Seafood Sightings: April 30, 2015

seafood sightings trout-a

The News & Observer reports that Cynthia Hill, director of the PBS show “A Chefs Life,” starring Kinston chef Vivian Howard, won a Daytime Emmy Award this past Friday. Congrats!

In honor of National Shrimp Scampi Day, which was yesterday, we are sharing several different recipes found for this delightful entree. Enjoy!

Coming Soon to a Restaurant Near You: Farmed Sturgeon

North Carolina Fisheries: Sturgeon

Cultured Russian sturgeon. Photo by Vanda Lewis

Historically, sturgeon was considered among the finest seafood available along the East Coast of the United States. The fish was prized for its firm texture and delicate flavor.

However, the population of domestic sturgeon collapsed in the early 20th century and has never recovered. The Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon, which are indigenous to North Carolina, remain on the endangered species list.

As a result, most American consumers are unfamiliar with this species, particularly as a source of nutritious protein.

Today, sturgeon are considered a valuable commercial species because of the high price of its roe, better known as caviar.

Currently two North Carolina businesses – Marshallberg Farm of Smyrna and Atlantic Caviar & Sturgeon of Lenoir – are culturing Russian sturgeon, Acipenser gueldenstadtii. These fish produce Ossetra caviar, considered second in quality behind the famed Beluga.

These farms use indoor recirculating aquaculture systems. The Russian sturgeon are raised indoors to prevent them from escaping into the wild. The recirculating systems capture effluent from the tanks and repurpose it for agricultural use.


Cultured Russian sturgeon. Photo by Marshallberg Farm

Originally business success for cultured Russian sturgeon depended solely on the production of caviar, a luxury product for which there is worldwide demand. However, Atlantic now has high-quality sturgeon meat available for sale. It is a source of nutritious, flavorful protein.

A market for fresh sturgeon has not existed in the U.S. for more than 100 years. As a result, consumers are unfamiliar with the superior quality of sturgeon meat, which is similar to grouper and swordfish – both popular and in short supply.

In 2013, North Carolina Sea Grant researchers collaborated Tim Coyne, executive chef at Bistro By The Sea in Morehead City, to develop a variety of culinary preparations using cultured sturgeon as the prime ingredient. In a series of tastings, some of the chef’s actual customers were invited to decide the cooking methods and flavor profiles they preferred most.

Chef. Photo by E-Ching Lee

Chef Tim Coyne, of Bistro By The Sea, prepares a sturgeon for a tasting panel. Photo by E-Ching Lee

In upcoming posts, we will share with you the sturgeon preparations that were popular with our consumer panelists. We also will provide an overview of the species and information on its nutritional value.

Barry Nash and John Burke

John Burke worked as a fisheries biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Laboratory in Beaufort, N.C., where he cultured commercially important fishes and conducted early life history and stock enhancement investigations. Though retired, his fascination for fishes hasn’t faltered. A resident of Marshallberg, N.C., he spends time culturing koi carp, and catching, consuming and creating watercolor paintings of local fishes.

Seafood Sightings: April 23, 2015

seafood sightings

trout-aCheck out recipes for shrimp and grits, grilled shrimp tacos, bacon and onion crusted tuna, fried rice noodles with shrimp and squid, and mini crab cakes.


Catfish Gumbo Supreme

another fresh seafood idea

Catfish Gumbo Supreme. Photo by Vanda Lewis

Catfish Gumbo Supreme. Photo by Vanda Lewis

Once passed over because of their muddy, oily taste, today’s mild-flavored catfish have a new image. The farm-raised fish are fed a grain diet. This ensures a mild, “nonfishy” flavor. They are so mild, in fact, that they need more seasonings than most other fish. A versatile fish, catfish can be prepared in a variety of ways. Try grilling, broiling, steaming, stir-frying or other favorite cooking methods. And of course, there are always the traditional fried recipes we occasionally enjoy.

  • 4 medium catfish fillets
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion, including tops
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 14 1/2-ounce cans chicken broth
  • 2 14 1/2-ounce cans chopped tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 boxes frozen sliced okra
  • 4 ounces orzo (optional)

Cut fillets into 1-inch pieces and set aside.

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Lightly sauté celery, green onion, onion and garlic. Add broth, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, cayenne, oregano and salt. Bring to boil and add okra. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add orzo. Cover and continue simmering 15 minutes. Add catfish and simmer 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Remove bay leaf. Serves 8 to 10.

From: Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas

Contributed by Joyce Taylor

Seafood Sightings: April 9, 2015

seafood sightings

trout-aEnjoy shrimp and crab recipes this week, including a unique and beautiful recipe for boiled eggs wrapped and fried in a crab mixture.

Seafood Sightings: April 2, 2015

seafood sightings

trout-aRecipes this week include shrimp, crab and fish. Be sure to check out how to make deviled eggs with shrimp. It would make a nice side dish for the upcoming holiday.

Crispy Fried Catfish

another fresh seafood idea

Crispy Fried Catfish. Photo by Vanda Lewis

Crispy Fried Catfish. Photo by Vanda Lewis

The catfish, long relegated to the lowly position of an unglamourous scavenger, has now become a national favorite. Graduating from the river bottom to the farm, pond-raised catfish are making their appearance in white-cloth restaurants as well as in supermarkets.

  • 6 small catfish, pan dressed
  • 1 2-ounce bottle of Tabasco sauce
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • vegetable oil for frying

Marinate fish in Tabasco sauce for 30 minutes in refrigerator, turning once. Remove from sauce and lightly salt, then pepper. Roll in cornmeal to cover completely.

Heat oil in deep fat fryer or skillet to 375 F. Place fish in hot oil, and cook until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve with tartar sauce. Serves 6.

Note: It sounds as if the Tabasco will make the fish too hot, but it won’t. It will add flavor only.

From: Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas 

Contributed by Joyce Taylor