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    Post #1 - August 4th, 2005, 12:19 pm
    Post #1 - August 4th, 2005, 12:19 pm Post #1 - August 4th, 2005, 12:19 pm
    does anyone have any good tips about where one could find good deals on purchasing fresh tasty fish?

    I live in the humboldt park area. is there anything within a reasonable distance?
  • Post #2 - August 4th, 2005, 12:33 pm
    Post #2 - August 4th, 2005, 12:33 pm Post #2 - August 4th, 2005, 12:33 pm
    Welcome to LTH!

    I think you'll find this thread helpful. You'll see some discussion about Dirk's which isn't unreasonably far from Humboldt Park. You also have the option of Whole Foods on North Ave. which can be good from time-to-time.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #3 - May 31st, 2017, 7:02 am
    Post #3 - May 31st, 2017, 7:02 am Post #3 - May 31st, 2017, 7:02 am
    I am suffering from prices on fish. It is more than meat often.
    I guess I am old because every time I look at pricing, I am shocked by how high it is. Any tips on where to go for fresh fish to prepare at home?
  • Post #4 - May 31st, 2017, 7:48 am
    Post #4 - May 31st, 2017, 7:48 am Post #4 - May 31st, 2017, 7:48 am
    Hi,

    Here is a thread, which is almost a history piece and yet has some ideas:
    wholesale fish monger like the meat placaes on randolph

    Fish mongers on Randolph are a dying breed, if not extinct.

    Peoria Packing House does have fish fresh from the freezer.

    Isaacson & Stein merged with Supreme Lobster, though their website is still going. They indicate plans to deliver fresh fish to the west loop.

    Seafood City on Elston has a large selection of fish, which they will process to order and even fry for you. Some of these fishes may be unknown to you, though it may be fun to learn about them. Ditto for H-Mart.

    Something happened with catfish, which used to be relatively inexpensive. Swal is the favored fill-in at a number of places. There is a thread on LTH from 11-years ago, which was inconclusive. Probably someone can add to it now.

    Over the weekend, I visited Metropolitan Farms on Chicago Avenue. They raise about 500 pounds of tilapia a month. When they are preparing the fish for harvesting, they don't feed them for a few days to cleanse them. They lower the water temperature and add salt, which causes the fish to hibernate. They claim their tilapia have a better taste.

    I am sure people will add to this thread with their experiences.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - May 31st, 2017, 9:12 am
    Post #5 - May 31st, 2017, 9:12 am Post #5 - May 31st, 2017, 9:12 am
    Cathy2 wrote:They lower the water temperature and add salt, which causes the fish to hibernate. They claim their tilapia have a better taste.

    Self-brining tilapia – brilliant!

    jilter wrote:I am suffering from prices on fish. It is more than meat often.
    I guess I am old because every time I look at pricing, I am shocked by how high it is. Any tips on where to go for fresh fish to prepare at home?

    I was impressed with the price and general appearance of the fish at Seafood City (5033 N Elston), mentioned above by Cathy. I was only there once, days after their opening, so wonder if things still look as good.

