Mermaid Garden Fish Share: June 16

Nat Miller, the fisherman you are supporting this week.

I loves you Porgy.

OK, so the Gershwin’s weren’t talking about the fish. But the porgy is certainly deserving of a song.

Porgy, also known as Scup, always known as Stenotomus chrysops isn’t the most glamorous fish in the ocean, but it’s one of the tastiest. This New York Time’s article from 1953 is a nice little piece on Porgy, back when it was 25 cents a pound!

For geeky ichthyological info about porgy, refer to FishBase, the brain trust of all things fishy.

These porgy were brought to you by Nat Miller of Montauk, Long Island. Nat is a 14th-generation pound-net fisherman. He is part of a long and proud tradition of fishermen working the inshore waters of Long Island. Read a little bit about the baymen of East Hampton, known as Bonackers, Bubbies or Bubs.

Pound netting is a very old, very elegant catch method. A pound net is a fishing trap consisting of an arrangement of standing nets directing the fish into an enclosed net. The fish swim in and don’t swim out. Nat can then come around in his skiff and choose exactly which fish he wants to catch. There is no bycatch- only specifically targeted fish are taken. Any fish left in the nets are left to swim unharmed for future catch or release.

Another great bonus to catching fish this way is the low amount of stress they undergo when caught. They are simply scooped up. The more a fish struggles when being caught, the more compromised the quality of its flesh will be. No struggle, no compromise.

Once you have your porgy at home, you have a plethora of cooking options. Porgy is incredibly versatile. For your convenience we have started posting recipes to our Facebook page. You can find them in the “Notes” section.

Especially tasty with porgy would be:

Martha Rose Shulman’s Steamed Fish Salad with Red Peppers, Cilantro and Mint

David Tanis’s Cod with Sesame

Ginger and Beach House Cooking Fish en Papillote

You could also broil or pan-fry your porgy for fish tacos. We love fish tacos so much that Mark once named a blog after them. Ask him!

Happy eating!

Mark and Bianca

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