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Texas Seafood

Texas Seafood
A Cookbook and Comprehensive Guide

A sumptuous cookbook and illustrated guide to identifying, catching, buying, cooking, and savoring more than two hundred species of fish and seafood from the Texas Gulf.

November 2019
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440 pages | 7 x 9 | 49 color and 113 b&w illus. |

The abundance of seafood available from the northwest Gulf of Mexico includes hundreds of delicious species that are often overlooked by consumers. Celebrating this regional bounty, Texas Seafood showcases the expertise of longtime fishmongers and chefs PJ and Apple Stoops. Readers will find familiar fish like Red Snapper along with dozens of little-known finfish and invertebrates, including tunas, mackerels, rays, and skates, as well as bivalves, shrimps, crabs, and other varieties, many of which are considered “bycatch” (seafood that a fisher didn’t intend to catch), but are no more difficult to prepare and are just as delicious as those commonly found at your local supermarket.

The Stoopses provide a complete primer on sourcing these wild-caught delicacies, with fascinating details about habitats and life cycles as well as practical advice on how to discern quality. Texas Seafood concludes with simple, delectable recipes, many infused with the flavors of Apple’s Thai heritage. Dishes such as Steamed Curried Crab, Crispy White Shrimp, Escolar on a Grill with Green Mango Salad, Cast Iron Roasted Gulf Coast Swordfish Steaks with Rio Grande Grapefruit, and Chicken-Fried Ribbonfish are just a few ways to savor the best of the Gulf.

  • Introduction

    • 1. The Gulf and Fishing
  • Fish
    • 2. Inshore Mixed Bag
    • 3. Croakers (Sciaenidae) and Grunts (Haemulidae)
    • 4. Jacks (Carangidae)
    • 5. Great and Small Pelagic Fish: Tunas and Mackerels (Scombridae) and Herrings (Clupeidae)
    • 6. Snappers (Lutjanidae)
    • 7. Groupers and Seabass (Serranidae)
    • 8. Offshore Reef, Rubble, and Rock Fish
    • 9. Deepwater Groundfish
    • 10. Assorted Blue-Water Pelagic Fish
    • 11. On the Subject of Gulf Marine Eels
    • 12. Rays, Skates, and Sharks
  • Invertebrates
    • 13. Bivalves, Gastropods, Cephalopods, and Oddball Invertebrates
    • 14. Shrimp, Crabs, and Other Crustaceans
    • 15. A Few Words about Edible Plants Found Close to the Water’s Edge
    • 16. Some Honorary Freshwater Inclusions
  • Nuts and Bolts
    • 17. Finding, Buying, and Processing Seafood
    • 18. The ABCs
    • 19. Buying and Storing Seafood
    • 20. Cutting Fish, Cleaning Crabs, and Shucking Oysters
  • Recipes
    • 21. Whole Fish
    • 22. Cut Fish
    • 23. Crustaceans
    • 24. Bivalves, Gastropods, and Cephalopods
    • 25. Preserving the Catch
    • 26. Bits and Pieces
  • Acknowledgments
  • Appendix I. Common Seafood Hazards
  • Appendix II. Species Not Described but of Interest
  • Further Reading
  • Index

PJ Stoops and Benchalak Srimart Stoops
Houston, Texas

The Stoopses are experienced fishmongers and were the chefs at Foreign Correspondent, a farm-to-table northern Thai eatery that was named one of Bon Appétit’s Best New Restaurants in 2015. PJ Stoops was also the driving force behind Houston’s “Total Catch Market,” a regular event that sold bycatch seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.


"PJ and Apple Stoops are true stewards of our Gulf. They understand how to source seafood--but also how to cook it--and have helped me open our guests’ eyes to new and delicious species of fish. This book should be a learning tool in every restaurant in Texas and beyond."
Chris Shepherd, James Beard Award-winning chef/owner, Underbelly Hospitality