Thursday, March 13, 2008


Alfonsino: New Zealand, related to red snapper. White flesh, 3-5# fish, oval- shaped like John Dory.

--Barramundi: habitat: from northern Australia and Queensland; one of the largest and most important commercial fishes; also popular with sportsmen; found in brackish waters, lagoons, and mangrove creeks; returns to saltwater to spawn; season runs year-round, though most active in warmer months; caught with live lures, either cast or trolled; description: white flesh, soft and delicate, mild, low oil; filets are round and thick, and have only a few large bones; preparation: frying, grilling, bbq-ing, steaming;

--Black cod: from North Pacific; 5-7 pounds, head off; “The white meat of the sablefish is fine-textured, oily, and succulent. The flavor is rich and distinctive; the fat content is high. The skin is edible;”

--Blackfish: habitat: Nova Scotia to South Carolina, Pacific Ocean, especially Narragansett Bay (RI); season from April to June, then from October; 40% yield; sold as whole fish, steaks, filets; eats clams, muscles, and crustaceans; description: mottled, off-white flesh; lean and meaty, firm-textured and mild-flavored; as meat does not flake or fall apart easily, is excellent for grilling, baking, and chowders;

--Black Sea Bass: sold in jumbos (2+) and larges (1.25-1.75); local (swims up and down the Atlantic); firm flesh

--Bluenose Bass: from New Zealand; belongs to butterfish family; season is fall and winter; found in rocky areas, caught with long line and trawler; moist, tender, and succulent flesh; pinkish-yellow meat; mild flavor, firm texture, similar to grouper; 37% yield;

--Branzini: from Mediterranean; delicate fish; very similar to Dorades (often interchangeable)

--Butterfish: habitat: Atlantic and Gulf coasts, one Pacific species; small fish, weighing only a few ounces (figure two per person); description: dark, sweet, richly flavored meat; high in fat, tender in texture; excellent pan fish.

--Catfish (see also Wolffish): habitat: farmed, mainly from the South, particularly Mississippi; wild catfish is native to North America, from southern Canada to northern Mexico; some wild is also exported to the states from South America (only about 1% of the market); farmed fish tends to be about one to one and a half pounds; description: medium-to-firm white-fleshed fish; because it is grain-fed and regulated by the FDA, flavor is consistently sweet and mild; flesh is firm and has less flake than other whitefish;

--Char (aka Arctic Char): habitat: icy-cold fresh and salt waters of North America and Europe; also farm-raised, mostly from Northern Canada and Iceland; two to eight pounds; whole or filet; description: white to orange-pink to red flesh; flavor described as a cross between trout and salmon, though closer to trout; high fat content, moderately firm, fine flake;

--Chilean turbot: crap yield; 2-4, 4-6 pounders; very very delicate, white meat

--Clams: cockles (from New Zealand), manillas=pastas, apps, etc; little necks=half shell; cherry stones, topnecks=large, so stuffed and baked; chowder=chowder

--Cod (scrod is simply a small cod; related to haddock and pollack): habitat: North Atlantic, especially New England, though scarce there now; most in U.S. now comes from Alaska; Scotland, Ireland, and Norway are experimenting with farming; taken by trawl; description: uniformly white, bright; mild-tasting, medium to delicate texture, large flakes; should be simply prepared; almost always sold as fillets;

--Coho (aka Silver): habitat: Oregon to Alaska’s Bering Coast; farmed in Chile; wild season runs from July to September; description: orange-red flesh; less oil than King or sockeyes, but still excellent eating

--Corvina: Mexican sea bass; from Baja, California; edible skin, mild flavor, medium texture (similar to sea bass) 6-8# fish head off & gutted.

--Crabmeat: jumbo lump comes from two places: either Venezuela (in which case it’ll have no label) or domestic (from Florida, Alabama, MA, Caribbean); Venezuela is more expensive; pasteurized is from Indonesia, Vietnam, and China; Maine crabmeat=Jonah crabmeat (neither jumbo nor lump); stone crabs come from Florida and Gulf of Mexico; all in one pound packages, except for all-leg, which comes in half-pound packages

--Crayfish: from California or Mississippi

--Escolar: “white tuna;” flesh similar to swordfish; also oilfish; buttery meat; very very high fat content; from mackerel family; swims all up and down Atlantic and Pacific coasts, Gulf-wide; pelagic species (swims in water column, not near shore and not near bottom; almost always a by-catch; oilfish has smooth skin, true escolar has rough skin; with head off, 75% yield; head on, 45%;

