BBQ Fish

BBQ Fish


Fish have 4 cooking categories, Very Soft, Soft, Medium, Course. Cooking a fish is based on how strong the meat it.  Meat that is very strong is easy to cook like Tuna and Swordfish.  Meat that is very soft and falls apart like Bass, and Perch are very hard to cook. Especially on a grill. Know your fish type when you buy it so you have the right gear to turn it over. How long do you cook a fish depends on how thick it is and how  soft the meat is. The longer you cook your fish unless its a course grade the more its gonna fall apart no matter what your cooking on.

Fish Cuts

When shopping for fish, it is beneficial to know what the different types of cuts of fish are so that you know exactly what you are purchasing. The basic cuts are described below.

Type of Cut Description
Gutted A fish that has been gutted and scaled but still has its head, gills and fins.
Dressed A fish that has had the gills removed in addition to being gutted and scaled. Its head, fins and tail are still attached. Sometimes you will find that the fins have been cut off and the tail trimmed.
Pan-Dressed A dressed fish that has also had its head, fins and tail removed.
Butterflied A fish that has been sliced lengthwise thru the middle, splitting it into two halves but the fish is not sliced all the way through. It is left uncut either along the back or the belly. The two halves are opened up and flattened out to produce one piece. The cut may or may not be boned.
Fillets Boneless cut of fish taken from the sides of the fish. Each side is slice away from the backbone and rib cage, producing a boneless cut. Each side can be left whole or cut into smaller pieces.
Steaks Pieces cross-cut from the body of a dressed fish. The flesh is cut across the grain, through the backbone. This leaves only the small section of backbone and one or two rib bones in the steak. Steaks are generally found 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches thick.
Chunks Pieces of fish weighing 1 1/2 to 4 pounds that are cut from thickest part of a large fish. The piece is cut from the same pieces that a fishmonger cuts steaks and is generally not a precut piece. The fishmonger will cut it to order and can bone it if requested. This cut is also referred to as a roast.

Purchasing Fish

When purchasing fresh fish there are several things to look for to be sure you are selecting as fresh a fish as possible. Some of these points are shown below.

Fresh Fish

  • Purchase the fish from a supplier that has enough business to have a consistent turnover. The place should be clean and have a fresh smell.
  • Make sure the fish has been displayed or stored on ice prior to buying it.
  • Fresh fish will not smell fishy and should look moist, shiny, well-rounded and not dry or dull looking. The transparent mucous covering on the fish should be clear. If it has turned opaque, it is a sign that the fish is old.
  • When you press lightly on the skin it should bounce back and not leave and indent.
  • If purchasing a whole fish, open the gills and check to see that they are a rosy color and have not begun to turn brown.
  • The fish’s scales should be intact. Shedding scales is a sign that it has been stored for too long.
  • Fresh fish fillets or steaks should be neatly trimmed and not have any signs of bruising or blemishes.

Frozen Fish

  • Look for many of the same qualities as you would in fresh fish. It should look fresh, not have a fishy smell, and be free of blemishes.
  • It should be well packaged and the meat should not show signs of freezer burn.
  • The fish should be frozen solid and not show signs of thawing on any parts of it.
  • Fillets and steaks should have good coloring. If they have an opaque look to them, it is a sign of freezer burn.

After purchasing the fish, make sure fresh fish remains cold and that the frozen fish is place in a freezer unit as soon as possible. It would be best to bring a cooler to transport it home. Fresh fish should be returned to refrigerated conditions as soon as possible after purchasing. For the best flavor and for safe consumption, fish should be used within 1 or 2 days of purchase. When storing fresh fish, remove its wrapper and rinse with cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel, place on a plate, securely wrap with plastic or foil and place it in the rear of the refrigerator where it is the coldest. It can also be placed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator.

Quantity to Buy

When determining how much fish to buy, figure a 6 to 8 ounce of fillet or steak per serving. If purchasing whole fish, figure 12 to 16 ounces per serving because there is a lot of waste when they are cleaned. When determining the quantity to buy, you should also take into consideration the appetites you will be feeding.

When purchasing whole fresh fish, it may be a good idea to have the fishmonger clean the fish for you. This is a standard service that they provide and it may save some waste when the fish are cleaned by the fishmonger because of his experience in cleaning them.

BBQ Fish

To be completely honest, I had never even heard of fish tacos until I met my SoCal-born-and-raised wife. Even then, I thought that those two words belong nowhere even remotely close together. The idea seemed positively disgusting. This is what happens when you’re raised in the Midwest, where tacos come only from a drive-thru at a place with a big fake bell on the roof.

