Plump, Happy Seal seeks High-Class Tinned Fish!
November 29, 2012 3:48 PM   Subscribe

Kippers, anchovies, sardines... hook me up with a barrel of snacking fishes!

I'm completely in love with little fishes. I want to stuff my fat face on the daily! But tins of the good stuff are so expensive-- it's starting to cut into my espresso budget. Where can I buy or order preserved fishes in bulk?

I live in Portland, OR and have no refrigerator, so I need a shelf-stable solution.
posted by fritillary to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Well I'm not sure about the little fishies, but if you're looking for high-class tinned fish in Oregon, you go to Fish Hawk Fisheries in Astoria.
posted by three blind mice at 3:56 PM on November 29, 2012

I too love the little cans of salty fishies! I get mine at Grocery Outlet (aka Gross Out) in Hollywood, where kippered herrings are at least a buck cheaper than elsewhere.
posted by ottereroticist at 3:57 PM on November 29, 2012

If you have a Japanese market nearby you could try dried squid and cuttlefish. They'll be in the snack food section. I'm told Japanese men like it when they're drinking beer. It was little too strong-fishy-taste for me, and my cat would absolutely not leave me alone.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:29 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can get stir fried anchovies in bulk at any good Korean grocery.

A large can of salted anchovies lasts forever (i.e., does not spoil) and can go quite a ways. They come whole, and need to be cleaned.

I once asked a question here about the best ways to enjoy anchovies.
posted by OmieWise at 4:32 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I haven't bought them yet, but these sardines from Bar Harbor have been sitting in my Amazon wish list for a while as a high-rated, reasonably-priced luxury. $22.30 for six tins isn't quite as good as the price I pay for the delicious Trader Joe's smoked herring, though.
posted by deludingmyself at 4:33 PM on November 29, 2012

Oh, and Trader Joe's has decently priced canned fish of all sorts.
posted by OmieWise at 4:33 PM on November 29, 2012

Oops, I didn't see from your title that you're looking for canned fish. The dried squid comes in plastic bags.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:34 PM on November 29, 2012

You're going to need a seal costume, and a nearby aquarium...

Actually, if you can find a discount surplus food outlet, in Colorado there is a store chain called "Big Lots", that sells overage and "not so popular goods" that didn't sell well in other retailers. I usually pick up alot of canned fish for Pizza di Napoli (pizza with basil, tomato, and sardines)
posted by nickggully at 4:49 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't have any helpful bulk fish suggestions, but I did want to make sure that you knew about smoked sprats - the sardine's smaller, more delicious relative.
posted by thylacinthine at 4:57 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yep, Riga sprats. They sell biggish tins down under, usually in fruit & veg stores. Here's an Amazon shopping example.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:04 PM on November 29, 2012

Right, so dried seafood is not canned, but if it's just a matter of shelf life it's still a pretty good bet. Dried anchovies keep without refrigeration basically forever as long as they're in a sealed bag away from moisture.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:08 PM on November 29, 2012

Any kind of European deli worth its name will have herring somewhere or other.

I love love herring and you can get them tinned in all manner of sauces (mustard and dill, mango, tomato, curry etc) or just plain with oil. Little flat tins cost a couple of dollars and you can often buy them cheaply on special. They keep well in a cupboard and a tin of these on toast with the sauce or oil poured over makes a tasty supper for one.

I know you said tinned, but dried anchovies are ridiculously cheap (look for them in your local Asian grocery - sometimes they're called Ikan Billis). Throw a handful into oil and fry until crisp. So good. So, so good.
posted by ninazer0 at 5:27 PM on November 29, 2012

Trader Joe's smoked trout is pretty good.
posted by jgirl at 5:54 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

ninazer0's comment reminded me: Ikea sell a huge range of herrings in different sauces.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:16 PM on November 29, 2012

Oh, and don't neglect Asian grocers for tinned fish, either. You can pick up all sorts of odd things for not much money - some will probably not be to your taste but others will. When a small can is about 50c, a strike isn't such a big deal. I've seen catfish, eel, mackerel and others in tins - some in oil and others in more exotic sauces. Might be an option for you.

And yeah - IKEA for all sorts of tasty fish products.
posted by ninazer0 at 6:54 PM on November 29, 2012

I dont have an answer other than to say that this is the most Portland question perhaps in history.

I like the stuff from Costco, but i'm low class that way.
posted by softlord at 10:01 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

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