--Fluke/Flounder: summer flounder=fluke (comes in large 2-4 and jumbo 4+); winter flounder=flounder; flounder is lighter and sweeter than fluke

--Gray Sole: most delicate of sole family; sweet and delicate

--Grouper (belongs to Sea bass family): habitat: warm waters of Pacific, Atlantic, and Caribbean, from mid-Atlantic and Florida to South America, Central America, and Gulf of Mexico; sold as whole fish and as filets; whole tend to be between five and ten pounds; comes in red and black varieties; red is most commonly seen in market, though black is preferred (better yield and firmer flesh); description: mild but distinct, somewhere between bass and halibut; red is sweeter and milder than black; firm texture, so holds up well to deep frying, grilling, and cutting up for use in chowders; )

--Hawaiian marlin loin (blue marlin): comes in cryovac; need to ask how big each piece is, may be able to cut off a portion to make, say, a 5 lb piece; meaty, similar to swordfish but sweet, nice light texture; full yield! Won’t lose much at all, excellent to sell; large fish, marked size is typically 80 to 300 pounds; season runs from June to October

--Halibut (member of flounder family): habitat: Pacific coast from northern California to Bering Sea, and westward to Russia and Sea of Japan; 90% of the market comes from Gulf of Alaska; fished with long lines; largest flatfish in the world: can be 8 feet long and over 600 pounds; market sizes run from 10 to 200 pounds; scarce in first three months of winter; sold as steaks, though smaller halibut can be sold filleted or whole; description: very mild, sweet-tasting, lean fish with fine, dense meat; very firm texture; dries out quickly; thick, meaty fish holds up well to skewering (as flesh holds together well) and is best poached; not great for baking or broiling; price:

--Hamachi:(Tuna) aka Amberjack. Light gold flesh, has both dark and light meat. found on both US coasts, Japanese hatcheries of this fish is very popular for its sushi grade quality.

--Hake: soft, white flesh, similar to cod; from Long Island up towards Massachusetts

--Hiramasa (Australian Kingfish): firm and moist, sushi quality

--John Dory: habitat: Atlantic Ocean, off the coasts of Europe and Africa; mostly sold and cooked whole, as yield is low; description: firm-textured, white-fleshed; sweet, mild flavor; low fat content

King (aka Chinook): habitat: central California to Alaska’s Yukon River; largest Pacific salmon; average between 15 and 25 pounds; wild are available in spring and summer; description: pleasing red color, rich flavor, firm flesh; high oil content; price ; Coho (aka Silver): habitat: Oregon to Alaska’s Bering Coast; farmed in Chile; wild season runs from July to September; description: orange-red flesh; less oil than King or sockeyes, but still excellent eating; ; also sockeye, pink, and chum; (flavor is a function of fat content: the higher the fat content, the more flavor)

King Klip-à New Zealand, eel-like body and head, sub for Grouper & less expensive. Pink to white, flakey flesh, free of bones, sweet & moist. In the Hake family.

--Lehi: This silver-mouth snapper is similar in looks to the Opakapaka with the exception of the tuna-like mouth. The fillets are pink and the flavor is slightly stronger than their cousins’ the Onaga and the Opakapaka.

--Nantucket Scallops: season runs from October to December; scallops are small and delicate; sweet, briny flavor and delicate texture; expensive

--Cape Bay Scallops: season runs from October to ? , next to Nantucket Bay and very similar; more cost effective.

--Mackerel (common or Atlantic, Spanish, Pacific, king): habitat: caught off California coast and eastern coasts of the States, Europe, and South America; does not freeze well, so must be eaten immediately; description: firm, dark flesh, very fatty and rich, strong, sweet flavor; best cooked with something acidic, such as tomatoes;

--Mahi Mahi (aka Dorado, Dolphinfish): habitat: tropical and subtropical waters, Hawaii, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean; description: dark meat turns white when cooked; moderately fatty, strong and pleasantly sweet flavor: comparable to swordfish; preparation: excellent broiled, grilled, and pan seared; bears up under bold flavors and sauces

--Mako Shark: habitat: Northern Atlantic coasts; when bad, smells like ammonia; description: dense, meaty, pink-white flesh, firm texture, moderately strong flavor; very similar to chicken; takes well to marinades and sauces;

--Monkfish: habitat: primarily Northern Atlantic, from Coastal Norway to Mediterranean and Far banks to North Carolina; body is almost all head; has enormous appetite; usually sold as fillets; description: mild, slightly sweet taste; flesh doesn’t flake easily and is firm like lobster meat; price

--Nantucket Scallops: season runs from October to December; scallops are small and delicate; sweet, briny flavor and delicate texture; expensive

--Cape Bay Scallops: season runs from October to ? , next to Nantucket Bay and very similar; more cost effective.