If you’re keen to master the art of cooking fish, it’s worth noting a couple of major differences between fish and meat. Look closely at a filet of fresh salmon, cod, or halibut, and you’ll see pearly webbing between the striations of muscle. This is the connective tissue called “collagen,” a structural protein that holds together short, thick muscle fibers. In fish, muscle fibers are much shorter than they are in beef, and collagen dissolves easily during cooking. So fish cooks quickly and there’s no tenderizing to do. In fact, the biggest challenge in preparing fish filets is to keep them from falling apart after cooking.

As fish cooks, proteins in the muscle fibers coagulate and the flesh changes from translucent to opaque in appearance. When the collagen softens in heat, it loses its structure and turns to gelatin; the muscle fibers have little to hold them together and the fish separates easily into flakes. The processes of fibers coagulating and collagen softening happen almost simultaneously, and at lower temperatures than with beef. So it’s easy to understand why fish is easily overdone.

To keep the tissues from drying during cooking, fish requires higher temperatures and shorter cooking times than meat. A general rule of thumb for cooking is 10 minutes per inch of thickness, but this varies according to cooking method, heat intensity, and fish size. Use a cooking thermometer to gauge doneness more precisely. Fish is cooked when a thermometer (we recommend the slender digital kind) inserted into the thickest part of the flesh reaches 140° F.

Doneness, however, is also easy to see, so careful observation gives some definite clues. When you think it’s almost done, insert a small paring knife into the center of the flesh to see if the translucency is almost gone. This applies whether you’re poaching, grilling, or baking.

Then the transition from “almost done” to perfectly cooked happens in minutes. Remember that residual heat means the fish continues to cook for a few minutes, even after it is removed from the heat.

Fish that seems tough when you bite into it is probably overcooked. As it moves from done to “overdone,” the flesh continues to firm then shrinks, pushing out moisture, which evaporates and leaves the fish dry and chewy.

Fresh fish needs little embellishment, for its flavor is as fragile as its flesh. To enhance is ideal; to overpower spoils a delicate and memorable treat. Keep it simple. A sprinkle of salt. Some freshly ground pepper. A squeeze of fresh lemon. Perhaps a few fresh herbs. It seems that cooking fish beautifully rests on science as well as the art of restraint. As to your enjoyment, however, happily indulge. For few foods need as little preparation to be outstanding.

Now that I am older, hopefully wiser (certainly grayer), and with broader culinary horizons, I am a true believer. Fish tacos are some seriously good eats.At the risk of being ridiculed by those in the know, I will call these “somewhat authentic”. Or, you might think of them as “Authentic Gringo Fish Tacos”. I was going to use that for the post/recipe title, but I had second thoughts.Shoot, call me and the recipe whatever you want. Let’s get cookin’!Ingredients
6 Talapia fillets
12 Corn tortillas
1 cup Southwest Slaw
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped medium-fine
2 Tbsp Hot sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot)
Canola oilMarinade
1/3 cup Canola oil
Juice of two limes
1 tsp Garlic salt
2 Tbsp Adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)Avocado Cream
1 large Hass avacado, peeled, seeded and diced (I recommend Calavo, of course)
1 cup Sour cream
Juice of one lime
2 tsp Your favorite hot sauce
1 tsp Garlic saltImportant: Make sure the fish is fresh! It should be firm, with good color, and a clean briny (not fishy) smell.If you can’t find talapia, any mild white flaky fish would work. Mahi mahi, cod, red snapper, or halibut would be fine.Spicy Grilled Fish TacosMethod
Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.Put the fish in a gallon zip-top bag and add the marindade.Slosh the fish and the marinade gently in the bag to ensure that all of the fish is coated.Seal the bag (removing the excess air) and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.Spicy Grilled Fish TacosMash the avocado on a cutting board with the side of your knife.Combine all of the avocado cream ingredients in an medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine, then cover and refrigerate.Tip: The marinade and/or avocado cream can be made up to a day in advance.Start your grill and prepare for direct cooking over a hot fire (450-500º).Remove the fish from the marinade and drain well.Pat each filet dry with a paper towel.Smear each side of each filet with a teaspoon of hot sauce, applying it as evenly as you can.Oil the grill grate and both sides of the fish lightly with the canola oil. The oil on the grate will smoke, so wait for it to dissipate.Put the fish on the grill and cook for three minutes.Spicy Grilled Fish TacosFlip the fish over and cook for another minute.Spicy Grilled Fish TacosMove the fish to a warm platter, drizzle the fish with lime juice, and cover the platter with plastic wrap.Quickly warm each tortilla on the grill.To serve, offset two tortillas by half, smear the inside with avocado cream, add some fish chunks (separated with forks), then top with about two tablespoons of slaw and some cilantro.

