4 Fish to Try During National Seafood Month
It’s National Seafood Month, and while we choose to celebrate every month of the year, this is a great time to explore seafood that you may be less familiar with and try out new recipes in the kitchen.
This last year, in collaboration with the Island Institute, we’ve been lucky to partner with various harvesters and fish processors in Maine to go beyond lobster and crab, sourcing species like halibut, hake, monkfish, and haddock to ship nationwide through our Online Market, in an effort to continue supporting local fishermen who are diversifying their catch.
These fisheries yield delicious, often underutilized fish from the clean cold waters of the Gulf of Maine, and are highly regulated to ensure a sustainable stock that does not become overfished. Learn more about these fish, which also serve as healthy options packed with nutrients, and check out some of our favorite ways to cook them.
Gulf of Maine Halibut
The Maine halibut season is short, starting in mid-May and going through mid-June, which helps prevent overfishing, but results in a short window for fresh halibut. The fishery only allows for 25 fish caught per fisherman during the state season, with size regulations on the fish itself and the circle hooks used to catch them, ensuring that juvenile fish are not being harvested and that the max size does not exceed 41 inches. Given the short season, our Atlantic halibut is flash frozen at peak freshness to ensure that this mild-tasting, firm whitefish is the highest quality possible when it gets to you. It holds up to most cooking techniques with its firm texture and its subtle flavor really allows it to pair nicely with different flavor profiles. Some of our favorite recipes are Halibut Ceviche, Halibut Puttanesca over Spaghetti, Baked Halibut with Summer Squash, and One-sheet Halibut Nicoise Salad.
Gulf of Maine Hake
When it comes to hake, the fishery is open year-round, operating from Maine down the east coast to South Carolina. Hake are caught by fishing vessels using bottom-trawl gear targeting other groundfish like cod and haddock (more on that shortly). Wild-caught hake is a smart seafood choice, given that it’s not currently overfished and isn’t subject to overfishing, with a fishery that is sustainably managed. We source our hake from the Gulf of Maine, and while it’s lesser known than haddock or cod, it’s a great substitute with its mild flavor and flaky texture. It’s super versatile and great for chowder (try our version here), baked or roasted like in our roasted mustard hake version, or broiled like with our miso-glazed hake.
Gulf of Maine Monkfish
Similar to hake, the monkfish fishery operates from Maine down the coast to North Carolina and is not subject to overfishing. Its season runs from November - June, and they’re caught by fishing vessels using bottom-trawl gear targeting other groundfish like hake, cod, and haddock. Another sustainably managed fishery, measures include area closures, area restrictions, days-at-sea and trip limits, annual catch limits, minimum harvest size, and gear requirements. While monkfish isn’t the most attractive fish, it is incredibly versatile and is called the “poor man’s lobster” because of its firm texture, and its sweet flavor. We love substituting it for more traditional proteins, and some of our favorite recipes include Monkfish Piccata, Monkfish Coconut Curry, and Air Fryer Monkfish Bites with Tartar sauce for a healthier take on a classic.
Gulf of Maine Haddock
Lastly, you can’t go wrong with haddock if you’re looking for another healthy and versatile fish option. We went classic New England with a baked haddock and a fish fry, but it’s also the perfect protein for a Nashville-style hot haddock sandwich. A member of the cod family, it has a firm yet tender texture, and a mildly sweet taste. There are no concerns with overfishing or sustainability, and the fishery uses various limitations and restrictions to keep a healthy stock. Haddock spawn between January and June on eastern Georges Bank, to the east of Nantucket Shoals, and along the Maine coast over rock, gravel, sand, or mud bottoms.
Celebrate Seafood Month all month long and try something new!
This National Seafood Month, challenge yourself to try a new species that's sourced sustainably and responsibly, with health benefits to boot. Visit Luke’s Online Market to shop now and ship right to your doorstep.