--Onaga Hawaiian (aka Ruby Snapper): habitat: bottom feeder off the Hawaiian islands, typically 1-18 pounds, available October to March; description: clear, light pink flesh

Opah(moonfish): from Hawaii; 5 to 10 pounds; purple skin, white polka dots; sold by the rack (one rack=one piece, tail off, head off, skin on, bone in); four types of flesh, with each a different color: behind head and along bones is orange, toward belly is pale to pink, inside breastplate is bright red ruby, cheeks is dark red; strong, large-grained meat, excellent for grilling; 75-80% yield

--Opakapaka: Hawaiian pink snapper; clear light pink flesh; moist. bake, poach, saute.

--Orange Roughy: from coastal salt waters of New Zealand; about 3 pounds; all purpose white fleshed fish similar to black fish and scrod; firm, low in fat, mild flavor, with delicate shellfish flavor; sold as fillet only;

--Pacific Yellowtail: BC and Chile to Southern Cali from Central Baja; dark flesh, similar to tuna; best barbecued or smoked; 50% yield;

--Red Fish: from Massachusetts and Gulf of Mexico; available year round; bottom feeder that eats mollusks and small fish; found in sand, mud, and bottom grass inlets

--Red Drum: aka red fish, channel bass…sweet mild flavor and moist flaky texture. Southeast US and in the Gulf of Mexico.

--Red Rock fish: Alaskan red rock fish; deep water fish, feeds on crustaceans so meaty; firm, low in fat with a mild sweet flavor; pan-roasted or fried

--Rouget (African Rouget, or Red Mullet): salt water oily fish, white flesh and delicate flavor; super delicate flesh; feeds on shellfish; from Mediterranean; won’t fillet

--Royal Dorade: description: firm, meaty whitefish

--Salmon: Atlantic: habitat: farm-raised on both the East and West coasts; 75% of the salmon sold in the U.S. is farmed in Chile; available year-round; description: orange-colored skin; rich, pronounced flavor; oil content is similar to King; price (;

--Scorpionfish: member of rockfish family; armed with very sharp spines on head, neck, and fins; connected to venom glands; mild flavored; Pacific Ocean, Cali

--Sea Trout: East coast from Florida to Massachusetts; queens come from Delaware Bay; about 5-6 pounds; called weakfish because of the weakness of the mouth tissues; lives near shore; belongs to drum family; lean, light flesh with a sweet flavor and a moist, delicate texture; cook with sauces, esp. spicy; 50-60% yield;

--Surinane, Sea Trout: South American, gutted, white-pinkish flesh; thinner then U.S. sea trout; 60% yield 2# fish.

--Sepia/Cuttlefish: Eastern Atlantic from England to South Africa; 1 to 2 pounders; kind of octopus;

--Sturgeon: huge fish; firm textured, meaty, high fat content, mild flavor; rich and fatty; wild from California; mostly cartilage, in present form for over 100 million years

--Suzuki Sea Bass: similar to Barramundi.

--Tazmanian Ocean Trout: from New Zealand; similar to arctic char; a distinctive rosy pink/orange flesh and high omega 6 content which makes them an ideal eating fish. The flavour is more subtle and less salty than Atlantic or farmed salmon, and according to many chefs, much better tasting;”

--Tilefish: from East Coast, local from LI; runs 2 to 4 lbs; bottom fish that feeds on small crustaceans; very mild flavor; similar to monkfish and lobster; yield 45%; affordable, between

--Triggerfish: firm, white fish, moist and sweet; firm white flesh almost sweet in flavor, closer to crab than fish; from Florida

--Wahoo (Ono): long, thin relative of tuna and mackerel; expensive, as travels solo rather than in schools; firm, white, tasty meat; less oily and whiter then tuna and mackerel; large, circular flake

--Walleye Pike: mild freshwater fish native to the northern lakes. Bake, broil or fry.

--Whelks: large snails from Maine

--Whitebait: name for various juvenile fishes; rich, strong flavor, high in fat, soft texture; best deep fried

--Wolfish: aka Ocean Catfish. Atlantic; sweet, firm meat (lobster like qualities)

--Tasmanian Ocean Trout: flavor more subtle and less salty then Atl and farm Salmon. 6-7 # fish.

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