" fish do you enjoy? And which category would you place them in?
 
And while we're at it, what's your favorite way of preparing trash fish?
But we hae meat and we can eat
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 16:48
On the coast of Cadiz in southwestern Spain, burroquito which is the Rubber Lip Grunt. Che Angel Leon prepared this exquisite white flesh fish at his Michelin Star venue Aponiente ! It is unheard of any place else on the peninsula. There are numerous Galician white flesh fish prepared in stews on northwest coast. In Madrid there is little Market value or appreciation for them. Portugal also employs a wide variety of lesser Market value fish.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 18:21
    Great topic, Brook!

   As you know, I'm a big fan of catfish...but I grew up eating it and not only do I think it's an incredibly tasty fish...but it bring back memories as well.  Yes, like any other fish...there are preferred size, waters, seasons to get them for eating.  But all in all...I love catfish.  Grilled, sauteed, in a soup or stew, fried, etc etc.  Speaking of Fried Catfish, we stopped at a restaurant down in Ridgeland Mississippi called Cock of the Walk...the place only had two entrees, catfish and chicken (then plenty of nice sides like greens etc)...we have only been there once...but the fried catfish was fantastic.  Plus, the sweet tea was served in an ice cold tin cup...and there's no better way to have it served (my opinion).

   Up in Canada there is certainly plenty of wonderful fish to eat.  At the top would certainly be fresh walleye...what a joy to eat.  But, up there (and many places) northern pike are looked at as a garbage fish (at least where we were).  I'll tell you what...they're a pain to clean...but I liked them even better than the walleye.  Now I've eaten them down here too...and let me tell you this was not the same tasting fish that I've eaten down here.

  Which brings me to one last point.  Don't discount any type of fish.  Just because you don't care for a specific fish...still give it a chance.  When changing the feed, the water, the time of year, the depth...all these things effect how the animal tastes.  All olive of the same variety are not the same, all pork from the same breed do not taste the same, all milk does not taste the same, all honey does not taste the...well, you get the idea

   just my two cents

   Food, yum!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 19:49
Dan. I am in total agreement with you. There is no comparison if we were discussing Iberian Pata Negra Jabugo!
 
I like Catfish and some of the best I have had was in Texas ... years and years ago ...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 20:11
   Margi, then when I go to Texas...I will not pass up the catfish.    I would not have thought this before your comment...thank you! Tongue

Dan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 20:27
As a youngster I have eaten white suckers fried, smoked and canned. Often. Caught in nets in the spring during their spawning run. You could drive around Michigan back in the day and see the nets at the edge of the streams and rivers. Maybe people just don't do that anymore. Probably too good or too scared to eat a sucker now. I've eaten small carp from clean cold water several times. These were cooked by using a Chinese recipe that calls for braising it in chicken fat. It's very good. You can find a recipe online I'm sure. That's what got me to saving chicken fat many years ago and I haven't looked back. I think you could smoke any kind of fish and make it edible.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 20:33
I've heard of people eating alligator gar. I think those are all but gone now, although they were around when I was a kid. There are freshwater drum in abundance here, but I haven't heard anything about eating them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 22:17
Ya know, Dan, I don't know anyone who would consider either catfish or walleye as trash fish.  But Northerns, you betcha. Not only in Canada. Lot's of Americans think of them as garbage.
 
I'm with you on the suckers, Rod. Used to catch the big Red Horse Suckers making their spring runs. I think most people don't care for them because of the bones. But there are ways around that. I've got a great chowder recipe given to my by a Michigan smallmouth guide.
 
I've not heard of anyone eating gar. But both drum and buffalo are popular in some parts of the country, noteably Louisiana. Most people do think of them as trash, though.
 
As for carp, it's only in America that they're looked down on. Carp is a very popular fish in much of the world.
 
Let's keep this going, guys.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 02:52
Brook. Carp is a delicacy in Valle D' Aosta Italy ... Delicious.
 
Please post ur Michigan fish chowder in Midwest Section. I would like to prepare with Basque and Galician & Medit. varieties available to me here. Thanks so much. Marge
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 05:29
  Brook, I wasn't saying that Walleye is a trash fish...quite the opposite.  But Northern Pike, is looked at as a fish you simply don't eat (you've got Walleye).  But, as good as I think Canada Walleye are, I thought their Northern Pike was even a little better.


