Shark & Shrimp Chowder

Sharks…if you aren’t catching them you aren’t fishing enough.  Sure, they snatch bait, cut leaders, bogart your catch and the the big ones will even bust your tackle, but several commonly caught sharks make excellent table fare including bonnet heads, black tips, and fine toothed sharks to name a few.

When planning to dine on a shark, food care is important from the beginning and not just because your food can sink its teeth into you causing potential life threatening lacerations. A sharp filet knife behind the head severing the spinal column can end the shark’s life mercifully.  Next cut deeply into the tapered end of the shark where the body meets the tail to bleed the shark thoroughly.  Once the blood has ceased flowing remove the organs from the body cavity and place the shark on ice.

Once back on land, cut the shark into steaks or fillets, then soak in either milk or fresh water with a little salt.  Rinse through my before cooking or vacuum sealing for freezer storage.

in this case we thawed a few steaks from a fine tooth, shark harvested from Saint Joe Bay in Florida, added some Gulf shrimp, then cut up some taters and vegetables to create a hearty chowder.

What you’ll need 

  • 1 lb shark or fish filets
  • 1 lb shrimp 
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 6 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 lb baby carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 pound red potatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 turnips, peeled & chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 32 ounces seafood stock
  • 32 ounces vegetable stock
  • 1 lb frozen whole kernel sweet corn
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup green onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • oyster crackers 


How to make it happen

Cut the shark fillets into bite-size chunks then in separate bowls, season the shark chunks and shrimp with a teaspoon each of Old Bay.

Cook the bacon in a large heavy pot over medium heat until crisp and the fat is rendered. Pour off all the bacon fat except 2 tablespoons. Add the 4 tablespoons butter, onions, carrots and celery cooking until soft.

Add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaves and cook until the vegetables are thoroughly wilted but not browned.  Add the potatoes, turnips, seafood stock, and vegetable stock then bring to a boil.

Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the broth thickens slightly and the potatoes are very tender, about 30 minutes.  Add the shark and corn, bring back to a simmer for about 10 minutes, then add the shrimp simmering for another 3-5 minutes until plump & pink.

Remove from the heat, Discard the bay leaves, stir in the cream, and season with the salt, pepper, and Old Bay to taste.

Next, let the chowder cool for 1 hour so the flavors amalgamate.  After the chowder has come together, slowly reheat it being careful not to boil or curdle the broth, stir in the parsley & green onion garnish then ladle into bowls and serve with crackers.

Tickets and additional information regarding cost of trip and canoe rental can be found under the UPO Gear tab or by clicking here.