Sunday, November 13, 2011

Seafood Heaven

Dorado...sarangola...huachinango...sierra...pargo...mojarra...raya...
Camarones...pulpo...caracoles...langosta...ostiones...

Ahhhh, I am in seafood heaven! The quality of it all is superb. I tell the Japanese it's better than what you can get in Tsukiji, the famous fish market, because it is so much fresher. And the variety, while it may not match that of Tsukiji that gets its seafood from around the world, is quite good.
We can buy fish at the fisherman's coop on the beach, or...

...from the fishmongers in town.


Why can't I get this variety in the States? We live on the coast and yet all I ever see is the same cod/salmon/halibut/snapper you find everywhere. (Plus farmed catfish and tilapia, of course. I can stand to eat catfish, but there's something terribly unappealing about tilapia.) In West LA, we have the Santa Monica Seafood, an upscale fish market that has all sorts of beautiful seafood, but make sure you bring a wad of money. Same with Whole Foods.

Here on the Central Pacific Coast of Mexico, it's all incredibly affordable and unbelievably fresh. Which is why I always bring my own sashimi knife and wasabi!


If you're not into preparing your own seafood, you can get lots of tasty dishes at the local restaurants. Ceviche is ground up fish (sierra, a kind of mackerel, usually) "cooked" in lime juice and mixed with diced onion, carrot, tomato, peppers and cilantro. Trita is sliced fish that's lightly "cooked" in lime. Popular shrimp dishes include coctel de camarones (shrimp in a big parfait glass filled with a spicy tomato juice/soup, onions, peppers and avocado -- you can also get it with octopus, oysters or clams,) al diablo (spicy sauce), al mantequilla (butter sauce), al ajo (garlic), empanizado (breaded and fried) and aguachile (boiled or "cooked" in lime and mixed with peppers, onions and avocados, sometime tomato.) Fish is served in almost the same ways as shrimp but there's also a la veracruzana (green olives seem to be the key ingredient,) a la plancha (pan broiled,) dorado (a whole fish unbreaded and deep fried to a crisp, not to be confused with dorado, or mahi-mahi) and zarandeado (grilled.) I've tried them all and have not once been disappointed! (Something I cannot say about restaurant seafood in other countries...)

Local fishermen cleaning out their fishing net...

...and going out to sea.

Takes more than one to deal to a fishing net.

Our friends spearfished this batch.

It was the tastiest yellowfin tuna (and mahi-mahi) ever! We made fresh maguro sushi rolls, sashimi, tuna steaks...ahhhhhhh

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