  Yeah, carp ain't bad either...though it's been a long time since I've had it.  You can actually get whole carp around here very easily in the stores (as well as in the waters)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 07:12
When I lived in a real city I was able to buy live carp out of a tank. Live frogs, shrimp, striped bass, trout and catfish too. I miss that convenience and the availability of diverse ingredients.

Walleye appears to be some sort of deified and epically wonderful fish around here. It's good, but not that good. Lots of perch love around these parts too.

I like northern pike and chain pickerel too. Bony things, but if those are cut around they're good. The finest shore lunches I've ever had were fried northern pike. Folks used to call the smaller ones hammer handles... no love there.

Folks should try the braised in chicken fat thing. It's real good, and I don't see why it wouldn't work with other types of fish. Like a whole tilapia maybe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 08:06
Originally posted by Rod Franklin Rod Franklin wrote:



Folks should try the braised in chicken fat thing. It's real good, and I don't see why it wouldn't work with other types of fish. Like a whole tilapia maybe.


   Rod, I'm with you on the chicken fat thing. Chicken fat is WAY under rated, no doubt about it!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 08:19
great topic, brook ~
 
most of the common "trash fish" in my area have already been mentioned; suckers, carp, freshwater drum - even northern pike, according to a lot of people. after having tried all of them, i have to disagree with the notion that they are trash fish. it does indeed depend on the water, the time of year and how they are prepared, but each of these are and can be very good eating.
 
one "trash fish" up here that hasn't yet been mentioned is the bullhead:
 
 
 
Good stuff indeed, in the spring - after all, they're just catfish! Wink
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 08:52

Tas,

SAUTÉED CATFISH ... YUM ... THANKS FOR POSTING PHOTOS ...
 
Margi.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 09:14
 
 
RUBBER LIP GRUNT = BORRIQUETE DE CADIZ, ANDALUSIA, SPAIN ...
*** THIS SPECIES HAS LARGE FULL LIPS ... AND IS A DELICACY OF TENDER WHITE FLESH FOUND IN THE SOUTHERN ATLANTIC, OFF COAST OF EL PUERTA DE SANTA MARIA, CADIZ ...
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 09:23
 
Brook,
 
PLAICE  IN NORTHWESTERN SPAIN´s PROVINCE OF GALICIA IS CALLED SOLLA ...
 
THIS FISH IS CONSIDERED A WONDERMENT IN GALICIAN FISH STEWS ...
 
However, it is not popular at this time in other parts of Spain.
 
Kind regards,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 11:10
I can't tell you how many bullheads "swallowed the hook" when I was a youngster. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 11:36

Good Evening, Rod,

a bull head = A CAT FISH VARIETY ...
 
 
Look perfect for a sauté pan with Evoo, sea salt and some minced fresh herbs and a good glass of sparkling white wine ... all u need here !
  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 13:29
Bullheads, suckers, carp, drum, pike, pickerel, walleye, perch, catfish, gar and any others of the many mentioned here are all fresh water fish. I don't think sea fishes and fresh water fish are really comparable. However, I have experienced derision aimed at a few salt water fishes. Specifically, rays and sharks. I'm sure there are others that those who fish the sea wouldn't eat if they had their druthers. I know if I had to choose between those fish that came from the sea or those from fresh water, I would choose the sea fish without any hesitation or remorse.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 13:45
Actually, Rod, I'd mentioned Triggerfish right at the top.
 
Triggerfish is a saltwater fish that eats barnacles. Most anglers (they're caught readily off the piers of the mid-Atlantic coast) consider them trash fish and toss them back.
 
For awhile they were the darling of some celebrity chefs. But, due to both availability and difficulty cleaning they never took off.
 
But they're one of the best eating fish you'll ever find---once you learn how to cut through their leather-like skin.
 
I don't care for shark, myself. Too much of an ammonia-like smell and taste. But ray is, as you note, one of the most underused fishes going.
 
In the old days, disks were stamped out of ray wings and sold as sea scallops. That's one practice I'm happy to see gone.
 
Another underused resource are sea snails. Sure, conch is well known and in demand. Less well known are the welks of North Carolina, and the large blue snails (I'm sure they have a name, just don't know what it is) found off the beaches further north.
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