The Fish Files: Markets and Dishes for Spring

Fishes. Feast of the seven. Luca Brasi sleeps with the. A daunting - if delicious - topic.

If I can indulge my cinematic tendencies, the first place my brain goes is the scene in “Julie & Julia” when Meryl Streep (playing the ever-plucky Julia Child, in her first moments in Paris) coos over a plate of steaming, buttery, garlicky fish, de-boning the sultry looking platter before enjoying every morsel.

Yes, I wish I was married to Stanley Tucci but I bring this up for another reason. Fishes (yes, that’s the plural!) are a glorious thing. Fishes are healthy and lean (when not drowning in butter, though we still love you, Julia Child), full of protein and Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids to stimulate your brain, and heart health boosting nutrients. And these slippery lil gems are a beautiful canvas for spices, herbs, salts, butters and oils.

And they’re a perfect segue into spring -- to reset the palette and ride into the sunset.

If I’m cooking (as I’m apt to do), these are some of the best markets in New York City to grab fresh fishes:

Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co: A BK favorite and go-to for zealous home chefs and wannabee fishmongers alike.

Eataly: The real deal. Blessed by Mario Batali (my spirit animal, I’m looking at his crocs right now, a foot from my bed) and straight up legit.

● Chinatown: Yes, it’s a little over the top but it’s also an OG NYC shopping experience. Put on your rubber boots and take a spin through the fish tanks for a surreal shopping experience.

And if I’m entertaining (as I’m apt to do), here are some of my favorite dishes inspired by the sea:

1. Salmon Burger

Chowhound

I love a salmon burger. Salmon has a meaty, rich, yet almost silky quality that’s delish on a bun (toasted). Pair that bad boy with some lettuce, tomato, red onion, and dollop of Sriracha mayo and you’re in for a tasty dinner (or Sunday lunch?). Get our Salmon Burger recipe.

2. Teriyaki Salmon

Chowhound

Salmon is my favorite fish — can you tell? I make teriyaki salmon about once a week, and pair it in a white china bowl with bok choy and a lil arugula salad, or whatever greens I have laying around. This recipe calls for a grill but it’s also delicious if you cook it lightly on your stovetop and polish off in the oven at 350 degrees F. This dish is clean and mean — and the omega-3 makes your skin glow. No joke. Get our Teriyaki Salmon recipe.

3. Linguine with Clams and Chorizo

Chowhound

Linguine with clams and chorizo — best enjoyed at an outdoor piazza in Europe, or ... if your budget won’t allow for that, on your couch. This recipe is a palate recharger with shallots, cloves, Italian parsley, and the soft, oily, salty deliciousness of seasonal little neck clams. And like when does chorizo ever disappoint? Throw it all together for a dish that’s kinda heavenly. Get our Linguine with Clams and Chorizo recipe.

4. Shrimp Kebabs

Chowhound

Throw another shrimp on the barbie, people. It's easy because you don’t need to marinate the shrimp in advance, so the kebabs come together pretty quickly. The flavor foundation comes from the bottled sweet chili sauce. Get our Shrimp Kebabs recipe.

5. Frying Pan Paella

Chowhound

I love the theater of paella. It looks divine in a cast iron pan and it feeds a village (hello ballin' on a budget). This dish is a happy medley of seafoods with shrimp, manila clams, zesty spices, and crisp lemon to lighten the flavor and keep you tingling. Get our Frying Pan Paella recipe.

6. Sautéed Calamari

Chowhound

An alternative to the more typical fried calamari, this sautéed rendition is mega delish. Keep it upbeat with this sautéed dish that requires minimal prep and churns out maximal flavor. Get our Sautéed Calamari recipe.

As the winter ice melts and your spring awakening starts to unfold, grab some fishes, beautiful seasonal greens (asparagus, snap peas, romaine), and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. The best of the ocean is waiting at your fingertips.

— Head Image: Wooder Ice.

See more articles
Share this article: