Simple, Amazingly Fresh Coastal Food You Miss…

I have access to fresh oysters and crabs (I prefer the claws), razor clams, octopus etc. Also north Atlantic seafood. I only miss the fanTAstic seafood in Korea and Japan. The clams in Taiwan and Baja Sur. But luckily I plan to repeat my visits in a near future to eat them all again.

Amazing seafood in Korea

Taiwan. I ate stir-fried clams with basil almost every day there.

Also amazing seafood in Hokkaido. Each little plate is a feast for the eyes and the palate.

Almejas chocolatas in Baja Sur. 2 plates for yours truly alone. Btw, even better than these are the sweet and meaty almond clams (Glycymeris glycymeris).

I’m partial to bivalves and molluscs. The main thing I like about fresh fish is pretty much just the roe (unless smoked or sashimi).

Argg… Next holiday is still far away.


Oh yum. I have driven from Paso Robles to LA a dozen times (relatives scattered throughout California) , but haven’t had a chance to stop in Ventura. Last time I was really close, was on a slow drive to Paso Robles from LA, and I stopped in Santa Barbara for fish tacos instead of stopping in Ventura.

Thanks for the tip!

Nice. El Jarocho’s sorta a dumpy place and easy to get those to-go in a container and sit somewhere more scenic too. Don’t mess around with the other Mexican food there is my suggestion too.

I make Vuelve A La Vida sometimes.

yum, this is similar. I like to add some fire to that brew for that purpose!

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I’m still near Boston, so I still on the East coast. I miss the shrimp we used to get seasonally from Maine. I wonder if they’re ever going to be back in sufficient quantity that they can be safely fished.

A couple of shout outs for local seafood from here I haven’t seen yet:

  • Bay scallops from Nantucket, so sweet. Best in a crudo or just barely kissed by heat (my mom used to broil with butter, breadcrumbs, and lemon. Great childhood memory.).

  • Peekytoe crab. Apparently, this was a by-product of other fishing that turned out to be a delicious, if labor intensive, discovery. Some of the best crab I’ve ever eaten. Since it is hand picked before distribution, it just needs a tiny once over to make sure nothing was missed in terms of shells. Then you just need to add it to whatever you’re making - just warm it up in some butter, with a little garlic and chile flakes and put it on good toasted bread and find bliss. Maybe with a squirt of lemon.


I love that preparation of “stuffed” scallops, fish, shrimp, lobster etc just as your mom used to make.

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I used to eat a lot of calamari steaks. All the local seafood markets and grocery stores carried them. I had a craving not long ago and was surprised to find the grocery store no longer carries them, they said something about them not being available any more. I haven’t checked the seafood markets yet.

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Get the concept, but not for us. While we think that there’s no such thing as an undercooked [pretty fresh] scallop, pounding, etc. doesn’t sound better than deep frying the whole breaded muscle. Now that we’ve maybe got your attention, we fondly remember home-dug and cooked Oregon razor clams coated with cracker crumbs pan fried in butter.


It sounds like a lovely dish but at $25 a pound, scallops aren’t a cheap[ product to disguise as abalone. Best they be enjoyed in their natural state.

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This is a beautiful thread. Bringing luscious shore experiences to mind, and reminding us of the bounty still here if we search it out.


Regarding turning other foods into abalone-esque creations, I’ve always wanted to try the following for phony abalone. Simply take turkey cutlets and pound thin. Marinate in bottled clam juice overnight, then proceed to crumb them, and prepare as for abalone. The person who told me about this prep swears they tasted like the real thing.

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Yeah, I 've tried that with pounded chicken tenderloins and it didn’t pass my test. Maybe marinating it in clam juice and sea water?
Spenger’s in Berkeley (missed so much!) would pan fry calamari steaks that imho passed for pan fried abalone. Hubs got 2# of abalone from Giovanni’s in Morro Bay a couple of Christmases ago. It was fair. I am so very glad I have memories of excellent abalone and other delights from the sea.

I think there’s a strong regional / cultural assumption in there.

I grew up with fresh-from-boats seafood, but always prepared in spiced and spicy preparations. Not because the ingredient quality was poor or the flavors were considered insufficient, but because the additional flavors were considered complementary and enhancing.

Crab curry was one of my favorite dishes as a kid - starting with fresh, live crabs, always. While I love steamed lobster with just drawn butter, I don’t think I’d ever choose it over that curry.

Consider all Asian seafood preparations - regions flush with access to fresh seafood, but not shy on adding flavors.



I’m also thinking of Portuguese, Greek , Turkish and Egyptian fish prep. Lemon, lots of herbs, sometimes lots of spices, sometimes lots of pepper.

Alexandrian Singari-style fish came to my mind

I appreciate you bringing up lakefood. I grew up 5 blocks from lake Michigan, and have feasted off the bounty of the many smaller lakes we have in Wi, MN and the UP (MI). Walleye, perch, bluegills, northern, musky, whitefish, lake, trout, brook trout, rainbows. We also have salmon in lake Michigan; but they often have PCB spots on their fat. Little scary.

I’m not comparing and saying that these fish have anything on langostinos, abalone, etc. \When I vacation, I love hitting oceansides. Just mussels and fries, or bread.

I think a common thread is in place with many of these “waterborn” foods, and that’s simplicity of prep. Boil and grill an octopus. Simple. God I love that. I don’t know any big production involved in frying perch. Since we don’t have fresh shrimp, I always steam bluegill fillets so they curl up. Polish shrimp. :slight_smile:

I lived in Esmeraldas, Ecuador for a time, and got really used to red snapper, shrimp, conch, and langostinos. I could eat red snapper every day. In fact, I did for awhile. Never got tired of it. Now, I crave as much.


There are 2 former tobacco farms that are now shrimp farms in Ontario. The farmers flooded the land to make them into shrimp farms. The shrimp are expensive, but local. They mostly supply upscale restaurants. I haven’t seen the local shrimp for sale at fishmongers. Planet Shrimp is one local farm.

In Illinois

We have an ongoing aquaculture thread authored by @zippo1
but last time I tried to use the link thingy I screwed it all up.

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Lucky you. Ecuadorian seafood was a revelation when we visited the country many years ago. Corvina (which I’ve read is now overfished?) with fried plaintains on the side is one of my favorite food memories of all time. Also an amazing fish stew called encebollado, in Guayaquil.

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Sunday market in Ubud, Indonesia
Credit: Roozbeh Rokni, Flickr