    Take a look at this post on two South Side options. It would be tough to beat Duwell (617 S Pulaski) for price and freshness – most fish are still swimming – assuming the limited selection doesn't bother you. Market Fish (7129 S State) has a considerably larger selection. I was there about a year ago with a chef who was surprised to find good-looking true turbot. As you probably gathered from the photos, both Duwell and Market are no-frills establishments.
  • Post #6 - May 31st, 2017, 12:07 pm
    Post #6 - May 31st, 2017, 12:07 pm Post #6 - May 31st, 2017, 12:07 pm
    Let's define 'Fresh'.
    Ask most places for 'fresh' fish and you get 'fresh Frozen'.
    We eat a lot of fish.
    So here are the best places in terms of quality and decreasing price.
    Dirk's, the prices will shock you but the fish and shellfish will be fresh.
    Mitsuwa.
    They periodically fly in fresh fish from Tsukiji , the quality is very good and but the prices are very high. The fish sold for sashimi is all previously frozen but highest quality, think BlueFin Tuna from $70 to $90/# depending on fat and grade if in stock.
    Yellowfin tuna can be and for $30/# on sale.
    Fresh Farms, Touhy, not Golf.
    There is center counter with fillets and shrimp, squid and mollusks.
    Most of the fillet is 'Fresh' and so marked and if it is frozen previously so marked.
    I've seen the containers for the Alaskan Cod come out marked fresh and indeed the fish was not frozen and equal in quality to any cod except those those I have caught myself.
    The filleted fish is invariably of high quality and some good values can be found such as Lake Trout, sole and a few others.
    Fresh Halibut can set you back $18/#.
    The whole fish on another counter looks to me previously frozen and I generally don't purchase unless buying one to smoke.
    H-Mart, I avoid most of the whole fish based on looks, it's all previously frozen. Lobster, Dungeness crab, live flounder are of excellent quality. The also have live blue crab and crayfish in season. The salmon steaks are good quality and the Salmon sold for Sashimi comes fresh from the Faroe Islands and is the best salmon, wild or farmed I have ever had but $15/#.
    SeaFood City. All previously frozen but the Japanese Amberjack and Pompano have been excellent and they will process and indeed fry it anyway you want. But be prepared to wait.
    That's it.
    In order to be able to know what is fresh, you really have to have experience the look, feel, smell of fish directly out of the ocean or inland waters. Filleted fish is harder to deal with but if it 'slumps', looks dull, that is a clue.
    The FDA will tell you that your nose is THE BEST indicator of 'fresh'.
    Ask to smell if in doubt.
    -Richard
  • Post #7 - May 31st, 2017, 12:35 pm
    Post #7 - May 31st, 2017, 12:35 pm Post #7 - May 31st, 2017, 12:35 pm
    Thanks, Richard, that is a helpful and (for me) timely list, lining up well with notes I was making from this and other threads. Thanks also for the details about what's good at the various places.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #8 - May 31st, 2017, 12:48 pm
    Post #8 - May 31st, 2017, 12:48 pm Post #8 - May 31st, 2017, 12:48 pm
    I'd throw GNR Boston Fish Market into the mix. Excellent quality at relatively reasonable prices. Not in the city, of course, but worth a trip out to Des Plaines.

    Boston Fish Market
    1225 E. Forest Ave.
    Des Plaines, IL 60018
    (847) 803-2100
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #9 - May 31st, 2017, 3:47 pm
    Post #9 - May 31st, 2017, 3:47 pm Post #9 - May 31st, 2017, 3:47 pm
    stevez wrote:I'd throw GNR Boston Fish Market into the mix. Excellent quality at relatively reasonable prices. Not in the city, of course, but worth a trip out to Drs Plains.

    Good point, Steve, and fairly convenient for me.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #10 - June 1st, 2017, 7:12 am
    Post #10 - June 1st, 2017, 7:12 am Post #10 - June 1st, 2017, 7:12 am
    I have yet to try the Boston Fish Market.
    When I do, I will Post my thoughts.
    But everything I have read has been uniformly good but my standards are very high.
    I was born in Boston. Lived in Norwood Mass and spent vacations in Maine. Fished out of Plymouth Mass and various piers and jetties in New England.
    I remember when fish sticks were made in New England out of real Cod and Haddock. You could go to the processing plants and watch the conveyors off loading the fish for processing.
    Moving to the Midwest in the 20th century was a real shock at the time because not much was available.
    Gradually over the decades with faster and better distribution, the selection has increased dramatically but along with the increased popularity of fish has come increased awareness of 'fresh', mislabeling and selling of sub quality fish.
    I will leave farmed, sustainable for another discussion.-Richard
  • Post #11 - June 1st, 2017, 8:33 am
    Post #11 - June 1st, 2017, 8:33 am Post #11 - June 1st, 2017, 8:33 am
    budrichard wrote:I have yet to try the Boston Fish Market.
    When I do, I will Post my thoughts.
    But everything I have read has been uniformly good but my standards are very high.
    I was born in Boston. Lived in Norwood Mass and spent vacations in Maine. Fished out of Plymouth Mass and various piers and jetties in New England.
    I remember when fish sticks were made in New England out of real Cod and Haddock. You could go to the processing plants and watch the conveyors off loading the fish for processing.
    Moving to the Midwest in the 20th century was a real shock at the time because not much was available.
    Gradually over the decades with faster and better distribution, the selection has increased dramatically but along with the increased popularity of fish has come increased awareness of 'fresh', mislabeling and selling of sub quality fish.
    I will leave farmed, sustainable for another discussion.-Richard


