Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus)

I am just back from Florida. Thanks for being patient this week. I do plan to post more than once a week, but travel is well – time consuming!

The good news is I had a great trip. I shot footage for 3 new video blogs; including one I did with my brother. So keep an eye posted here!  I’ll start posting them within the week.

Concerning SippitySup, this trip was extra exciting because my brother lives in Florida and guess what? My brother is a French Culinary Institute, NYC Grad and an actual CHEF. I just play one on the “Typing TV”. He and I got together and baked a whole Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus). It’s a simple preparation and paired with a few classic Florida flavors I think you’ll find this video a winner. But you gotta wait for it!

Now if you have never had Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) it is a real shame, because Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) is awesome! It is a delicate, white fish; just fatty enough to cook up lusciously. The most prized type of this species is the Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus). It is found in warmer coastal waters of the Atlantic from the mid United States all the way down to Brazil (and it’s range includes the Gulf of Mexico too).

They have small mouths and are not easy to catch, but knowing when and where to fish is helpful. Use a small hook and live bait. My Floridian friends say that the tiny crabs you find on the oyster beds are particularly successful as bait.

I’m not really much of a fisherman. But if I am going to spend some time casting about, Pompano is my choice of catch! There is even a video on this coming – well sorta!

Pompano is honestly one of the most delicious fish you will encounter. It’s so delicate and mildly sweet that the simplest preparations are really best. You often see wildly enthusiastic preparations on restaurant menus. They can be tarted up with a macadamia, sweet coconut crust or some other such nonsense. But this type of over-gilding really does a disservice to the fish.

To be fair it is an expensive fish. So I suppose somebody unfamiliar with it might go into a restaurant and not see the value in a simply prepared version. If you’re going to spend that kind of money on fish, I guess, some might want all the bells and whistles!

Not me! I love it simply broiled with clarified butter, salt and pepper. I’m a skin connoisseur, so to me, there is nothing like the crackly, salty, crispy goodness of hot broiled pompano – skin and all!

My brother prefers to roast his hot and fast with a bit of lime. It leaves the flesh super moist and very mildly citrus scented. It’s can be quite elegant. He also likes to properly fillet it a table. That’s his French Culinary Institute background. In our upcoming video, I hand over the cooking duties to Grant (my brother Sip!) and he makes a cool tropical version of this classic Florida fish. Baked whole with lime, and blood orange then served with a spicy fruit salsa and traditional Cuban Tostones (fried plantains) with a subtle twist. Sip’s! Roasted Pompano Recipe.

In case I’ve just made you hungry, well I’m sorry. You’ll just have to wait for that video too.  Aren’t I so mean!


Greg Henry