I read a very upsetting article in the Toronto Star the other day about our fish and favourite sushi restaurants around the city. To summarize, what we are buying in supermarkets and restaurants is not what it appears to be. Often, the label, “fresh wild Pacific salmon” should actually read, farmed (full of toxins and will eventually kill you) “Atlantic salmon”. Other commonly mislabelled fish include Sea Bass, Tuna, and Red Snapper. One major place where this fraud is occurring is unfortunately in our sushi hangouts. Because we’re getting small portions of fish wrapped in rice and seaweed and covered in delicious wasabi mayos, we’re not able to see exactly what we’re eating. It is here that we are being cheated. Tilapia and other cheaper fish from the polluted waters of Southeast Asia are being substituted for Red Snapper and others. Gross!!!
My question is why is this happening and why is it being allowed to continue to happen? Many restaurants claim that if a customer asks what type of fish they’re actually eating they will be given an honest answer. WHAT!?!?! Why can’t we be told exactly what we’re eating through that piece of paper we’re given when we sit down, also known as the MENU!!!
The only advice I can give to other fish lovers, is to buy whole fish and do the work of filleting and cleaning yourself. This way you are able to see that your Red Snapper is indeed red and a snapper. The amount of time is takes to do the work isn’t really a deterrent, and the left-over fish bones are great for fumés and stocks. If the problem isn’t so much the time but the know how, give me a call and I will come to your house and show you exactly how to scale, dress, fillet, pin-bone, and cook whichever fish is your favourite. I will also teach you how to make a beautiful fish fumé from the bones to keep in the freezer for when you’re ready to make a delicious bisque, or paella.