The trick with bluefish is to get the freshest possible catch from a trusted source who handles the fish properly. Blues need to be cleaned and iced as soon as they are caught. Find out more about bluefish biology and traditions on page 34.

Here we share some recipes from Joyce Taylor, seafood education specialist with North Carolina Sea Grant and the North Carolina State University Seafood Laboratory for more than three decades. The recipes have been adapted for bluefish. These are among more than 150 recipes Taylor developed before she passed away in 2013. North Carolina Sea Grant plans to publish the new recipes in a book.

Don’t care for bluefish? “Different fish have different flavors. But you can almost always substitute in most recipes. Just exchange one type for a similar one. For example, substitute one lean fish for another lean one, a fatter fish for another with about the same fat content. Most of our palates are not so discriminating that we will notice a big difference,” Taylor advised in Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas.

For more ideas on how to select and prepare seafood, pick up a copy of Mariner’s Menu. Until Dec. 31, 2016, get this book at a 15 percent discount from Or find it via UNC Press or at your local bookstore.

Visit the Mariner’s Menu blog at for additional recipes.

More information on seasonal seafood can be found at — E.L.



pan-fried bluefish

Pan-Fried Lemon Bluefish

• 1 pound bluefish fillets, cut into serving-size pieces
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1 tablespoon milk
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
• halved lemon slices (optional)

Cut all dark meat from fillets.

In a shallow dish, combine egg, milk and lemon juice. In another shallow dish, combine cornmeal, salt, cayenne and lemon zest.

Dip fillets in egg mixture, then dredge in cornmeal mix.

Heat oil in skillet and add butter. Cook fillets until golden brown and done on one side, about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn and repeat on other side. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with parsley. Garnish with lemon slices.



bluefish corn chowder

Fresh Bluefish Corn Chowder

• 1 pound bluefish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 3 tablespoons margarine or butter
• 1/2 cup minced onion
• 1/2 cup minced celery
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 2 cups milk
• 1 14 1/2-ounce can cream-style corn
• paprika

Melt margarine in medium saucepan. Add onion and celery and sauté lightly. Blend in flour, salt, pepper and cayenne. Add milk slowly, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Blend in corn and heat until bubbling. Add fish and cook until done, about 10 minutes.
Place in bowls. Sprinkle with paprika.



bluefish salad

Fresh Smoked Bluefish Salad with Almonds

• 2 cups smoked bluefish
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
• 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, including tops
• 1/3 cup slivered almonds
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• salt to taste
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
• lettuce leaves
• tomato wedges

Poach fish in lightly salted water. Remove from water and flake with fork.

Place mayonnaise in medium bowl. Stir in mustard. Add celery, onions, almonds, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Gently blend in flaked fish, being careful not to break flakes apart.

Chill well, overnight if possible. Serve on lettuce. Garnish with tomato wedges.