[quote]Chef Lisa Marie wrote:
Hey Chef Lisa,
I heard my uncle (also a chef) discussing tilapia with an aunt and he made the statement that it is a “junk” fish. Any idea what he was talking about?
As far as I know “junk fish” is a fisherman’s term for fish that you would throw back or throw away. Tilapia used to be the fish that they would throw back before it became sellable to restaurants and now direct to consumers.
Most of the Tilapia is now farm raised.
Tilapia is also a very popular fish used in Aquaponics. In aquaponics, the fish waste provides a food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the fish. This creates a mini ecosystem where both plants and fish can thrive. Aquaponics is the ideal answer to a fish farmers problem of disposing of nutrient rich water and a hydroponic growers need for nutrient rich water.
I find this technique quite interesting after working for a few years at a sustainable agriculture and aquiponics farm. The farm grew Tilapia in large tanks that ‘fed’ the micro greens they grew hydroponically. They also grew heirloom farm animals like Highland and Devon Beef and Gloucester Old Spot, Tamworth and Large Black Swine. They started a restaurant and I worked with another woman from the Culinary to help they utilize and market their farm animals, vegetables and fish. It was a pretty amazing experience.
Although, I still don’t care for the blandness of Tilapia and it certainly isn’t my first choice for fish when it comes to texture and flavor. [/quote]
“As far as I know “junk fish” is a fisherman’s term for fish that you would throw back or throw away.”
This is correct.