    Just to set your expectations, it's Boston Fish Market in name only. Don't expect the duplication of a fish market you might find down near the docks in the Northeast. Still, they are a huge fish distributor (one of the largest in the Midwest), with a retail store cum restaurant in the front. The quality of the product is very high, and because of the volume that moves through their operation, there's never a question of fresh/not fresh. You'll still need to go elsewhere for your sushi grade fish, but for everything else, they are worth checking out.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #12 - June 1st, 2017, 4:27 pm
    Post #12 - June 1st, 2017, 4:27 pm Post #12 - June 1st, 2017, 4:27 pm
    budrichard wrote:I will leave farmed, sustainable for another discussion.-Richard


    I would love to hear your thoughts.
  • Post #13 - June 2nd, 2017, 5:39 am
    Post #13 - June 2nd, 2017, 5:39 am Post #13 - June 2nd, 2017, 5:39 am
    lougord99 wrote:
    budrichard wrote:I will leave farmed, sustainable for another discussion.-Richard


    I would love to hear your thoughts.


    You asked!
    Like many other concerns that are not black or white, there are many reports that do not have any scientific study or backing circulated by individuals with an agenda or financial interest.
    Salmon is proabaly the most common discussed fish.
    This source seems to be level headed.
    http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvir ... rmedSalmon
    We eat all types of Salmon ranging from the often misunderstood Copper River Salmon to farmed.
    First of the season Copper river., Is way to pricey for any type. Wait, prices come down.
    Copper river is a co-operative of sorts and can be ANY Salmon caught off shore in an area around the Copper River.
    King, Coho, Sockeye, or what have you, it can all be Copper River and it's not caught in the River.
    I avoid any Salmon that has been caught off shore and shippped to China for processing, it's all frozen anyway and sold by Sam's Club.
    If it's Atlantic, it's farmed, probably Chile or Norway.
    I have found subjectively, Norwegian to be superior.
    THE BEST farmed comes from the Faroe Islands which H-Mart carries. The Salmon steaks are of low price and high quality.
    The Faroe Island Salmon filleted comes as fresh whole fillets in long styrofoam boxes. $15/#, it's the best in terms of fat content I have ever had. It is sold as Sashimi at H-Mart but you can purchase a whole fillet if they haven't been cut up yet.
    If you investigate you will find many species are actually farmed that you can purchase.
    Tilapia seems to be one of those, even being raised in the MidWest. We have a trout farming operation in Kenosha County but you can't go out there and purchase whole live fish, only fillets, I haven't even tried them but the fillets i have seen are small.
    Most Perch, Walleye and Whitefish comes from Canada and can be very good.
    An interesting variety Sahimi grade fish has been Kona Kampichi, which at one time ran afoul(Pun) of local environmental Regulations.
    It's disappeared from any source I know of for purchase.
    Farmed Hamachi regularly comes from Japan at Mitsuwa but it's Sushi quality and expensive.
    Mitsuwa lists whether the fish is wild or farmed.
    Blue fin is still sold but the price is sky high starting at about $70/# for Akami ranging to $90/# for Toro.
    Best value is if H-Mart gets a whole Bluefin. I purchase a whole section at a reduced price and cut it up myself, freeze and use within two months. Extreme low temp freezers are required to keep longer and they are pricey.
    Shrimp, i only purchase USA Gulf or Mexican wild shrimp.
    Always by the box, usually at Fresh Farms. Mexican comes as a 5# block and USA, IQF. Currently working on a 20# box 16-20 US GulF IQF purchased for $12/#(discount) at Fresh Farms.
    I find Asian shrimp mushy as well as probably environmentally suspect as well as contamination concerns. I will not purchase anymore.
    Large Squid at H-Mart repersents a good value and is on sale often. You have to remember that these species are caught off shore and if cleaned, that all goes right back into the environment. I clean my own Squid.
    H-Mart sells live turbot type fish farmed off the Ju Ju Island of Korea. Pricey but extremely fresh. At a miniumum, have the fish properly bled. The Japanese prize the firmness of very fresh flatfish (NHK TV Tsujiki). I have foudn this to be true with eating before rigor sets in. There are new methods of processing where the central nervous system is destroyed asap to avoid affecting the quality with stress (Ike Jime).
    This is the best write up I have read.
    http://www.cookingissues.com/index.html%3Fp=1690.html
    I have the tools but have yet to employ them!
    So you have to do your due diligence.
    I do not follow any Board or Association blindly in their recommendations. -Richard
  • Post #14 - June 2nd, 2017, 9:06 am
    Post #14 - June 2nd, 2017, 9:06 am Post #14 - June 2nd, 2017, 9:06 am
    We've had good product from Rushing Waters trout farm in Palmyra WI in years past - although haven't been there for a few.
  • Post #15 - June 2nd, 2017, 9:55 am
    Post #15 - June 2nd, 2017, 9:55 am Post #15 - June 2nd, 2017, 9:55 am
    THE BEST farmed comes from the Faroe Islands which H-Mart carries. The Salmon steaks are of low price and high quality.


