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Teach a Man to (Eat) Fish - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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January 18th, 2008


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07:34 am - Teach a Man to (Eat) Fish
Thanks to everyone who took the time to read my six frickin' long vacation posts and leave comments! They took me many, many, many, many, many hours to write (and none of those "many"s is excessive), so I like to hear when people enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Among the tens of thousands of words, however, was buried one important fact: I ate fish for the first time. It was salmon, and it was good.

Now, however, I have no idea what to do. I don't know how to proceed. I'm not sure what the next step is in my pesceducation.

I've gone twenty-six years without eating fish, so it's not like I have a big fish-shaped hole in my diet. I would probably be just fine never eating fish again, except I'm sort of an all-or-nothing kind of person, which means that since I ate it once I might as well become One Who Eats Fish. It's healthy and stuff!

So how does one become One Who Eats Fish? What should I know? What should I try next? Remember that I've only ever eaten bird, so my first impression of salmon was "melty chicken," and I accidentally had tuna once, so I think it tastes like "weird chicken salad."

I think I will have to ease into the rest of seafood; I'm not sure I'm ready to eat things that still look like themselves. But people seem to like the stuff, so, since I've crossed the line, I've allowed myself the opportunity to see what all the fuss is about eventually.

I don't yet know to what extent I will incorporate fish into my diet. Fish is generally expensive, and I'm cheap. Also, I don't know how to cook fish or whether I can put it in my Rice-a-Roni. But maybe now I can find out why the Brits love fish and chips so much. And sushi still confounds me. It's raw! Why is it so popular?!

When I told jeeperstseepers I had eaten fish for the first time, she went on for twenty minutes about the wonderful new world of fish I was now privy to. I expect that same level of excitement and advice from all of you: go!
Current Mood: hungryhungry
Current Music: Breaking Benjamin - Blow Me Away

(144 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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[User Picture]
From:miniglik
Date:January 18th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
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I can give you a couple of recipes, if you want.

I'm not a huge fish fan, but salmon is usually pretty good on the Foreman Grill with some lemon juice or garlic.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 18th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC)
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I feel like I should get one of those grills. And maybe some lemon juice and garlic.

Poor Indy.
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From:grammarwoman
Date:January 18th, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)
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I was one of those kids who refused to eat fish, except in a form so heavily battered that it didn't matter what was inside. Then in college, I was introduced to sushi. Now I'm a sushi addict. (I'm still meh on lots of cooked fish, but I do enjoy salmon and tuna.)

So yeah, I would push for trying out some sushi. You could start slow with the cooked rolls and move into sashimi.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 18th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
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I've had vegetarian sushi and liked it.

I have heard good things about this tuna fish, but I am skeptical ever since the Er, This Isn't Chicken Salad Incident.
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From:sneaker328
Date:January 18th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
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What is it about fish that kept you from eating it before?

I refused to eat fish (with the notable exceptions of gefilte and tuna salad) for most of my childhood because I didn't like the fishy smell or taste. As I matured and started focusing on a healthy diet I got over it (somewhat- I still don't like anything very fishy) but I still prefer mild, flaky fishes like cod, sole, snapper, tilapia, etc. I also love grilled salmon and tuna steaks when they're cooked right. Sushi is also a big thing- the easy way to try that out is to start with vegetable rolls to see if you even like the general idea of the rice and nori and all that, and then to try something with a mild fish in it like a California Roll which is made with cooked real or fake shrimp.

Obviously I cannot comment in any way on shellfish or anything else with no fins and scales.
[User Picture]
From:ste_noni
Date:January 18th, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC)
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I'm also curious what kept you from trying fish before.

Sushi is awesome and there are many cooked varieties if you are squeamish about raw fish. Personally, I'm not crazy about mahi mahi or halibut (too heavy) but there are many fresh water fishes that have a light flavor. I love trout, having grown up in the Midwest, but I bet you can get some awesome fresh fish in SF.

Have you tried crab? I know it's not fish but it is awesome!
[User Picture]
From:vaspider
Date:January 18th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
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Shhhrriiiiiiimp.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:January 18th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
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Shrimp is weird! They're tiny little dudes! HOW CAN I EAT THEM?!
[User Picture]
From:etherealclarity
Date:January 18th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
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Salmon is delicious. It's my new best friend because not only is it tasty, but it doesn't hurt my stomach and it's healthy! Yay salmon!

My advice - if you liked salmon, stick with that for a while... and when you're used to the whole salmon thing, try other fishes :)

Also, if the crab is already separated from the shell (like in sushi), it doesn't look anything like a crab! Crab can be supertasty so I'd recommend trying it in a sushi roll.
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From:etherealclarity
Date:January 18th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
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Also, I may not have commented on all of the posts but I damn well read them all. I haven't been on vacation in a bit so I needed something to live vicariously through. Also, now I'm all "I want to go to a wedding!".
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 18th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
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Thank you for reading!
From:harriettheelf
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC)
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Salmon has a really high mercury count. If that's something that concerns you, I mean. I try not to eat it more than once or twice every two or three months. Same with swordfish.

I think tilapia is a good next fish for you. Not a very fishy fish, flavor-wise.

Shellfish = YUMMY. In related news, it would be hard for me to be less interested in the rules of kashrut. Real crab is delightful.