Or, serve it family-style so that everyone can build their own.


Calamari Stuffed with Chorizo and Haloumi

Preparation Time: 15minutes

Cooking Time: 30minutes


  • 4 Medium calamari cleaned
  • 1 Cupcouscous
  • 300 gmchorizo sausage chopped
  • 150 gmHaloumi grated
  • 100 gBaby spinach finely chopped
  • 1lemon grated zested juiced
  • 1lemon cut into wedges
  • 1 Cupsour cream
  • 1 Cuproasted capsicum dip
  • 1 barbeque


  • Boil 1 cup of water and add couscous.
  • Leave to cool for 10 minutes and folk out the couscous.
  • Fry chorizo for 5minutes until browned.
  • Mix spinach, chorizo, lemon juice, halloumi, couscous, and zest.
  • In each calamari tube, fill with couscous mixture.
  • On a frying pan cook for 3 minutes each side until cooked.
  • Mix sour cream and capsicum dip.
  • Serve stuffed calamari with dipping sauce and lemon wedges.


Maple Balsamic Salmon

Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes


  • 2Salmon fillet
  • 4 teaspoonsOlive oil
  • 4 teaspoonsBalsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cupMaple syrup
  • 2 teaspoonsCrushed garlic


  • Thoroughly mix all the ingredients with the exemption of salmon.
  • Marinate salmon fillets for 25 minutes using half the sauce and keep the other half for basting.
  • Place the salmon flesh side over the oiled barbecue grill and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Turn onto the skin side baste and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Turn onto the flesh side and baste again and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the barbecue and smear the basting source.
  • About the author



Types of Fish


When preparing fish you want to be sure that the fish is handled properly to ensure it is safe to eat. There are several cooking methods that include baking, frying, and grilling, which all result in a little different taste for the fish when it is done cooking.



There is a countless number of fish and seafood recipes for appetizers, salads, entrées, and grilled entrées that you will enjoy preparing for friends and family. The fish cooking times will vary according to the size and type of fish.

A fish is a cold-blooded, backboned, aquatic animal and there are many types of fish that live in every region of the world. Fish are harvested for their highly nutritious meat and for the oil that is extracted and used as a food product or as an ingredient for a wide variety of commercially prepared products. There are numerous fresh water and salt-water fish species that are harvested throughout the world. Some of these species are shown below.

Freshwater Fish

Fish Type Description

A type of scaleless, freshwater river fish distinguished by the whisker-like barbels that extend from its mouth. It is very popular because of its mild taste and because of the limited number of bones. It is easily poached, baked or fried.
Grayling A small freshwater fish that is similar to a brown trout. It has an excellent flavor, but they are hard to find in most food stores and fish markets. The average weight is about one pound or less, but some may be double that. The grayling does not keep very well after it is caught, so it must be eaten as soon as possible. It is best when broiled or grilled.

A fresh water fish in the pike family of fish. It is the smallest of the pike family, ranging from two to three pounds. It is a lean, low-fat fish with firm white flesh when cooked.

A fresh water fish that is found in the Great Lakes and other large lakes in the upper United States and Canada. It is a family of fish, which includes the pickerel, pike and muskellunge. The pickerel is the smallest, averaging 1 1/2 to 3 pounds, the pike ranging form 3 to 10 pounds, and the large muskellunge, generally referred to as muskie, ranging from 10 to 35 pounds. Muskellunges have gotten as big as 60 pounds. The pike is known for its lean, low fat, firm flesh, which is yellow when raw but flaky white when cooked. One disadvantage of the pike is that it is bony. Pike is available fresh or frozen, and whole or in fillets or steaks. Pike can be prepared by most any cooking method.
Rainbow Trout

A freshwater fish with a firm textured flesh that has medium to high fat content. It is one of the most popular varieties of trout throughout the world. Most commercially raised Rainbow trout average 8 ounces but they can grow up to 50 pounds. Rainbow trout can be found fresh and frozen, whole and in fillets, and is generally fried when cooked. They can also be grilled, broiled, baked, steamed and poached.

A North American freshwater fish, which consists of many varieties that are noted for their unique shapes and brilliant colors. The varieties include white and black crappies, and several types of bass, such as largemouth, smallmouth, redeye, rock, and spotted.

