I picked up three small fillets of wild caught bluefish on my way home the other day.
In my experience, the smaller fillets seem to be tastier, less “blue-fishy”, and usually seem to look fresher, at least at my fishmonger’s abode. Plus they’re younger, less time to accumulate mercury. But if you do have a spectacular large whole specimen, I’ll direct you to this recipe, which yes, is apparently made by putting the fish wrapped in foil in the top rack of your dishwasher (sans soap, although one reviewer says if the thing is sufficiently wrapped, you can run a load for conservation and multitasking purposes).
I was surfing around that same site (RecipeZaar/Food.com) for new concepts in bluefish-cooking, and while the above certainly fills the bill regarding NEW, I’m choosing to modify a recipe card from the supermarket.
Anyhow. bluefish is a high omega-3 oil fish, especially since I don’t think bluefish-farming is an industry yet. Once that happens, omega-3s scurry out the window. It’s sustainable, if only because most people don’t like, or more accurately, think they won’t like, bluefish, and they are worried about the oils. (In this regard, the salmon fisheries have done a world of PR for their fish! So maybe we should just shussssh and not get the bluefish word out, because we certainly don’t want bluefish, redfish, or any other fish to go the way of the poor “Atlantic” salmon, which now comes so frequently from the Pacific’s Chilean farmed waters.)
Buying Fish of Any Stripe
If it has any rainbow coloration whatsoever, STAY AWAY. If you are intimate enough with your fishmonger, he may allow you to sniff it. Not bury your nose in it, which might in itself contaminate it, but let you sniff from a reasonable distance. If it smells fishy, stay away (if you are on that close enough terms in this area — Northeast USA — he’s going to steer you away anyway). If you are purchasing a whole fish, look at the eyes. If they are sunken, dried out, stay away. I always pick out the fillets or fish I want (unless it is something small like smelts or sardines).
Outlets such as Trader Joe’s don’t have fishmongers — most of their fish is sold frozen. I’m leary of their fresh-packed fish section (without having tried, I admit); I’d stick with their frozen. Even there, once I came up with a bad deal once it thawed, but if you live in the middle of the country, this may be the route to go.
Anyhow: this recipe is served chilled.
3 bluefish fillets
equal parts of water and dry white wine, to cover fish when laid out at bottom of pan
6 or so slices from one green cabbage, then coarsely chopped
1-2 ramps (or garlic clove, chopped, if ramps aren’t available). If a ramp, chop up the bulb and the leaf.
ground white pepper
Twist of lemon (or lime) juice
Bring water/wine to a low boil, lay in the fish so that the fillets are not on top of each other, reduce to a simmer, add in all the other ingredients except cilantro and lemon juice, and simmer for about 5-6 minutes (more if the fillets are thicker).
Remove fish and veggies and chill once they are cool enough to place in refrigerator.
Serve chilled, optionally on a large leaf of lettuce, with cilantro and the splash of lemon. With three fillets, I had enough for three excellent lunches at work.