    I have a problem purchasing anything from groups who refuse to move into common sense present day and retain their 'heritage' by slaughtering pilot whales and other cetaceans.

    https://www.thedailymeal.com/news/eat/c ... ces/071816
  • Post #16 - June 3rd, 2017, 6:23 am
    Post #16 - June 3rd, 2017, 6:23 am Post #16 - June 3rd, 2017, 6:23 am
    scanz wrote:
    THE BEST farmed comes from the Faroe Islands which H-Mart carries. The Salmon steaks are of low price and high quality.


    I have a problem purchasing anything from groups who refuse to move into common sense present day and retain their 'heritage' by slaughtering pilot whales and other cetaceans.

    https://www.thedailymeal.com/news/eat/c ... ces/071816


    I try to avoid Politics, Ethnic Traditions and the like as it adds nothing to a discussion and is just an opinion.-Richard
  • Post #17 - June 3rd, 2017, 10:55 pm
    Post #17 - June 3rd, 2017, 10:55 pm Post #17 - June 3rd, 2017, 10:55 pm
    If you're a member of Restaurant Depot, the Goose Island store has the best and largest selection of fresh frozen fish, delivered daily, at wholesale prices.

    CSD
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #18 - June 3rd, 2017, 10:57 pm
    Post #18 - June 3rd, 2017, 10:57 pm Post #18 - June 3rd, 2017, 10:57 pm
    stoutisgoodfood wrote:We've had good product from Rushing Waters trout farm in Palmyra WI in years past - although haven't been there for a few.


    Whole Foods sell some of their products.

    CSD
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #19 - June 5th, 2017, 9:40 pm
    Post #19 - June 5th, 2017, 9:40 pm Post #19 - June 5th, 2017, 9:40 pm
    We've been extremely happy with the fresh fish at Heinen's. (We shop the Glenview location but I assume it's the same at their other locations.) The fish is labeled as to geographic source, and their people are great, alerting us as to what is particularly good and what just arrived within hours. Prices are generally good, and their weekly specials are sometimes great bargains. They almost always have very fresh Verlasso salmon, sustainably raised in Patagonia. They have wonderful soft shell crabs when they're in season, for which I've posted photos in this topic.
  • Post #20 - September 12th, 2020, 11:09 am
    Post #20 - September 12th, 2020, 11:09 am Post #20 - September 12th, 2020, 11:09 am
    Hi,

    Reading through H-Mart's ads, I saw a flat fish called 'Dabs.'

    While trying to find what it might taste like, I learned it was once ignored and now sought after catch. The idea is to introduce new fish to the public to take the pressure off of cod and haddock.

    Anybody have any experience with Dabs? What did it taste like?

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    CAthy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #21 - September 12th, 2020, 1:30 pm
    Post #21 - September 12th, 2020, 1:30 pm Post #21 - September 12th, 2020, 1:30 pm
    Sand dabs? Common in California, mentioned numerous times in the "Beyond Chicagoland" forum.