A name used to refer to several species of warm, freshwater fish that are commonly bred in commercial operations to be processed for food. Although, Tilapia is a freshwater fish, it is also found living in saltwater. They cannot survive in water less than 60°F. Tilapia grown in warmer waters will often reach a weight of 3 to 4 pounds, while the majority produced for food in commercial ponds will weigh approximately 2 pounds or more. Since they reproduce well and can be raised in controlled ponds, they can be processed faster, brought to market quicker and provide fresher meat than other varieties that require longer harvesting, processing and distribution time. While the outer flesh may range in color from black with white shading to pinkish-red, the meat of this fish is white, firm in texture and mildly sweet in flavor, very similar to catfish. It can be prepared by baking, broiling, grilling, frying, poaching, or steaming.

A round freshwater fish, which is found worldwide. There are several varieties of trout, including rainbow, brook, and lake. Rainbow trout, known for the pinkish red stripe on its sides, is the most popular variety with American consumers. The flesh of trout ranges from white to pink or orange in color and has a mildly rich taste and a tender, flaky texture. Trout is moderately lean and can be prepared by frying, broiling, grilling, or baking. It can be found fresh or frozen and is most often sold whole. If not available, salmon or whitefish can be substituted.
Walleye Pike

A type of freshwater fish that is not a pike at all, but is a member of the perch family. Walleyed Pike has firm, flaky flesh that is mildly flavored and is suitable for many cooking methods including baking, frying, broiling, grilling, and poaching. It is found mainly in freshwater lakes of the northern United States and adjoining areas of Canada.

Whitefish Filets

A type of fish related to the salmon that is found in bodies of fresh water in North America. The flesh has a mild flavor, but it has a high fat content. Whitefish is suitable for baking, frying, grilling, broiling, and poaching.

A species of fish living in slow flowing rivers, lakes and ponds, which are sought as both a sport and food fish. Although the Zander may grow to a weight of over 20 pounds and is prized as a good fighting fish, it is generally caught for use as a food source ranging in weight from 4 to 8 pounds. Similar in appearance and flavor to a Walleye, the Zander provides a firm white meat that flakes nicely when cooked. Most common in Europe where it is also known as the Pikeperch, this fish is often baked, fried or grilled and then served as a main dish or as a meat ingredient for salads.

Migratory Fish

Migratory fish mature in salt water but migrate to fresh water to spawn.

Fish Type Description

A type of fish that is characterized by a smooth, snakelike body. They are found in fresh water rivers and lakes in Europe and North America, but migrate to the southwestern Atlantic for spawning. The flavorful meat of the eel is popular in Europe and is especially popular in Japan and other Asian countries. It is not as popular in the United States even though it was a favorite among people during colonial times.

Salmon Filets

An anadromous fish, which means that the fish was born in freshwater, then migrates to saltwater to mature and then returns to freshwater to spawn. Popular to serve as a main dish, Salmon provides a tender, flaky-textured meat with a mild to rich flavor, depending on the species. It is a fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol. Salmon can be prepared in most any manner, such as smoked, baked, broiled, grilled, fried, or poached. Salmon originated in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans but are now grown in most locations where there is cold, protected seawater.

The largest member of the herring family, it has a slight oiliness to it and a mildly sweet flavor that resembles pompano and salmon. Shad is an anadromous fish, which means that it is born in freshwater and then migrates to saltwater to mature and then returns to freshwater to spawn. This fish is hard to fillet because of its many small bones so it may be desirable to purchase it already filleted, otherwise, it can be steamed or baked at a low temperature for more than six hours, until the bones disintegrate. Female shad is more in demand than male because they are fatter and larger, and because they contain the desired roe.

An anadromous fish, meaning it matures in saltwater but migrates to freshwater to spawn. It is a very small silver colored fish, which has a tint of green coloring on its back. The best season for smelt generally starts in September and runs into May. They are generally found ranging in size over 3 inches to under 8 inches. Smelt are sold, cooked and eaten whole. They have a rich, oily flesh with a mild flavor. They are highly perishable so if they are not to be eaten immediately after they are caught, they are quickly frozen.
Striped Bass (Rockfish)

A lean saltwater fish with flesh that is tender, white, and mildly sweet. The striped bass is a saltwater fish that migrates to fresh water to spawn. It is a versatile fish that can be prepared in many ways, but when grilling, it is best to place the fish in a fish basket because it does not hold together well. Trout, grouper, snapper, or monkfish can be used for substitutes if striped bass is not available. Striped bass is also known as “rockfish.”

