Cooking Kingfish

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2012 • all rights reserved

Cooking Kingfish

Reader James Almond passed on this recipe for kingfish (also known as king mackerel) that does NOT require a smoker, yet still tastes great.  He swears it tastes just like boiled crab!

Now, I’ll be honest — I haven’t tried this recipe and, to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never had kingfish.  But the usual complaint from cruisers who catch them is that “the only good way to cook kingfish is to smoke it, and I don’t have a smoker on the boat.”  And so the fish gets thrown back.  Here’s an alternate method — as long as you’ve got an area large enough to fillet the fish!

You can use fresh or frozen kingfish, filleted, skin removed and cut into 1″ squares.  Figure on 1/4 to 1/2 pound of prepared fish per person — if preparing for a real crowd, you’ll need to have several pots, but otherwise you can just prepare any amount.

Fill a pot about half full of water, add one bag of crab boil (such as Zatarain’s) and cover.  Bring to a boil and let boil for about 10 minutes, so that the water is well seasoned.  Remove the bag and add the prepared fish.

Keep the pot over high heat and boil until the fish comes to the top.  As it comes to the top, remove with a slotted spoon (let the water drain back into the pot), and place onto a serving dish or bowl.   You can either pour melted butter over the top or give each person a small dish of melted butter that they can dip the the fish pieces into.

Let cool enough that you don’t burn your tongue.  Great with cold beer!

Looking online, I’ve also seen this called “poor man’s lobster.”  I’m guessing that it could be a good way to cook any fish that doesn’t do well just sauteed or grilled.

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  1. Candy Ann Williams on Facebook says:

    We have tried it AND it is good….I used garlic butter instead of plain butter….but I am a garlic addict.

  2. MaryJo Boyle on Facebook says:

    It sure sounds good…now if only the Captain could catch something!

  3. Those oily fish, like mackerel, needle-fish or large sardines, are very good grilled; but your recipe sounds good.

  4. Any oily fish, like Bluefish, works really well with a 20 minute soak in milk, then slather it with a mix of Worcestershire & Mayonnaise…grill it & be amazed!

  5. I grew up fishing for these…and eating them! They were always one of my favorites. Texas Gulf Coast preparation: Instead of cutting into steaks or filets, cut vertical slices through the skin and to the backbone along both sides, spaced approximately an inch or so apart. The very best meat is in a series of cylindrical muscles running the length of the fish, and you are cutting these into sections. Reach down into each slice, and you will find that you can push out something that is not unlike a “chicken nugget” in size and shape. When you have finished, you will see that you have used most of the meat yet left the “less palatable” parts behind. We called them “Kingfish Balls”, and Mom always fried them with a light cornmeal coating (not a heavy batter). Enjoy!

  6. Annie Griffin says:

    Hubby always caught kings. They are a strong flavored oily fish, however I have cut out the nuggets lile rusty suggests and used Zatarain’s corn flour fish fry. Soaked the fish in mexican beer, dry taco seasoning for 30 min. Dredge in fish fry flour, fry as usual. Made great fish tacos. Annie Griffin

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