Trash Fish Catch and Cook With Chef Daniel Holzman

Chef Daniel Holzman Goes Spearfishing (Catch & Cook)

I’m not a fan of the term “trash fish.”

I believe that all fish have a purpose in the ecosystem and the dinner plate. However, just because someone is skilled at catching a fish doesn’t mean they know HOW to cook it.

That’s why I brought in celebrity chef Daniel Holzman who’s an absolute stud in the kitchen to try and cook our not-so-common table fare fish.

Listen to this post on the Cast & Spear Podcast

Spearfishing for “Trash Fish”

In order for us to get our ingredients, we went spearfishing in one of my local spots. We targeted black perch, zebra perch, and halfmoon perch.

All three of these fish are not considered the highest-quality table fare.

What a shame!

After I shot a few of each fish I proceeded to gut and scale them. We had fresh fish for him to use in a dish that he seemingly whipped up from thin air. The secret to cooking fish is knowing how to sear the skin to make it crunchy, cook it just the right amount of time to keep the meat tender, and just the right amount of salt and spices.

Foraging for Uni and Octopus

No catch and cook meal would be complete without a bit of uni and octopus as side dishes. Chef Holzman made us some of the best-tasting octopus ceviche from an octopus he was able to find while spearfishing.

For the uni, we incorporated it within our veggies to give it a bit of an umami flavor. I prefer going after the red sea urchin, however, you can use the smaller purple ones as well.

No Such Thing As a Trash Fish

Honestly, there’s no such thing as a trash fish, but rather inexperienced cooks. If you’re planning to take fish home then spend a bit of time on YouTube looking for lessons on how to prepare it so it tastes great.

You have one of the best resources at your disposal, savor it.

Listen to Why You Need to STOP Eating Fresh Fish on the Cast & Spear Podcast

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing and spearfishing enthusiast. He's been fishing since he was 5 years old in the backcountry of Yosemite for trout and in the surf near his home in SoCal. Over the past 4 years, he's been spearfishing up and down the coast of California. He started Cast and Spear to help inspire others to get outside and chase their dream fish. Notable catches include spearing a 65-pound white sea bass, large grouper, and yellowtail down in Baja. When he's not in the water, he's usually fishing from his Gregor Baja aluminum boat or inflatable Takacat catamaran.
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