An anadromous fish, meaning it matures in saltwater, but migrates to fresh water to spawn. It averages in weight at 55 to 60 pounds, but some specimens grow much larger. The fish roe from the sturgeon is considered the “true caviar” and is probably more important than its flesh. The sturgeon has a rich, high fat flesh that is very firm, similar to meat, and is delicately flavored. On a limited basis, fresh sturgeon is available whole (less than eight pounds), or cut into steaks or chunks. Most of the sturgeon caught in U.S. waters is smoked.

Saltwater Fish

Fish Type Description
Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna)

Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna) Steak

The Hawaiian term for one of the types of tuna that has a light pink flesh and a slightly strong flavor. It is a very popular fish in Hawaii and Japan where it is often eaten raw. This fish is also known as yellowfin or bigeye tuna.
Alaska Pollock

A saltwater fish that is a member of the cod family and sometimes referred to as bigeye pollock or walleye pollock. It has a slender body that is olive green to brownish in color on its back and its sides are silvery. Its flesh is firm and white which flakes nice when cooked. The Alaska Pollock should not be confused with the Atlantic Pollock, which is more oily with a darker flesh that has a fishier taste. Alaska Pollock is great for baking, broiling, sautéing, frying, steaming, or poaching. It is the most widely used fish in the fast food market where it is used to make fish n’ chip fillets, fish patties for sandwiches, and ground fish products. Alaska Pollock fillets are also delicious enough to be served in a nice restaurant. A large quantity of the Alaska Pollock that is harvested today is the used to make surimi, which is imitation seafood.
Albacore Tuna

A variety of tuna that is very flavorful and has the lightest colored flesh of all the different species of tuna. It is generally more expensive than other varieties and the canned version is often called “white tuna.” The meat is tender and flaky when cooked and like all tuna, it is fairly high in fat content.


White Anchovies

A small saltwater fish belonging to the herring family that is native to the Mediterranean Sea and the English Channel. Typically no more than 6 inches in length, the anchovy is green colored as a fresh fish, but changes to a grayish black color when cured. Similar to a sardine in size, this fish is used often in the same way as a sardine, being served in appetizers or as an ingredient to season and garnish a variety of foods, such as salads, soups, pasta, or pizza. Anchovies are processed into filets and preserved by curing them in salt and packing in olive oil, by pickling the filets in vinegar and oil (referred to as “boquerones” in Spain), or by preserving the filets as fresh fish. When cured, they become dark black in color and salty in flavor. Anchovies packed fresh in oil (olive or sunflower) and wine vinegar are referred to as white anchovies, retaining more of their white silvery color. White anchovies are fresher in age, more perishable and may not last long after being purchased. The white anchovy filets however, provide less of the salty taste present with salt cured anchovies.

A common type of saltwater fish that has flaky white meat and a mild taste. It is one of the most popular types of fish and is used in many processed fish products, such as fish sticks or fish cakes. It is also a variety of fish that is often blended with other types of white fish to produce the fish stick products or other food items containing fish. Haddock and hake make good substitutions for cod.

A saltwater fish that has flaky white flesh when cooked and a mild flavor. It is one of the varieties of flatfish that are characterized by their flat oval bodies, horizontal swimming style, and eyes that are on one side of their head. If flounder is not available, other flatfish varieties including sole, halibut, dabs, and plaices can be substituted.

Fluke – Front

Fluke – Back

A type of flatfish that is a member of the flounder family. The skin on the top side is grayish brown to black with the underside white, typical of flatfish which lay on their underside and have two eyes on their top side or left side when considered in a vertical, rather than flat position. Ranging in size from 3 to 5 pounds, fluke is available as a whole fresh fish or in fillets. The fillets will weigh from several ounces to a pound each, with the skin removed. The meat is white and can be broiled or baked.The fillet meat on the topside or dark side is always thicker than the meat on the bottom side or light side. The flesh is smooth, white and firm in texture, which cooks nicely and flakes easily. The fluke is also known as a summer flounder, a flattie, and a lefteye flounder. A similar type of fish from the same family is the winter flounder that is considered a right-eyed fish. Like the fluke, this fish has similar textured meat that is flavorful and good for baking or broiling.
Flying Fish

An ocean fish that commonly jumps out of the water and glides airborne over the surface for a distance of 10 to 20 feet. Small in size (12 to 15 inches generally), the Flying Fish has large oversized pectoral fins and a split tail with a larger surface area on the lower tail section than on the upper tail section. Some species have both large pectoral fins and smaller pelvic fins that serve to enable longer gliding distances. The meat of the Flying Fish is firm, tender and white in color, providing a good tasting meat that can be baked, fried, grilled, steamed, or served in stews. It is best to eat Flying Fish soon after they have been caught, since they do not keep well for shipping long distances.

