From pole to plate: How to make use of a fresh Bluefish

Bluefish, photo provided by Dalton Allison
Bluefish, photo provided by Dalton Allison /

After catching a fresh Bluefish, how should you cook it?

As people scrounge around for activities to do during the COVID-19 Pandemic, a popular trend has been to head out to the great outdoors. This is nothing new for fisherman, who treat their local body of water as a sanctuary to escape from work or other things in life. Grabbing a rod and reel has become an even more important escape during the pandemic.

The east coast of the United States is known for ferocious sport fishing, especially in the Atlantic Ocean. In the great state of New Jersey, Bluefish are a popular species to target when heading out into the many bays that the state has. Not only are the fish excellent fun to real in, but they can also make for an excellent dish to eat-if cooked correctly.

The most common mistake that fisherman make when cooking their catch of Bluefish often happens before they get the fish into the frying pan. It is essential that once you land your fish into the boat, you put it over ice. This is to ensure that the fish remains as fresh as possible before fileting and then cooking it. If you are going down the route of supporting small businesses and opting to go fishing on a party boat, they will filet the fish for you.

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The next key step in preparing your fish lies in the preparation. Set aside one hour to soak your filets in milk. Any variety of milk will work, as it serves to pull a good amount of the oily ocean taste that accompanies a poorly prepared bluefish.

After scouring the internet for a decent but simple recipe, I landed upon Steve Gordon of Taste of Southern. After reading through and realizing I didn’t have most of the ingredients in my pantry, I decided on basic ingredients of egg, Italian breadcrumbs, and Paprika.

After soaking your filets in milk for an hour, they are ready for frying. Simply whisk an egg in a bowl, then use that to coat each filet. When the filets are coated with egg, make sure to give each of them a nice roll in the Italian breadcrumbs. This process should be done like an assembly line to reduce the countertop mess.

After the filets are coated in breadcrumbs, give a healthy dash of paprika to each filet for flavor. From there, it is a simple matter of frying the filets until they flake in a thin layer of vegetable oil.

Going fishing is often a great stress reliever and a great way to make memories with friends and family. The memory gets extended even further when you can turn your catch into a tasty meal!

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