Thursday, August 23, 2007
I Actually Ate This Sea Robin: Would You?
I never ate a sea robin before. Look at it, would you? I grew up on Long Island, and the sea robin was always regarded as a garbage fish, something that stole your bait and made it more difficult to actually land a fluke. But times change, and the Great South Bay is pretty well fished out, despite the new 19 inch limit on fluke (I, of course, landed an excellent looking 18 incher which I am sure is enjoying swimming in the bay as I write this). So the mates of the boat we were on suggested we keep the sea robins and cook them. "They're not bad" we were told.
Our friend from London pan-fried the robins with garlic and salt: it tasted sort of like a combination of bluefish and catfish: a bit bony but not terrible. We all liked the fluke and the weakfish that we caught better, but it wasn't bad. Of course she's a really good cook, so I'm not sure what would happen if mere mortals tried to cook the thing.
Since I felt so iffy on the issue, I wanted to see what other people have posted about eating sea robins:
Noreast.com wrote about it 2001. They felt that it could be the next monkfish, which was considered a garbage fish thirty years ago in the US.
Wikipedia states that it can be used as a substitute for scorpion fish (another winner name) in bouillabaisse.
Surftalk has a whole discussion about the issue. You can find my comment!
The Fishing Line has a recipe for sea robin cakes.
After eating the sea robin, I do not think that these clawed critters of the deep is the next monkfish. But you never know, and it could be the next catfish.