And I love sushi. LOVE IT. I would be happy to be a sushi tourguide for you.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
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Salmon has a really high mercury count. If that's something that concerns you, I mean. I try not to eat it more than once or twice every two or three months. Same with swordfish.
Well, crap! This is the problem with fish! It's healthy BUT COULD KILL ME.

I think tilapia is a good next fish for you. Not a very fishy fish, flavor-wise.
That's definitely on the list. It's what convinced my brother that he should try adding fish to his diet, which in turn convinced me.

Shellfish = YUMMY.
Hmmmmmm.

And I love sushi. LOVE IT. I would be happy to be a sushi tourguide for you.
I think there will be many volunteers for that position. Hee.
[User Picture]
From:dcjensen
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
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I would recommend finding a place that has a good rep and going with some friends and buy a sampler platter. See what you like.

Maybe try the breaded items as a beginning, then move on to non-breaded fish. Or vice versa.

Otherwise? Andi and I had our first date at a place in Arizona that had a seafood platter for two that had a lot of different things on it. I even ate squid! (It was a bit rubbery)

Lobster and crab meat and their fish "imitations" are good with hot butter.

The quality of cooking of fish can vary massively by restaurant.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
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Those sound like good ideas! Thanks!
From:birdsarecalling
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
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Catfish is a good fish to use if you want to do your own fish and chips! It has nice firm, white flesh, and it's not as expensive as proper haddock. Just make a nice beer batter, buy some peanut or canola oil, and you're good to go.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
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That sounds very complicated. But catfish, eh? There are so many different kinds of fish. This is too confusing!

CHICKEN. TURKEY. THE OCCASIONAL DUCK. THE END.
[User Picture]
From:afrocurl
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
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For your next few times with fish, I'd stick with something like salmon again, maybe trout and sole, too. The fish that look more like steaks (swordfish, halibut) tend to have a stronger flavor.

For recipes, most of the fishes that have a very mild taste can be pan-cooked with oil, garlic and a bit of lemon.

You can also bake salmon with seasonings and teriyaki sauce.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
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For your next few times with fish, I'd stick with something like salmon again, maybe trout and sole, too. The fish that look more like steaks (swordfish, halibut) tend to have a stronger flavor.
Ooh, thanks.

For recipes, most of the fishes that have a very mild taste can be pan-cooked with oil, garlic and a bit of lemon.
It appears I might want to buy some oil, garlic, and lemon.
From:wee_warrior
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
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I don't necessarily like fish, so you're on your own. However, it looks like you're getting help otherwise.

Sushi is quite tasty, actually. You can eat it without fish, too!
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From:shpyum
Date:January 18th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
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Lassi!

Sorry, Sunil, I don't eat fish anymore (I miss Lox) but I do still regularly partake of the Psych.
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From:skogkatt
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
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I used to not understand about sushi. And then I tried it, and it melted away in my mouth and was a beautiful dream food. You should go to sushi sometime with people who love it, and start out with basic things like a California Roll or Unagi (these are cooked, so the rawness shouldn't squick you), and maybe some maguro and/or sake (raw salmon, not rice wine) if you are feeling adventurous. You like things spicy, so you may very well love wasabi. I certainly do. It's a different kind of spice than pepper. It doesn't linger like a slow burn, it just zaps you and then moves on.

Another yummy seafood thing to try is the crabcake. It does not look like a crab at all.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 18th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
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I know all about wasabi. It is crazy shit! (I've had vegetarian sushi before.)

My co-worker loves crab cakes.
[User Picture]
From:daynr
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC)
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I think it may be time to embrace tofu also.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 18th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
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I don't go out of my way to eat tofu, but I don't not eat it.
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From:lodessa
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
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I'm actually not big on fish. I'm cool with shellfish though. Shrimp will totally go in your rice a roni.


Right now my brother is indoctrinating me about sushi since I always feel uncultured for hiding from it. So far I am not terribly impressed but feel I will be able to stomach some of it enough to not embarrass myself.
[User Picture]
From:incidentist
Date:January 18th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
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Yah, they were good posts.

Sushi is a good way to establish a baseline -- it's what fish tastes like when you don't do anything to it at all. And it's still delicious! Try maguro (tuna). It just melts in your mouth. Sashimi is the kind where they just give you little slabs of fish without any of the other stuff that goes into sushi (you still eat it with rice, but you do it yourself instead of having it pre-packaged in seaweed).

My favorite easy salmon recipe is: put a piece of salmon into a tinfoil bed (with upturned sides), put a lot of teriyaki sauce on it, and put it in the oven for like 15 minutes.

I'd be curious to know what you think of pickled herring. :)

A warning: gefilte fish is nasty. Be wary.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:January 18th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC)
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Try maguro (tuna). It just melts in your mouth.
I feel like I should be taking notes.

Sashimi is the kind where they just give you little slabs of fish without any of the other stuff that goes into sushi (you still eat it with rice, but you do it yourself instead of having it pre-packaged in seaweed).
Hmmmm.

My favorite easy salmon recipe is: put a piece of salmon into a tinfoil bed (with upturned sides), put a lot of teriyaki sauce on it, and put it in the oven for like 15 minutes.
I can do that!!

A warning: gefilte fish is nasty. Be wary.
I...will.

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