We went to Pedregal to buy fish (read about it HERE) I also wanted to include some information about the various fish, so I’ve put it in this separate post here. If any of you have further information, opinions, corrections, or anything else to add to what I’ve written, please let me know!
Pargo is snapper. That’s one of them at the top of this post. Right now they are in the freezer so I can’t report on how good they are, but I know I’ve liked snapper in the past.
Robalo is snook. There are snook in Florida but people catch them mainly for sport. They are not sold in stores for food. Our research told us that they are also called “soap fish” because of the taste if you do not remove the skin. I was very glad we did a bit of research! So, after I had carefully removed the scales, we got busy removing the skin. By this time we were left with a large, skinless fish so we figured it wasn’t much more to just fillet the fish. We fried the fillets in a bit of oil. I thought it was a good fish, white, tender, very mild flavor. My husband didn’t care for it as much, I think because the texture is softer than he prefers. So, given all the work it took to prepare this fish and the lukewarm reviews by my husband, we will cross this one off the list. But, for anyone else reading this I’d say try it before you decide. Many people like snook very much. If you are experienced with skinning and filleting fish, you will probably do better than we did.
Camaron is shrimp. These shrimp were excellent!! They came straight from the water so I had to clean and de-vein them. This took a little time but wasn’t at all difficult. Then I sauteed them in butter and garlic, and put them on a plate! My previous experience is frozen shrimp in the US. These shrimp had a milder flavor, much more tender texture, and I thought they were far better than any I had before.
Sierra is mackerel, specifically Spanish mackerel, I believe, judging by the pictures I found on line. This fish is a big winner with us! It has no scales so is easy to prepare. We had such a big fish that even after removing the head and tail it was more than we needed at once, so I cut it in two. Now, we had a large plump piece of fish. The easiest seemed to be to microwave it so I put it on a plate, covered it with a bit of plastic, and nuked it for about 8 minutes until it was done through in the thickest parts. I served it with some limon from the tree in the back yard, and some salt and pepper. It was delicious!! We were both totally happy and put this fish on the top of our list. It has a good flavor, meaty texture, and my husband said it’s as good as a steak (very high praise from a steak loving guy).
Lisa is mullet. My research quickly turned up an article from Sarasota, where I lived before here. (It’s HERE) I remember mullet wasn’t highly thought of back there, but apparently restaurants in the northeast think it’s very good. Sarasota is trying to make mullet more popular since there is a lot of it in the area, and often it is only caught for the roe and the male fish are just dumped overboard and wasted. We have 4 small fish in the freezer, and I’ll be interested to see what we think of them.
One more to add – the first time we went shopping we bought durado, which is mahi mahi. I think it was $2.50/lb. It was also excellent! After a bit of research and a couple tries, my favorite way to cook it is fried. It’s a big meaty fish and I like it a bit rare in the middle as that is more tender. I minced a fair amount of garlic, got the pan very hot, put in some oil and the garlic, and then the fish. I cooked the fish a few minutes on either side until it was seared on the outside but still tender in the middle. This one definitely stays on the list for both of us.
As we buy and try other fish, I will add to our fish information. So far, what I have learned – if the seller asks if you want the fish cleaned, say yes. My fish still had scales and while they aren’t hard to remove, it takes some time, and then it takes more time to clean up the scales that flew all over the kitchen.
Otherwise we are totally happy with the fish available here. If you all have some favorite recipes or cooking methods, please share! I am not experienced with cooking much fish so I’m happy to learn more.