Posted on June 10th, 2012
Not everyone has the brains, the boldness and the good taste to cook fresh butterfish these days. Back in the 1980′s Point Judith was like the shangri-la of butterfish, people were making a killing fishing for these guys. Read all about their heydey in this grand article by the Dented Bucket. Butterfish have short life spans like squid, so you can feel good about eating them cause they were gonna die soon anyways. Shiners, as some may refer to them, are a favorite snack to the almighty tuna of New England and they can be used not only to feast upon but as bait for these large and expensive fish. I recommend you stop being a pansy and eat like a tune. These highly migratory members of the pomfret family caught in local waters all year long, big schools of them form south of the Vineyard and off of Block Island. Japanese buy butters up like crazy, especially during the fall when they are fat porkers after a full summer of stuffing themselves to the gills with tiny microorganisms and algeas. Butterfish are very good for you, high in omega-threes and when caught by small time local fisherman they are a super sustainable fishery. All of my butterfish are caught by dayboats in Point Judith.
This weekend many of the best damned restaurants in NYC were selling butterfish. At the sweet and delicious Allswell in Williamsburg, BK the talented Chef Nate Smith is serving a butterfish meuriene with lemon and capers, a perfect combo for this dainty, oily fish. At Northeast Kingdom in Bushwick Chef Kevin Adey is serving his butterfish fried with a jalapeño gramolata and rooftop arugula! A very unique recipe, NOT to be missed. Chef Kevin adds extra value for his customers because he lists all of his ingredient purveyors on the back of his menu, right down to the fishermen!