Firstly, it is very essential that you bleed leopard shark; and, fortunately, that's easy to do. You just run a knife into the first gill slit and slice it down to the last gill slit. Then, hang the fish over the side of the boat as you continue to enjoy your day. The fish will just bleed there. Of course, bonk the fish good over the head with a bat or club and make sure he's dead first. It would be ghoulish to cut his gill slits while he's still alive!
We always throw away any of the belly area meat, remove the darker colored meat, the guts, and the skin. Cooking methods which cause the juices to drain away from the meat are safer because much of the chemical pollutants will leave with the fatty juices. These methods include baking, broiling, grilling, or steaming.
Smaller legal size fish are safer to eat than larger fish. DFG recommends that most adults would be wise to consume not more than two servings of shark a month. Pregnant women and children under 6 need to pay special attention to this warning.
Save San Francisco Bay Assn. has a special Seafood report that didn't get to me on time for this article that might have some useful information about the safety of Bay-caught fish. You can receive their report by asking for their Seafood report and sending $3.00 to: Save San Francisco Bay Assn.; 1736 Franklin St., 4th Floor; Oakland, CA 94612.
I do enjoy an occasional meal of leopard shark; and, if some of you have been reading my articles for a long time, you might remember when I went through a leopard shark recipe phase. People were starting to call me the leopard shark lady. Anyway, the following are a couple of recipes that I have enjoyed that also use the safer methods. Go for it!
Florida Style Shark
Melt butter in a small saucepan and add ingredients. Strain through a fine strainer to remove garlic pieces (they burn under the broiler). Brush on shark fillets or steaks and broil one side. Turn the fish over, brush with more mixture and broil the other side. Serve with something that has avocados in it and you'll think you died and went to heaven. Serves 2.
Leopard Shark Marinade
- 2 Leopard Shark fillets or steaks
- 1/4 C butter
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- juice from 1/2 lime
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1/4 tsp. cumin powder
Stir all the ingredients together in a flat dish that is large enough to lay a fillet down in. Dip each side of each fillet or steak into the marinade. Lay fish on a broiling pan, brush with additional marinade because it gives broiled fish a barbequed flavor. This should be enough marinade for up to 4 leopard shark fillets or steaks.
- 1/4 C soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. dry white vermouth
- 1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. oil
Another good way to prepare leopard shark is to smoke it like you would smoke salmon. This makes a tasty snack to take to work or on other fishing trips.