A fish found in the warm waters of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean, belonging to the sea bass family. They may weigh as much as several hundred pounds, but the average weight caught for commercial use is 15 pounds or less. Grouper have a firm white flesh when cooked and are suitable for boiling, poaching, or baking. The strong tasting skin should be removed before the fish is cooked.
Haddock A white fish found in the colder waters of northern oceans that is very much like cod, but is smaller. It may be used in any other recipe that calls for white fish such as cod or flounder. Haddock can be used in recipes that require the fish to be fried, baked, poached, or broiled.

A saltwater whitefish that has, mildly flavored, flaky flesh. The most desirable halibut with the best flavor usually weigh less than 10 pounds. Halibut is a member of the flatfish family and can be used as a substitution in recipes that require other types of flatfish such as flounder and sole.
Hapuka Grouper A member of the Grouper family of ocean fish, Hapuka is large fish that reaches 4 to 5 feet in length. Thick-bodied, the Hapuka has an outer skin that can vary from silver and blue to a pink, brown and silver combination. Most often found in deep waters, this fish is common in the waters around New Zealand and Australia. Filets from the Hapuka are firm, white, very flavorful, and somewhat similar to a bass. The Hapuka may also be referred to as a Hapuku or a New Zealand grouper.

Herring Filets

A type of saltwater fish found in the colder waters of the North Atlantic. There are many varieties of herring and most of them grow to no more than a foot in length. They are sold fresh, smoked, packed in salt, or pickled.
John Dory

A fish with delicious, mildly flavored meat that is native to Europe. The excellent flavor and texture of the John Dory are in direct opposition to its appearance. It has a flat, curved shaped body and an unusual looking head that is large and spiny. Pan-frying, baking, broiling, and grilling are some of the cooking methods used to prepare the fish.
Kingfish, Mackerel

A variety of the mackerel fish family, which are members of the tuna family. It is most often found in warmer ocean waters, such as from the Carolina coast in the U.S. to Brazil in South America. This fish is favored as a game fish, because of its fight and size that may range up to 100 pounds. Similar to other species of Mackerel, this fish has an oily, soft, pale flesh, that is sometimes pink, which when cooked, becomes flaky and firm with an off-white color. The rich flavor will vary according to the oiliness of the fish, which changes with the seasons and with different species, but the flavor is often compared to the Atlantic mackerel. Steaks or fillets of mackerel are available fresh or frozen and can be substituted with tuna, marlin, or swordfish in many cases. This species may also be referred to as king mackerels or kings. This type of mackerel is often confused with another species named Kingfish, which is a member of the drum family of fish. There is a southern kingfish and a northern kingfish, both drum species, which are not related to the tuna or mackerel family.

A saltwater game fish from the North Pacific. The lingcod has lean, flaky white meat that is mild flavored and is available in fresh or frozen fillets. To check the fish for doneness, use the tip of a sharp knife and cut through the thickest part of the fillet. If the fish has been properly cooked, the meat will appear opaque but will still be moist.

A saltwater fish, related to the tuna, with an oily, soft, pale flesh, that is sometimes pink, which when cooked, becomes flaky and firm with an off-white color. The rich flavor will vary according to the oiliness of the fish, which varies with the seasons and with different species. Steaks or fillets of mackerel are available fresh or frozen and can be substituted with tuna, marlin, or swordfish in many cases.
Mahi Mahi (Dolphin Fish)

Mahi Mahi Filets

A warm water fish that has a medium textured dark flesh that turns brown when cooked. It has a good flavored flesh, but it is high in fat content. Mahi Mahi is easy to prepare by grilling or broiling and is a good alternative to swordfish. To check the fish for doneness, use the tip of a sharp knife and cut through the thickest part of the fillet. If the fish has been properly cooked, the meat will appear opaque but will still be moist. This fish is also known as Dorado (the Spanish name) or Dolphinfish.
Mako Shark

