Buying local has become a huge part of our daily routine with produce, eggs, small mom and pop shops, farmer’s markets, and more. Why shouldn’t our seafood be local as well? We are doing many things to help support and provide local and California product to those on the west coast.
I visited Morro Bay last week and learned so much about some of the fish we provide, and I wanted to share some information with you!
Did you know that Santa Monica Seafood has been supporting local businesses and fisheries for over 75 years? YES! We started locally in 1939 in San Pedro working directly with local fishermen. Boats would dock and unload California halibut, white sea bass, mackerel, and more!
Fast forward to 2015 where we now have local fishermen docking weekly on the west coast bringing in sablefish, whole dover sole, whole petrale sole, local chilipepper rockfish, king salmon, spot prawns, swordfish, sardines, squid/calamari, and more! We also source a variety of local shellfish including Grassy Bar oysters, Carlsbad Luna oysters, and mussels. These products are provided when available and in season, keep an eye out for them.
I learned that Sablefish, also known as Black Cod or Butterfish, is one of the most sustainable fish you can buy. This fish has the lowest by-catch due to the technique the fishermen use. It’s ranked “Best Choice” by Seafood Watch, and they are available almost year round!
Here is a delicious recipe if you want to try something new! The fish is buttery, similar to that of a Chilean Sea Bass, full of omega 3 fatty acids, and very mild in taste.
Adapted from Nobu: The Cookbook, Serves 4
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup mirin
4 tablespoons white miso paste
3 tablespoons sugar
4 sablefish fillets, about 1/2 pound each
Two to three days beforehand, make the miso marinade and marinate the fish. Bring the sake and mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Turn the heat down to low, add the miso paste and whisk. When the miso has dissolved completely, turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar, whisking constantly to ensure that the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
Pat the sablefish fillets thoroughly dry with paper towels. Slather the fish with the miso marinade and place in a non-reactive dish or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to marinate in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
To cook the fish: Preheat oven to 400°F. Preheat a grill or broiler. Lightly wipe off any excess miso clinging to the fillets but don’t rinse it off. Place the fish skin-side-up on the grill, or in a broiler pan, and grill or broil until the surface of the fish browns and blackens in spots, about 3 minutes. Flip and grill or broil until the other side is browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily.
It’s a very positive thing to buy locally. This allows us to keep our carbon footprint down, empower consumers, promote biodiversity, support the future of domestic fishing and aquaculture, and best of all – it’s super fresh!
The next time you’re in one of our Markets ask the friendly Seafood Expert behind the counter what’s local – they’ll be happy to point out what fish we’re bringing in from California waters!