    Pacific Sanddab - Wikipedia

    How to Cook Pacific Sand Dab - Spruce Eats
  • Post #22 - September 12th, 2020, 1:56 pm
    Post #22 - September 12th, 2020, 1:56 pm Post #22 - September 12th, 2020, 1:56 pm
    HI,

    According to Britannica, there are dabs, though apparently not all dabs are sand dabs.

    Other species include the yellowtail flounder, or rusty dab (L. ferruginea), a reddish brown western Atlantic fish with rust-coloured spots and a yellow tail; the yellowfin sole, or Alaska dab (L. aspera), a brownish northern Pacific flatfish; and the longhead dab (L. proboscidea), a light-spotted, brownish northern Pacific fish with yellow on the edges of its body.

    The name dab is also used for such other flatfishes as the sanddab (q.v.) and the American plaice, or rough dab (see plaice).

    If I get there, I will try to get the Latin name to understand what I really getting, if I do.

    The array of fins do talk to me, because I really like those crispy fried.

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #23 - September 13th, 2020, 6:02 am
    Post #23 - September 13th, 2020, 6:02 am Post #23 - September 13th, 2020, 6:02 am
    A Dab is a small flatfish and can be quite good!
    Usually filleted and fried similar to Flounder.
    Decades ago quite common and Sendik’s in Milwaukee always had some.
    Now, hard to find.
    As for ‘Fresh’, H-Mart has been off and on over the years with both fresh and frozen fish.
    The ad shows a whole Dab so probably not filleted which changes the context within eating.
    Again, your nose and eyes are the best judge of the quality.
    A better purchase are the live flatfish in the tanks at H Mart.
    They look like a halibut/flounder cross.
    Always excellent.
    -Richard
  • Post #24 - September 13th, 2020, 8:51 am
    Post #24 - September 13th, 2020, 8:51 am Post #24 - September 13th, 2020, 8:51 am
    Hi,

    I will at least do the first one whole. My Dad orders whole fish in restaurants. When the waiter begins the ceremonial portioning at the table, my Dad creates a riot. "No! Don't touch my fish!" You just want to crawl under the table and disappear.

    I have thought about buying the live, though I need to hightail it home to cook it.

    Thanks for the information.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #25 - September 14th, 2020, 4:54 am
    Post #25 - September 14th, 2020, 4:54 am Post #25 - September 14th, 2020, 4:54 am
    The live flatfish should at minimum be bled at H-Mart.
    I have the tools for Ike Jime but we haven’t been able to communicate with staff to employ, yet.
  • Post #26 - September 14th, 2020, 6:52 am
    Post #26 - September 14th, 2020, 6:52 am Post #26 - September 14th, 2020, 6:52 am
    What is Ike jime?

    Ike jime is a Japanese fish preparation method that paralyses fish and drains them of blood. When done correctly, it not just preserves the fish’s flavour and texture but also allows the flesh to develop an umami dimension when aged.

    What have been able to do at H-Mart? Do they drain the blood? Or just descale and gut?

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #27 - September 14th, 2020, 1:23 pm
    Post #27 - September 14th, 2020, 1:23 pm Post #27 - September 14th, 2020, 1:23 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    Anybody have any experience with Dabs? What did it taste like?

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    CAthy2



    I have had them several times, mostly in the Santa Cruz, CA area. Several of the restaurants on the pier offer them.

    They are small filets like perch with a very mild taste. The times I have had them, they have been dredged in flour and sauteed in butter and lemon juice.
  • Post #28 - September 15th, 2020, 5:20 am
    Post #28 - September 15th, 2020, 5:20 am Post #28 - September 15th, 2020, 5:20 am
    Cathy2 wrote:
    What is Ike jime?

    Ike jime is a Japanese fish preparation method that paralyses fish and drains them of blood. When done correctly, it not just preserves the fish’s flavour and texture but also allows the flesh to develop an umami dimension when aged.

    What have been able to do at H-Mart? Do they drain the blood? Or just descale and gut?

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Cathy2


    They will gut if requested but I only have live bled to avoid any contamination from any other fish processed.
    There is some thought in Japan that sashimi from an aged fish that has been through rigor tastes different than a truly fresh fish just killed. I tried that with fillets from the same fish and could not quantify any difference.

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