Mako Shark Steaks

One of the many species of shark, it is found in the moderate and tropical waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and can grow to be 1000 pounds within a period of five to six years. Mako sharks must be bleed out immediately after catching and put on ice. The shark’s blood contains urea, which breaks down to ammonia after the fish dies. This can give the shark meat an ammonia taste and smell. Mako shark is a fairly inexpensive fish with ivory-pink meat that has a dense texture, a mild flavor and contains a moderate amount of fat. Often compared to swordfish, its flavor is enhanced with the addition of spicy flavoring when cooking. If not available, most recipes can have the Mako shark substituted with a meaty fish, such as tuna, catfish, marlin and swordfish. When selecting Mako shark, smell the fish first to determine if there is an aroma of ammonia. If the ammonia smell is slight, the meat should be alright, but if it has a strong ammonia aroma, the fish should not be purchased. A slight ammonia smell can be eliminated by soaking the fish in an acidic solution of water and lemon juice or vinegar. Cover the fish with cold water and add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice or one tablespoon of vinegar for each pound of shark you are soaking. Allow the shark to soak in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. When the ammonia smell is strong, it is an indication that the shark was not properly handle when first caught, has not been properly stored, or that it is no longer fresh. Soaking the shark at this point will not eliminate the ammonia smell or taste.

A strange-looking fish that is firm textured and has delicious tasting meat, similar to that of lobster. In Europe, the monkfish has been treasured for many years, but until the later part of the 1970’s, American fisherman would dispose of the monkfish. Americans now keep the monkfish, but only for the meat from the tail, whereas Europeans use the entire fish. It can be prepared using several different cooking methods, such as poaching, roasting, sautéing, or grilling. If monkfish is not available, it may be substituted with grouper, tilefish, or lobster. When cleaning, be sure the fish is thoroughly skinned, paying particular attention to the center ridge. Skin remaining on the ridge will cause the fish to be tough when cooked.

Mullet Filets

A firm textured fish that has both white and dark meat which provides a somewhat nutty flavor. One of the most popular species for food dishes are the striped or silver mullets. In the Southern U.S., the flesh and roe of the mullet are both very popular, but most of the roe harvested in the U.S. goes to Taiwan and the Middle East. As with most fish, mullet can be baked, broiled, grilled, fried, and poached.
Ocean Perch (Rosefish, Redfish)

A type of rockfish found along the North Atlantic coasts of North America and Europe. Their coloring is a bright orange-red and they can weigh up to 5 pounds but are most often 1 1/2 to 2 pounds when caught for market. Its flesh has a mild sweet flavor and medium firm texture. The larger Ocean Perch have a coarser texture. Generally ocean perch are quite tender and can be used in any recipe that calls for a white fleshed fish. Ocean Perch is also referred to as Rosefish or Redfish. It should not be confused with the Redfish found in the Gulf of Mexico, which are a member of the drum family.
Opakapaka (Pink Snapper)

A variety of fish that is common to the Pacific Ocean, most notably the Hawaiian Islands. Opakapaka, also referred to as opaka-paka, pink snapper or crimson snapper, is a fish with a light brown outer skin and a light pink colored flesh that is firm in texture. Generally, the fish is available from 1 to 10 pounds in weight and is prepared whole or filleted. It can be steamed, baked, grilled, sautéed, or poached providing a delicate and sweet flavor.
Orange Roughy

Orange Roughy Filets

A low-fat saltwater fish from New Zealand and Australia that has a white flesh with a firm, moist texture and a mild sweet taste. Orange roughy can be prepared by baking, steaming, broiling, frying or poaching.
Porgy (Scup)

A lean fish with a coarse texture and delicate flavor, consisting of a large family of fish found in temperate and tropical waters all over the world. Porgy has a lot of small bones, so when selecting, it is best to buy larger specimens because they have a better meat to bone ratio, making the bones easier to remove. Also known as sea bream or scup.
Redfish (Red Drum)

A low-fat fish that is a member of the drum family, found along the southeastern coast of the United States and in the Gulf of Mexico. Smaller redfish, weighing less than ten pounds, have a sweet, mild flavor and a moist flaky texture. Larger fish have a tendency to have a coarser flesh. This fish is also known as red drum, channel bass, spottail bass, red bass and puppy drum. If redfish is not available, other members of the drum family can most often be used, such as black drum, or weakfish.
Red Mullet

A fish that is not actually a mullet but a member of the goatfish family. It has mild flavored, firm white meat and few bones. Characteristic of other goatfish, the red mullet has long chin barbels that look like the whiskers on a goat, which they use to locate food. Sea bass or trout can be used as a substitution for red mullet.
Red Snapper

A lean, round saltwater fish with flaky white flesh which has a firm, moist texture and a mild, sweet flavor. It can be prepared by broiling, baking, steaming or poaching. Halibut, trout or whitefish may be used as a substitution in most recipes.
Rock Cod

A lean saltwater fish that has a white flaky flesh and a mild taste. It is available in fresh or frozen fillets.

