Healthy, Quick, Delicious: Local Halibut and White Seabass

Healthy, Quick, Delicious: Local Halibut and White Seabass

Carmelo Sigona with a fresh-caught, wild, local seabass.

These local, line-caught beauties are now at Sigona’s in Redwood City! Come in today for fantastic fillets and more, delivered daily. 

By Carmelo Sigona

This time of year is always my favorite. Not only are we on the verge of being inundated with local, farm-fresh produce delivered within 24 hours of being picked, but it’s also time for the best, most flavorful bounty of the sea to come into season.

It’s local halibut and local white seabass season and we’ve got fresh, wild and line-caught fish fillets at our Redwood City store now! These beauties are locally line-caught and delivered to our store the next day. Wild king salmon is still here too; it’s coming from the Oregon coast for a few weeks – it’s still caught in the morning and flown down to us so we have fresh wild salmon the next day. Our local commercial salmon season reopens June 27th.

Both of these white fish, the halibut and the white seabass, are outstanding, but the white seabass is my favorite. For starters, there is nothing more simple, healthy and delicious than white seabass fish tacos with cabbage-jalapeño slaw. You just marinate the fish in a combination of lime zest and juice, paprika, garlic, oil and salt for a few minutes…the fish soaks up the flavors and presents a huge wow factor in every bite.

Oh, man! I know what I’m having for dinner tonight!

Halibut has a snow-white flesh, firm texture (sometimes called the steak of seafood) and a mild flavor so easily takes on the flavors of other ingredients with which it’s cooked. It’s also naturally lean, packed with fatty Omega-3s to help break down cholesterol and is nutrient-dense. It’s an excellent source of high quality protein, and is rich in selenium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium, all of which are essential in maintaining a healthy, functioning body. Halibut is a popular choice for Cioppino, a seafood stew which has roots in San Francisco. We have a recipe for it,  courtesy of Zest Bakery in San Carlos, as well as other local halibut recipes on our blog too.

Now, the local white seabass. The most important point to note here is that local white seabass is NOT striped bass or Chilean seabass. Not only is it from a different area, it’s from a different family all together. The Monterey Bay Aquarium notes, “The white seabass isn’t a seabass at all – it’s a member of the croaker family and the largest croaker in the Pacific Ocean.”

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has also noted that the local wild, line-caught white seabass is a “Best Choice” sustainable seafood choice, meaning it’s abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly way. The population of the white seabass has recovered after previous overfishing and is a best-choice alternative to white seabass caught with gillnets. Furthermore, the aquarium encourages people to avoid Chilean seabass as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing has depleted some populations of Chilean seabass.

Eating-wise, local white seabass is a meaty fish (striped bass, on the other hand, is a soft fish). It has more oil than halibut so it’s more moist; plus it’s more forgiving…it’s likely to still be tender and juicy if overcooked.

You can make a fish lover out of nearly anyone by searing white seabass so it has a nice crust. Pair that with a nice sauce and you have a fancy-pants meal on your hands…er…plate. I have go-to verblanc sauce that’s absolutely fantastic over seared or grilled white seabass. It’s easy to make with only five ingredients, one of which being wine…you can’t go wrong with a wine sauce for fish!

White seabass, just as the halibut, is an excellent source of selenium, which acts as an antioxidant, especially when combined with vitamin E. The fish is also a wonderful, light and lean source of protein. Be sure to check out our other white seabass recipes, including one for Grilled Miso-Marinated White Seabass from local food blogger Jean Pope of Lemons and Anchovies.

Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter posts to know when the freshest deliveries of local white seabass and halibut arrive at our Redwood City store. You’ll love these local, wild fish!

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