Since we originally posted this article we have had many questions from who are now ex-Tilapia, Basa and Swai consumers, who wanted to know what we would suggest as an alternative to Tilapia, Basa and Swai. In reality it is not such an easy question to answer, since everyone has their own preference in what they see in seafood. In this addition to the main article we will be discussing a few types of fish that would be a healthy alternative to tilapia, Basa and Swai.
All of the fish named below will only be found wild. One thing you should take note of is some pre-packed types of these fish may have been processed in China or elsewhere in SE Asia. Always go for fish that is caught and processed in Alaska or Canada only!
The first fish that we believe would be a great alternative is the Alaskan Pollock. This fish is the most caught fish in the entire world! It is estimated that around 3-4 million tons of Alaskan Pollock are caught in the Pacific Ocean every year! Many people eat Alaskan Pollock on a regular basis, and don’t even know about it. Alaskan Pollock is often marketed in cafes and restaurants as “white fish”. It is often the main ingredient in fish sandwiches, and is even the fish used in the McDonald’s Fillet-O-Fish. A large amount of Alaskan Pollock is ground up and used as the fish in surimi, otherwise known as imitation crab. The reason it is so widely used is that Alaskan Pollock is arguably the most versatile fish in the world. It has a very light flavor, which allows it to be cooked in any way and any method. This fish would be absolutely ideal for anyone who does not want fish with strong flavor. Alaskan Pollock is low in fat, high in protein and is a great source of Vitamin B-12!
Another fantastic alternative for Tilapia, Basa or swai is either Pacific Cod or the Atlantic Cod. This fish is extremely popular throughout the world where it is used in many different recipes, including the very popular Fish & Chips. Pacific Cod is the second largest fishery in the world, which brings in around 1.5 million to 2 million tons of fish every year from around the world. It is very popular for its white and flaky meat, which holds a very light flavor. This fish is also very versatile and can be prepared using a huge assortment of methods and accompaniments. Pacific Cod asked is low on fat, and is a fantastic source for protein. It is also full of Vitamins D, B-12, B6 and Magnesium!
The next level of alternatives to Tilapia, Basa and Swai are the Flounder. Different types of Flounder and sole have their own unique flavors. Some of which may be considered to have to strong a taste for some consumers, especially some of who turned to Tilapia, Basa and Swai due to their light flavors. Flounders and Sole are born looking like any other fish, but as they mature into adulthood, their eyes move to one side and they flatten so that they can hide on the sea floor. Depending on the type of flatfish, the flavor may vary from very light to quite strong. Also most Flounder can be quite bony, as it is difficult to remove the bones in some types. One major benefit of flatfish is that they are usually quite versatile. Flounder are usually low on fat, high on protein, a superb source of Vitamin D and a good source of Vitamin B-12.
ROCKFISH is also a fantastic alternative to Tilapia, Basa and Swai. There are many types of ROCKFISH, which range from a whiter color to a gray. Rockfish is usually not as versatile as all of the fish listed above, but it has great flavor. For people who are looking for a fish with light flavor a rockfish will end up pushing it, as they have stronger flavor. The meat of Rockfish is also much firmer than the other examples that we have provided, but the meat is just as flaky as Pacific Cod. ROCKFISH, like the above examples is a lean source of protein, and it is also a fantastic source of Vitamin D.
There are many fantastic alternatives to Tilapia, Basa and Swai. Many great retailers provide these fish straight from Alaska and Canada, both of which have very high quality standards and do not mess with additives. We invite you to take a look at our selection of seafood, which comes from our facility in Kodiak, Alaska. In reality any reputable grocery store would sell these fish, just make sure you buy wild and check to see that it never saw China in its journey to your table.
Update! You Will Want To Read This!
On November 10th, 2016 a woman living in Bellevue, Washington contracted Vibrio vulnificus due to contact with Tilapia that she purchased from her local store. This bacteria is rare, but it can occur in filter-feeding fish, just like Tilapia. Illness from this bacteria can occur from physical contact to a wound, or from ingestion. In this particular case the woman cut her hand while handling raw Tilapia.
This is a very serious infection, which can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. But it does not stop there! Vibrio can cause necrosis of the flesh, giving it the nickname "flesh eating bacteria". Along with necrosis, this bacteria can cause sepsis. The combination of the two are very serious, and may require removal of the infected tissue, amputation and may even be fatal.
As we stated before, this infection is very rare, but the question that you should be asking yourself is whether it is worth the risk. Flesh Eating Bacteria is most commonly found in fresh water fish, like Tilapia and is very rarely found in salt water fish. One of the very few exceptions to that rule is stingrays, which can cause this infection with the strike of their barbs.
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