A small, young, saltwater fish with soft edible bones, found in the Mediterranean. There is other small, young saltwater fish found that are called sardines but they are not true sardines, such as the Pacific and Atlantic herring, blueback herring and sprat. The sardine is a silver color and has a rich flavored flesh that is dark colored. Fresh sardines should be put on ice immediately and eaten as soon as possible, but in the United States they are hard to find fresh. They are generally found canned in olive oil, soy oil or water. Sardines are popular as an appetizer and are good broiled or grilled.

Scrod Filets

A young codfish, which is a round saltwater fish. Its meat has a tender, flaky texture with a mild flavor. Scrod can be prepared using several methods, such as baking, steaming, broiling and poaching. If scrod is not available, substitute halibut or haddock.
Sea Trout

A round saltwater fish that is moderately lean and has a moist, flaky textured flesh. It has a sweet, mild flavor and can be broiled, baked or fried. Sea trout is also known as “weakfish” and can be substituted by cod, haddock or bluefish if necessary.
Sheepshead Porgy

A fish that is a member of the porgy family, which is only found in the Atlantic Ocean. Its profile and teeth structure resemble that of a sheep. The flesh of this porgy has a firm, flaky texture with a sweet flavor. The sheepshead porgy is no relation to the sheepshead found in the Pacific Ocean or the freshwater drum, which is known as sheepshead. Tilefish or black drum can be used as a substitute for sheepshead porgy.

A saltwater fish, belonging to the ray species of fish, which is found in temperate waters throughout the world. It is part of the ray family and is related to the shark. Skate has a flat body with triangle-shaped wings on each side of its body. The wings, which are the pectoral fins, are the edible, boneless meat of the fish. Mildly sweet in flavor, the meat is semi-firm texture and although it appears to be somewhat layered or partitioned, it does hold together well when cooked or sautéed. When preparing, occasionally the skate meat will emit a smell similar to ammonia. This odor, which will not affect the meat, can be removed by soaking the meat in an acidulated water bath for a short period of time. If not available, catfish, shark (same family as skate) or sturgeon can be substituted.

A saltwater fish that consists of many species. Some of the common species are red snapper, gray snapper, yellowtail snapper, and mutton snapper. The most popular species is the red snapper, which is known for its red eyes and dark pink skin. The red snapper has lean flesh that has a firm texture. Smaller snapper is available whole, but the larger fish are generally only available in steaks or fillets. Snapper can be prepared using almost any cooking method including frying, broiling, grilling, baking, steaming, and poaching.

Sole Filet

A saltwater fish found in the Atlantic off the U.S. and European coasts. There are five species found in the Atlantic waters near the U.S., but none are particularly good for eating. The best-known sole for eating, Dover sole, is in the Atlantic near Europe. It has lean, white flesh with a delicate flavor and firm, flaky texture. There are other edible species found in Europe, but none is as popular as the Dover sole. It is generally available in fillets, which are fresh or frozen. Sole is suitable for frying, broiling, baking, or poaching. Flounder, plaice, or whitefish can be substituted if sole is not available.

Swordfish Steak

A popular saltwater fish found in warm and tropical waters. The fish’s upper jaw resembles a sword and is about a third of its length. They can grow to be as much as 1000 pounds but are generally caught before reaching 250 pounds. The moderately lean flesh of the swordfish may be white, orange or pink, but when cooked they all turn the same color and have the same mild flavor and meaty texture. Fresh swordfish is available from late spring through most of the summer. It is available frozen throughout the year. Swordfish is good when broiled, baked, grilled, steamed or poached.

A saltwater fish found in tropical or moderately temperate waters throughout the world. They feed on mollusks, crab, shrimp, and squid and can be as small as 2 pounds and as large as 50 pounds. It has white, low-fat flesh with a firm texture and a mildly rich flavor resembling lobster and codfish. Tilefish can be found fresh or frozen, and in fillets or steaks. The smaller fish are also available whole. Baking, broiling, grilling, frying, steaming, and poaching are suitable methods for cooking tilefish.

A saltwater fish found in temperate and tropical waters worldwide. The flesh is tender and flaky with a meat like texture and is very flavorful. Some species of tuna will grow to be 1500 pounds, but fresh tuna sold at market will generally not weigh more than 150 pounds. Tuna is sold fresh or frozen, in fillets and steaks, which can be cooked by broiling, baking, steaming, or poaching. Canned tuna is commercially available, packed in water or oil.

A round saltwater fish that is moderately lean and has a moist, flaky textured flesh. It has a sweet, mild flavor and can be broiled, baked or fried. Weakfish is also known as “sea trout” and can be substituted by cod, haddock or bluefish if necessary.


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