Ask any East Coast angler, and they will probably say that striped bass is no doubt one of the finest fish to eat. However, most people are concerned about how safe it is to consume it, which begs the question “are striped bass good to eat?”.
Striped bass is one of the most well-known sport types of fish in history. They are widespread in North America, particularly all along the Atlantic coastlines. There are also lake-striped bass species, but they are not popular for eating due to their muddy flavor.
Ocean striped bass, on the other hand, is delicious, healthy, and easy to prepare. However, not every striped bass is the same.
In this article, we’ll answer the “are striped bass good to eat” question and share with you everything you need to know about striped basses such as choosing, preparing, and cooking them.
Interesting Facts about Striped Bass
Some of us may be surprised to learn that striped bass is an anadromous species. This means that it hatches in freshwater rivers. Once it reaches a certain weight, it will move to the ocean before returning to reproduce in freshwater.
In terms of life cycles, striped bass has an incredibly long lifespan compared to other fish species. It can survive for up to 30 years, whereas other fish in the same category only live for about 7 years. As a result, striped bass joins the ranks of long-lived types of fish.
Striped basses create consistent nesting sites in many streams, ponds, and reservoirs. That, however, isn’t really natural. They prefer to roam in the open sea near the shores of wetlands, lagoons, canals, and beaches.
Striped bass females are set to spawn when they get to five to six years old. They return to their ocean home after spawning. Striped bass males, on the other hand, take about a couple of years to develop fully.
In its natural habitat, the striped bass is a predator. It basically consumes anything smaller than itself. It can easily consume many sorts of insects, eel, shrimp, and other small varieties of fish.
Still, striped bass is a tricky species to catch. According to most anglers, a striped bass knows how to avoid baits, particularly artificial baits. So, the next time you plan to catch one, you should choose live baits.
Types of Striped Bass
Striped bass is classified into several types, though the distinction is not always obvious. The most common type is a natural hybrid of striped bass and white bass. As a result, the flavor of this farmed variant is softer.
There is also the wild striped bass. This is the original marine fish from the East Coast, with a rich sweetness and a huge flaky texture. Unfortunately, because they are a wildlife catch, they are not always available.
Known Benefits of Eating Striped Bass
By now, we have pretty answered the question “are striped bass good to eat?”. It’s about time we talk about the benefits of eating one.
The most significant macronutrient in striped bass is protein. Striped sea bass, like other protein sources, contains all of the amino acids that your body requires. Furthermore, striped bass is really a good source of iron and vitamin B-12. These compounds aid in the production of hemoglobin, which is essential for oxygen transport in your bloodstream.
Striped bass is also well-known for being a nutrient-dense, low-calorie fish. Striped bass fats are mostly unsaturated fats, with less than 0.5 g of saturated fat in a medium-sized fish.
Striped bass contains omega-3 fatty acids as well. Even an 80-gram plate of striped bass contains almost 640 mg of that beneficial fatty acids.
Moreover, striped bass is a good source of selenium, another essential nutrient that our bodies require. Consuming enough striped bass can help you avoid heart disease, arthritis, and even reduced immunological function.
Choosing, Storing, and Cooking A Striped Bass
Now that you know the benefits of eating striped bass, let us now look at ways of choosing , storing, and cooking this type of fish. Striped bass is favored by consumers, even the picky ones, because of its flavor. It is not overly fishy and has a delicate flavor comparable to cod or halibut.
When it comes to picking and buying a striped bass, you should look for ones between 18 and 36 inches long. It is suggested to avoid larger ones, beyond 36 inches, since they are rougher in texture and may accumulate larger quantities of heavy metals.
Remember to search for striped bass with wet skin and solid flesh. The scent of the fish must be appealing as well. Avoid the fish if there is an unpleasant smell of ammonia.
Do not miss the collars, which are the triangles of flesh located beneath the gills. They should be in perfect shape. The same holds true for the cheeks.
Striped bass can live for up to six months if properly preserved. All you have to do is seal it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. Once thawed, it must be cooked and served immediately.
Of course, eating fresh fish as early as possible is usually better. A good rule of thumb is to eat fillets bought in a store or fish marketplace within two days at most.
Because of the reddish meat that goes down the center of the fish, cleaning it is somehow difficult. And, if you do not handle it carefully, the fish will become highly oily in flavor.
Despite the difficulties in handling this fish, it is incredibly adaptable. It has enough meatiness to be grilled, but it can also be broiled, pan-seared, or even roasted with an oven. First-timers may want to work with a striped bass fillet.
As you may have guessed, the best way to cook a striped bass is to keep it simple. Place some butter or oil in a frying pan and season the fillet. Seasonings such as salt and pepper are sufficient to enhance the flavor, while other herbs such as coriander or oregano may help to add complexity.
Striped bass offers several benefits, not only because of its wonderful taste but also because it has nutritional values.
So, are striped bass good to eat? The answer is yes. However, a lot of careful consideration should be done. For instance, the size and age are crucial in deciding whether the fish is safe to consume. Generally, make sure that you opt for smaller rather than larger striped bass.