HOUSTON – We are in the thick of Lent. That means many practicing Catholics don’t eat meat on the Fridays leading up to Easter. Fish is the most popular alternative to red meat, pork, and chicken. Whether you are looking for the freshest seafood or the best buys in our area, you can use this guide to get some great tasting seafood during Lent and any time of the year.
For 22 years, Katie’s Seafood Market in Galveston has sold fish and shrimp fresh from the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston bay straight to customers. The seafood you find here is unloaded from the market’s own boats three to 10 times each week. You can buy it in person or online. Katie’s ships to anywhere in Texas.
You will pay a premium to get fish fresh off the boat, but general manager Nicholas Gutierrez has a motto that explains the price.
”Fresh seafood is not cheap. Cheap seafood is not fresh,” Gutierrez said.
If you don’t have time to drive all the way to Galveston, HEB may be the next best thing. That’s because Katie’s Seafood Market supplies some of HEB’s seafood every week, delivering it fresh to its distribution center.
- Stores receive fresh seafood seven days a week.
- They carry more than 60 seafood items.
- HEB stores boil live crawfish Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the season.
- HEB will season and steam seafood products for free at nearly all of their full-service seafood markets.
- HEB Fish Mongers provide free services like trimming, scaling, filleting and deveining.
- Kroger sources seafood from hatcheries and fishermen all over the world. They have fresh fish and shrimp from the Gulf as well as salmon from Chile and cod from Alaska.
- Kroger crawfish are sourced from Louisiana and delivered fresh to stores every weekend.
- Many Houston stores offer crawfish boils, complete with spices, corn, and potatoes.
- For no extra cost, when you buy fresh fish, you can choose your seasonings and herbs and a Kroger employee will package it all together in a convenient pouch that you can put straight into the oven. The service is called “Easy for You.”
Don't forget smaller stores like Aldi. They sell fresh, never frozen fish in all of their stores including tilapia, trout and Atlantic salmon.
We compared the price for fresh whole red snapper from the Gulf of Mexico.
At Katie’s Seafood Market, it’s $9.50 a pound whole. Employees will fillet it for free. On Katie’s website, it says a 2-pound snapper will yield about two 6 to 8-ounce fillets.
HEB sells whole snapper for $10.97 a pound. If you order it filleted, it’s $22.97 a pound.
Kroger only sells snapper filleted for $19.99 a pound.
How to tell if seafood is fresh
- If you’re buying the fish whole, the fish eyes should be clear, not foggy.
- The fish should not be overly stinky.
- The fish gills should be red.
- Shrimp should be glossy and firm.