CHEF'S CORNER/Fish

FISH

Albacore

A highly prized, mild-flavored tuna that weighs between 10 and 60 pounds. This high-fat fish is the only tuna that can honestly be called "white." It is the most expensive variety of canned tuna.

Anchovy

There are many species of small, silvery fish known as "anchovies," but the true anchovy comes from the Mediterranean and southern European coastlines. Anchovy is delicious fresh often filleted, salt-cured, and canned in oil. Used sparingly to flavour foods. To fillet an anchovy run the thumbnail from head to tail on both sides of the spine

Bass

Also known as sea perch, bass is a term that refers to numerous and often unrelated freshwater and saltwater fish. True basses include groupers, black sea bass, and the striped bass. Largemouth, redeye, rock, smallmouth and the spotted bass, are actually sunfish.

Black Cod

This saltwater fish, which is not a true cod, has a soft textured flesh and a mild flavor. Its high fat content makes it a good fish for smoking. Also called "sablefish."

Bluefin Tuna

The best and among the largest of tuna, the bluefin can weigh over 1,000 pounds. As bluefin age, their flesh turns from light to dark red and takes on a stronger flavour. It is now considered the finest of all fish that can be served raw as sushi and sashimi. Its numbers are now declining dangerously as it is much sought after.

Bombay duck

A small, semi-transparent fish that is found in the Arabian Sea off the west coast of India. They can be eaten fresh, but more commonly, they are sun-dried and often have asafoetida added to them. Also known as bumalo or bummalow it has a very strong and salted fish taste. It will keep a long time, providing it is kept dry and is usually eaten having been grilled, baked or shallow frired until crispy and then be crumbled over rice and curries, and is sometimes served as a starter or cocktail snack.

Calamari

This ten-armed cephalopod, commonly known as "squid," is related to the octopus. They vary in size from 1 inch to 80 feet in length. The meat is firm and chewy, with a somewhat sweet flavour. Over-cooking can lead to a rubbery texture.

Carp

This freshwater fish ranges from 2 to 7 pounds and has a lean white flesh. It is the primary ingredient for the Jewish dish called "gefilte fish."

Chum Salmon

This, the smallest and most delicate flavored of the salmons, has the lightest colour and the lowest fat content of the various salmon varieties. Also called the "dog salmon."

Clam

These bivalve mollusks come in two varieties. Hard-shell clams include littleneck, cherrystone, and chowder clams. The soft-shelled clams, such as steamer, razor, and geoduck clams, have thin brittle shells that can't completely close.

Cod

A popular lean, firm, white meat fish from the Pacific and the North Atlantic. "Scrod" is the name for young cod (and haddock) that weight less that 2.5 pounds. "Haddock," "Hake," and "Pollock" are close relatives of the cod.

Crayfish

Also called "Crawfish" and "crawdads." Crayfish are freshwater crustaceans that look like tiny lobsters. Crayfish can be prepared in any manner appropriate to a lobster.

Cuttlefish

A relative of the squid and octopus, the cuttlefish has ten arms that can reach up to 16 inches in length. "Sarume," which is available in ethnic stores, is cuttlefish that has been seasoned and roasted.

Dolphin Fish

Also called "Mahi Mahi" and "Dorado." Although this fish is a dolphin, it is not a mammal. To avoid confusion, the Hawaiian name "Mahi Mahi" is becoming prevalent. This fish is moderately fat with firm, flavourful flesh.

Eel

A long snake-like fish with smooth scaleless skin and a rich, sweet, and firm flesh. Eels, which are considered a fatty fish, are very popular in Europe and Japan.

Finnan Haddie

A world-famous smoked haddock from Scotland

Frog's Legs

Like snails froglegs are usually categorised with seafood -they are the tender, faintly sweet white meat from the hind legs of frogs. Because of their mild taste, they should be cooked quickly and without and overpowering flavourings.

Grouper

This true sea bass, found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, has a lean firm flesh. Its skin has a strong flavour and should be removed prior to cooking. Groupers have the ability to change to the colour of their surroundings.

Haddock

A North Atlantic fish, the smaller cousin to the cod. The haddock has firm white flesh that is mild in flavour. Smoked haddock is called "finnan."

Hake

This low-fat saltwater fish, related to the cod, is found in the Atlantic and North Pacific. It's flesh features a white, delicate flavour.

Halibut

A low-fat, firm white and mild-flavoured fish from the flatfish family. Resembles a gigantic flounder. "Chicken Halibuts" weigh up to ten pounds and are considered the finest halibut.

Herring

A small salt-water fish related to the shad, alewife, sardine, and the freshwater cisco. Herring is often pickled, smoked, and dressed in numerous sauces.

Kippers

A Herring that is split, cured by salting, drying, and cold-smoking. Also called "Kippered Herring" and "Kippered Snack." There are many varieties of Kippers for example the delicate and small Manx Kipper

Lobster

This crustacean was used as bait until around 1880. Because dead lobsters spoil quickly, they should be cooked live if possible. (Live lobsters curl their tails under when picked up.) Look for curled tails on precooked lobsters

Mackerel

A long, slender saltwater fish. The flesh is firm and fatty, with a distinctive savory flavour. The most popular mackerel is the king mackerel, also known as the "kingfish."

Monkfish

This large low-fat, firm-textured salt-water fish has a mild, sweet flavour similar to lobster. Sometimes referred to as "poor man's lobster." Also called "Angler," "Lotte," "Belly-Fish," "frogfish," "Sea Devil," and "Goosefish.

Mullet

This term is used to describe several families of important food fish. In general, they are saltwater fish with a moderate to high fat content and flesh that is tender, white, and firm textured. They have a sweet, nut-like flavour.

Octopus

This cephalapod, related to the squid and the cuttlefish, can reach 50 feet in length. It features a highly flavourful meat that tends to be a bit on the rubbery side. Octopus is eaten raw, boiled, pickled, sautéed, and fried.

Oyster

A bivalve mollusc with a rough gray shell. The flesh varies from creamy beige to pale gray; the flavour from salty to bland; the texture from tender to firm. The Atlantic oysters otherwise known as "Natives" and Eastern or American varities are considered superior to Pacific or Rock (portuguese) Oyster varieties, though a lot depends on how the oyster was cultivated in an estuary, open sea or hatchery. Each location with give a particular flavour. The age and feeding of the oyster will determine size and texture.

Pike

A family of fish that includes the pike, pickerel, and the muskellunge. These freshwater fish have long bodies, pointed heads, vicious teeth, and provide a lean, firm, bony flesh. Used in French "quenelles" and the Jewish "gefilte fish."

Plaice

A mild flavoured flatfish distinguishable by its orange spots.

Pollack

This low to moderate fat fish has firm, white, flesh with a delicate, somewhat sweet flavour. Pollack is often used to make imitation crab meat. Also known as "Coalfish" or "Saithe," this saltwater fish is a member of the cod family.

Pomfret

This small, high-fat fish has a tender texture and a rich, sweet flavour. Found off the coast of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, this fish is also called the "butterfish."

Red Snapper

This is the most popular of a few hundred species of snapper. It is a firm-textured saltwater fish. Some species of rockfish and tilefish are also called snappers, but are not.

Salmon

To many Salmon is the king of fish. A large migratory round oily fish living mainly in the sea but spawning in fresh water. It is characterised by its orangy/pink flesh. Now bred in vast numbers in captivity salmon varies in price considerably. Wild salmon is more expensive and better favoured and do not contain the chemical food additives that farmed Salmon are usually fed. Best eaten under three years of age.

Sardine

The name describing several varieties of weak-boned fish including the Alewife, French Sardine, Herring, and Sprat. Named after the French island of Sardina. Often salted, smoked, or canned and packed in oil, tomato, or mustard sauce.

Scallop

A bivalve mollusk with a ribbed, fan-shaped shell. In U.S. markets, only the adductor muscle, which opens and closes the shell is available. The Bay scallop is smaller, sweeter and a bit more succulent that their deep sea counterparts.

Scampi

The Italian name for the tail portion of any of several varieties of miniature lobsters. In the U.S., the term refers to large shrimp that are split and brushed in a garlic oil or butter, then broiled. "Scampo" is the singular form.

Sea Bass

A term used to describe a number of lean to moderately fat marine fish, most of which aren't actually members of the bass family. "Striped bass" and "Black Sea bass" are true bass. The "white sea bass" is a member of the drum family.

Shark

A flavourful, low-fat fish that includes varieties such as Leopard, Mako, Spiny Dogfish, Soupfin and Thresher. Shark meat tends to have an ammonia-like smell that can be eliminated by soaking the flesh in milk or acidulated water.

Skate

This kite-shaped fish features edible fins. The flesh is firm, white, and sweet, similar to the texture and taste of scallop.

Softshell Crab

The "soft-shell crab" is actually the blue crab caught just after molting (discarding its shell). This crab is found along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. It is sold in both its soft and hard-shell stages.

Sole

A popular flatfish with a delicate flesh with a firm, fine texture. The best-known variety is "Dover sole" (also called "channel sole)." Much of what is sold as "sole" in the U.S. is actually a variety of flounder, which isn't a true sole.

Trout

A delicately flavoured fish that belongs to the same family as salmon and whitefish. Most are freshwater, but some are marine (sea trout). The very popular "rainbow trout" has been transplanted from California to many different countries.

Tuna

A large saltwater fish related to the mackerel. Probably the most popular fish used in canning today. Tunas have a distinctive red myoglobin rich flesh that is moderately high in fat and has a firmly textured flaky but tender flesh. There are several variaties the Blue-fin being the most expensive and genearally considered the best others include Albacore, Bigeye, Skipjack, Yellowfin, Bonito.

Turbot

A flatfish with a lean, firm white flesh and a mild flavour. Turbot is also the market name for several varieties of flounder fished from Pacific waters

Whiting

A small gray and white saltwater fish sometimes called the "silver hake." This low-fat fish, which is related to both the "cod" and the "hake," has a tender white fine-textured flesh and a flaky, delicate flavour

Zander

A large European freshwater fish -a Pike Perch. Popular in central Europe

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