|Deciphering The Menu: Fish|
Yes, folks, it’s that time again. Another…Deciphering The Menu! This rendition: fish you commonly can buy at supermarkets or order at restaurants.
Arctic Char: Both a freshwater and saltwater fish, arctic char swims (surprise, surprise) further north than any other freshwater fish, in Arctic, sub-Arctic, alpine lakes and coastal waters. It is closely related to salmon (in color) and trout (in taste). The flesh ranges from a bright red to a pale pink.
Bass: There are many different kinds of bass, many of which are overfished, such as the black sea bass and the Chilean sea bass (Patagonian toothfish). The striped bass, also known as rockfish, is a protected game fish, meaning that striped bass caught in federal waters cannot be sold (for state waters, it is up to the discretion of the state). Although the populations rapidly declined in the 1980s, there is less overfishing currently.
Carps are an oily (which gives more flavor) freshwater fish that are one of the most widely eaten fish worldwide. They can be difficult to clean.
Catfish are bottom feeders that typically dwell in running, shallow water. In the south, catfish is extremely popular, where it is often breaded with cornmeal and fried. Basa is a popular type of catfish originally from Vietnam and Thailand, it is often a cheaper alternative to cod and haddock. Swai (iridescent shark) are a beautiful white color with a really light and smooth flavor.
Cod is a flaky white fish with a mild flavor and low fat content. It is often found in fish and chips, along with haddock.
Flounder (fluke) is a light, fragile fish when cooked. It is a flatfish.
Grouper can lack a strong flavor, making it an “everyman” fish, or at least a fish for people that perhaps don’t always love fish.
Haddock can be eaten in a number of ways – fried, smoked, baked, etc. Fresh fillets should be translucent white.
Halibut, another flatfish, are mild, white and flaky and not very oily. It does not have an overpowering fish taste.
John Dory is delicate and more flavorful than cod or haddock. It often is more of a melt-in-your-mouth type of fish.
Mackerel is typically very oily and can have a strong, fishy taste.
Mahi Mahi (dophin fish, dorado) is a heartier, steak-like fish that tastes similar to other white fish, but is a bit meatier.
Monkfish is sometimes referred to as the poor man’s lobster, but that is really based only on texture and not on taste. It has a firm texture and is versatile with many different preparations.
Consumption of orange roughy has increased in recent years since we are now able to fish in deeper waters. Thus, it is now considered a fish to avoid, in terms of sustainability. It is a mild white fish.
There are many different kinds of perch and it is a popular panfish—meaning that they typically don’t grow beyond the size of a frying pan—how convenient for cooking!
Red Snapper is very common in restaurants and lends itself well to a lot of Latin-inspired preparations. It, too, is not a very “fishy fish.”
Salmon is a bright pink, oily fish that may be considered “fishier” by some, but also has a rich taste. It is a meaty fish that often tastes best when prepared simply.
Sea Bream is a valued white fish that are popular throughout the world.
Skate have a really interesting almost long ring-like flesh—the taste is soft and delicate, though skate can be prepared in many different ways.
Sole is another type of flatfish. Dover sole has a mild, buttery sweet flavor with fillets that hold together in a lot of different cooking preparations.
Swordfish is an extremely large, meatier fish. It is denser, so it doesn’t fall apart or flake easily like many other fish do.
Tilapia is a versatile everyman’s fish—it is typically not very expensive, and cooks quickly since it is light and flaky.
Trout is an oily fish that is somewhat bony. It lends itself to a lot of different preparations.
Tuna has a pink or bright red flesh that is often served seared on the outside and still pink on the inside. It is a heavier fish – popular in raw sushi as well.
Turbot is yet another white flatfish that is known for its delicate flavor. It remains bright white when cooked.
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