Buying Seafood

Buy Locally

Pete Bromley at Plymouth Fisheries

The exception to the "No Fresh Fish" rule in supermarkets is where there is a local freshwater fishery. In the Northern states, walleye and yellow perch are often available -- buy them whenever you can, as they are world-class fish. Smoked whitefish ("chubs") are another local favorite in some states. You can get great sturgeon far inland in the Pacific Northwest. And remember that farmed catfish and trout are available nationwide, and the methods used to raise either fish are, for the most part, environmentally friendly.

Not every fish freezes well. Oily fish such as yellowtail or some tuna are generally unsuited to freezing, and even salmon can suffer if frozen too long. Look instead for these common supermarket fish:

  • Pacific cod or pollock
  • Sockeye salmon (it's leaner than king salmon)
  • Yellowtail tuna (generally cut from lean portions)
  • Swordfish or Thresher shark
  • Tilapia
  • Catfish
  • Walleye
  • Pacific halibut
  • "Sole," which is really flounder
  • "Snapper," which is rarely true red snapper
  • American shrimp
  • American squid
  • Alaskan king or snow crab
  • Vacuum-packed sea scallops (they must be sealed to be worth buying)