First Striper of the Season! [Cape Cod, MA]

My dear friend caught her first keeper Striper of the season yesterday, and tonight we will grill. Usually, we make a mango salsa for this fish, but this year, we are going to make the Hoisin Glaze from FISH: Without A Doubt. A bit of Jasmine rice and a rice vinegar dressing for a raw vegetable salad, and we have dinner!

Anyone else catching Stripers yet or is this just an outer Cape thing at this point?

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And here is dinner:

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Don’t I wish. When my brother, RIP, had his big sportfisher with flying bridge… oh the fishing expeditions we used to have. Striper to bluefish off The Cape. Those were the days.

It was a marvelous piece of fish. Once again, Rick Moonan’s recipes are spot on, complementing the fish perfectly.

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Have to confess, I first read the title as “stripper” and immediately opened the thread.

Striper isnt a fish I’m familiar with but Google tells me it’s part of the bass family. Does it taste like seabass?

I think that it has a deeper flavor than sea bass, but they are very similar. Same nice texture to the flesh, and it takes to many different added flavors. Delicious with just some lemon juice or with “brighter” flavors of the Caribbean. Almost never found in the market since the commercial fishing season for Stripers has been reduced substantially. What is caught this way makes its way to restaurants instead of to the fish stores. The “personal” catch season is longer, so it is a gift to have a friend who is an avid fisher-person.

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I haven’t eaten a lot of striper, and in general people either like it or don’t. It isn’t like conventional sea bass. I would liken it more towards mackerel, though not quite as oily/funky - but it leans that way if you ask me. Most people I know who love it have a specific recipe they use every time they eat it - some fried, some cold, etc but often they say “I only like it in this preparation”.

Curious how others will describe it.

i love the more oily fish. the Whole Foods in Providence was selling whole mackerels for awhile, and they were really good.

interesting. i never would have compared striper to mackeral, and don’t find it oily / funky. to me its an incredibly versatile white fish, doesn’t have a ton of natural flavor like a salmon, pretty firm but not necessarily flaky. i use it in all kinds of preps - soups (with nothing more than ginger, scallion, garlic, salt and tofu added… if you do this it has to be FRESH, ie it was alive that day), pan seared, roasted, steamed (chinese style).

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My brother in law has been pulling up to 20 pounders around the mouth of the CT river since the beginning of the month. The striper fishing around the rocks at the mouth of the river is fantastic.

While I don’t really care for the taste of farmed striped bass, which I find can be a bit gamey, I do love fresh caught striper pulled from New England waters. The flavor is rich and fresh, but not overpowering. Meat is sort of right in the middle between flaky and meaty, texture between cod and swordfish. I prefer it simply seasoned (salt and pepper, oil, lemon juice) and grilled broiled. My wife likes cold striper salad, and prepared like tuna salad.

When eating striper you can also feel good about eating a sustainable fish as opposed to some other sea bass varieties.

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Yeah it isn’t the best comparison. But when I’ve had it, I find it a little more oily than “sea bass” and a slight funkiness (not has much as mackerel but in that direction). I like it but I find it is a polarizing fish (at least among the people I know that eat it).

wow, that sounds amazing (the fishing).

one serious question. I’ve heard that with stripers you’re supposed to eated farmed, not wild because of mercury levels in larger predator fish. is that a concern for you?

certainly not mackeral by any stretch, but versus seabass, i can see how you’d think it is more oily / pungent. I’d never known it to be a polarizing fish, maybe because i grew up devouring and loving it.

I don’t eat farmed Stripers [though I have never heard this advice]… they don’t taste like a Striper to me. As to wild, how many stripers do you catch and eat in a season? I don’t think that farmed and wild Striper are anything at all alike. There is just nothing like a fish, eaten the day it is caught.

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^ This!

Taste and mercury level aside, there are a host of other health, nutritional and environmental concerns with farm raised fish. We tried to cut down on high mercury fish when my wife was pregnant, but in general I am an everything in moderation guy. Most of what I ingest is slowly killing me in some way, and the stuff that isn’t I’m sure we’ll find out actually is when the next research study comes out.

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That is a general rule for sure - but (not being an expert on stripers) stripers aren’t “big top predator fish” in the same way tuna, shark, swordfish are. They are more middle of the chain (i believe). So I don’t know if mercery bioaccumulation is as big an issue for stripers.

My mom and I love it, my Dad refuses to eat it (he loves haddock if that gives you any perspective on his fish habits). A neighbor that fishes brings them back and offers some up to neighbors now and then. Some neighbors will take them, others won’t. Maybe it is just “fish” in general but the neighbors who don’t eat it always say it is “striper” they don’t like.

oh man, i haven’t had it in a long time… my kids are finally getting old enough that i am planning to take them to fish the sacramento delta for stripers (west coast, that is). but totally agree, nothing better than eating day caught mackeral off piers or trout. and luckily, i have a good supplier for king salmon that is incredibly fresh.

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I agree, Thimes. I don’t consider it a particularly oily fish either. More similar to mahi-mahi IMO. Versatile, firm white fish. Perhaps folks are confusing the “sea bass” term with Chilean sea bass (i.e. toothfish), which is VERY rich/oily?

My brother-in-law and nephew catch some stripers every summer while charter fishing on Martha’s Vineyard. I love it, fresh the day it’s caught. It is also the first time I’ve really enjoyed frozen fish since they clean it and freeze what they don’t cook the day they catch it. My sister, however, who loves bluefish and most white fish, won’t touch it. She finds the slightly firm texture off-putting.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold