Shopping for sustainable seafood has been challenging in many areas, but is getting easier. Many Markets are giving more information on the seafood's origin and appellation. Over recent years there has been much said about "Sustainability" in many areas of our daily lives. From food to our frocks, there are sustainable options. The food area is one of the more difficult areas to make your choices in, and this is especially true for choosing sustainable seafood.

There are several great resources that are available now, including apps for your iPhone or iPad, that can help in your quest for sustainable seafood. If you do not have a compatible smart phone you can still access the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program online. As a chef, I have found that in most cases the guidelines for sustainable seafood also translated naturally into guidelines for buying the highest quality seafood. This generally means not buying gill net or long-lined fish, instead buying troll or in some cases trawl caught fish. Not only does this practice minimize the byproduct or unwanted species catch but the fish are also less bruised and are generally processed more quickly than the other options. The Sea watch guidelines involving aqua farming lead to a more natural product that has better flavor and less chance of contamination by possibly substandard practices. One of the new cutting edge practices in aquaculture is deep water farming. This allows a more natural environment, free of the risks of pond style aqua farming. An excellent example of this is in Hawaii, off the "big island." The Kona Blue farms a species of jack known as Kampachi. Excellent fish, great flavor with high oil content. Currently they are taking steps to increase their production, so watch for this in your favorite stores. Wild seafood that is caught using sustainable practices is still the largest and most readily available method of finding high quality seafood.

Alaskan seafood is an excellent example of such sustainable and well managed fisheries; the Alaskan seafood council has information on their sustainable practices on their website. The premium sustainably harvested Copper River Salmon is one product that Alaskan fisheries offer. Wild salmon is also especially high in Omega-3, and is a great example of how sustainable seafood can be healthier as well as responsible.

Grilled Ono with Ginger Garlic and Soy

This is my favorite grilled Ono or Wahoo recipe. The flavors just work perfectly. The fish is marinated, grilled then topped with a hot oil baste, which gives it tons of flavor! Not spicy, but very satisfying. So, check this one out. Ono is almost always caught by trolling and is an extraordinary fish on the grill. This recipe can also be made with Halibut (excellent) Albacore tuna, Tombo in Hawaii, Mahi Mahi, or Salmon.

4 servings 4 5 to 6 ounce portions of Ono

Soy, Ginger, Garlic and Sesame Marinade

2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup white wine

2 teaspoons sesame oil

Marinate the fish for one hour. Prepare the fish for the grill, using oil on it to prevent sticking. I like a nice hot grill for the Ono, which gives it direct heat. Ono is a very lean fish and should not be served well-done or overcooked, so keep an eye on it and cook to medium. Grill your Ono, making nice grill marks on the hot grill. For timing your cooking, use the Canadian Method which is 10 minutes of cooking time per inch thickness of the fish.

Soy, Garlic, Ginger and Sesame Oil

In a saute pan place:

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoons garlic finely chopped

2 teaspoons fresh ginger finely chopped

1 green onion finely sliced at a 45-degree angle

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Place the canola oil in a saute pan, heat over medium high heat. When there is a shimmer on the surface of the oil or it just begins to smoke, add the garlic, ginger and stir. Add the green onions, sesame oil, and soy sauce and turn off the heat. Top the cooked Ono with the sauce. I like to serve this with fried or steamed rice. Garlicky stir-fried sugars snap peas are also excellent with this dish.

Grilled Shrimp with Argentine Marinade

Grilled shrimp are always a treat, and this is a great simple dish that is quick and has really nice flavors. Very simple and quick as well as low fat and healthy!

4 servings entrees or 8 as appetizers

1 pound of US Gulf Shrimp 16 - 20 count or larger.

12 ounces frozen artichoke hearts (canned will fall apart)

1-2 red onions quartered

4 bamboo or metal skewers (if bamboo soaked in water for one hour)

Argentine Marinade for Seafood

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup white wine

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/4 cup Spanish onion (red) diced fine

2 cloves garlic chopped fine

cup Italian flat leaf parsley chopped fine

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine the white wine, lemon juice and vinegar in a non-reactive sauce pan, bring to a boil,and add the saffron threads. Allow to steep, cool, and then combine all.

Marinate seafood or shellfish two hours. Prepare the Argentine marinade and allow to cool as per directions. Peel your shrimp and clean them, leaving the last segment of shell on the tail.Thread your brochettes with the shrimp, onion and artichokes. Place on a plate and pour the marinade over the brochettes. Marinate the shrimp for at least one hour, although two is better. Prepare your grill for high direct heat. Grill your shrimp on direct high heat. Turn the shrimp when they have curled around 2/3rds, as this means that they are done. Pull them off. Shown in the photos: I made grilled red onions and artichokes which are really nice, red and green peppers would work as well. For ease, frozen artichoke hearts work very nicely for this recipe. With this recipe I like to serve a rice pilaf or grilled potatoes seasoned with a bit of garlic and smoked Spanish paprika. Enjoy!

About Author:
Chef Randy Lehr shares more tips for fish recipes and other great recipes on his site at Alumni from San Francisco's prestigious California Culinary Academy, Randy has operated restaurants, resorts and hotels in California, Hawaii, Cabo San Lucas and New Mexico. Randy and his wife Rainee live in the beautiful central coast area of California where Randy works in the wine industry.

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