Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 1:22 am | Fair 57º


Captain’s Log: What’s Cookin’?

Truly fresh fish is unbeatable, but for store-bought fish, this recipe will make you want to dive in for seconds.

Article Image
Freshly caught local fish, such as this California halibut, are a delicacy when properly cared for, meaning gutted and gilled, or filleted, right after being caught and stored in a cool place. (Capt. David Bacon / Noozhawk photo)

Late summer and early autumn are the absolute best times for sport fishing locally. It seems to be the right time for catching nearly everything. We have a vast array of options, ranging from groundfish (rockfish, lingcod, etc.) to white seabass, yellowtail, halibut, threshers and surface gamesters such as bonito, barracuda and mackerel.

Capt. David Bacon (Ramona Lisa McFadyen photo)
Not every fish on this list is considered top-notch dinner fare, but when freshly caught and properly cared for, they are all good. “Properly cared for” means gutted and gilled, or filleted, right after being caught and stored in a cool place until you arrive home. Never put a fish in a gunny sack in the sun. 

This is the premier time of year to go fishing, which means it is a great time to eat fresh fish. The difference between a fresh-caught fish that was swimming a few hours ago and a store-bought fish that has been dead for a week is amazing.

Fresh means caught the same day. Stores use the term for marketing purposes and it has little to do with the freshness of their fish. The flavor and texture of very fresh fish is wonderful. But alas, most folks don’t have the option to go fishing enough to keep them adequately stocked with truly fresh fish. So I have a recipe to share that will make store-bought fish taste great.

I must issue a warning: This recipe produces a bold taste. It is not a spicy-hot taste that will burn your lips, but it is bold. I like my fish bold when I fight them, and I like my fish bold on the plate.

The ingredients are chop serrano chiles (they are green and about the size of your little finger), bell peppers and onions. Brown the mixture in grape seed oil, sesame seed oil or your own favorite cooking oil. When browned, add cubed fish filets. At this point, you are about six to eight minutes from being done (fish cooks quickly and you don’t want to overcook it). With about one minute of cooking time left, stir in teriyaki sauce. Not just any teriyaki sauce, but Yeri-Yeri teriyaki sauce.

Caution: Use this recipe at your own risk. You may find yourself wanting to go fishing really soon to try the recipe on truly fresh fish. The difference is that profound.

Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a new nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need.

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