One of the best aspects about living here in Mazatlán is the fresh fish we are able to buy every morning. Okay, well, we don’t go on Mondays, because there’s not been a lot of fishing on Sunday, but any day Tuesday through Saturday, you can bet we are happy campers.
We take our daily walk down the malecón and, in Playa Norte just across from the pangas, is our favorite spot: Pescadería del Mar.By now these guys know us and they’ve helped us to learn a lot about fish and fishing here in town: what’s seasonal, how fish are stored (on ice, frozen, salted) from the time they’re caught till they’re brought in to shore, and how to cook what’s available locally.
At 7 am when we’re there we usually have a terrific selection. Of course, depending on the season and the weather, we may have more or less fish to choose from. As you can see in this photo, though, there’s usually quite a variety.
The fishmongers will scale and clean any fish we choose, so I can cook it whole, or they’ll fillet (de-bone) and cut up anything we’d like, however we’d like it. They also get fresh shrimp, which I love, because they are deep water shrimp that have NOT been stored in salt, so they’re sweet rather than pungent. They get quite a bit of squid, also, which I love to saute with garlic and herbs. We can occasionally get fresh scallops, too. Our favorite is corvina, a nice firm fish that is sooooo savory! We can at least a couple of times a week get smoked marlin (usually still warm from the smoker and sooooooo aromatic!), and escabecheon Fridays.
It’s fun to watch either the fishermen fresh off their pangas across the street, or a dealer/go-between (usually on a scooter or motorcycle) come to deliver the fish to the fishmongers and make a deal. They have an outdoor scale to weigh what’s brought in, and an indoor scale to weigh what you purchase before it’s trimmed to order.
Having lived so many years in Japan, I am also very happy when they get sushi-quality tuna, though I do believe most of the fresh fish they have is sushi/sashimi quality. Chirashi has never been so delicious and affordable!
If you are a carnivore/omnivore, and do not take advantage of our local fresh fish, please do! You are missing some really flavorful and healthy, and easy and quick to cook, local delicacies!