...the oversized, gaping mouth of the Monkfish accounts for a large portion of its body? This fascinating creature waves a spike-like apparatus called its “esca” in front of its mouth like bait to lure its prey. Monkfish can grow to just over three feet in length, and have been known to eat prey nearly half their size – including water birds! While this fish may not be a handsome fellow, it certainly is a highly regarded and delicious treat. The entire Monkfish rarely makes it back to shore, as its only edible qualities are its liver and tail. The slightly sweet, dense tail meat of this bottom dweller is very similar to that of a lobster in taste and texture.
The Chilean sea bass is not really bass? Otherwise known as the Patagonian toothfish, this large, slow-growing species was first harvested by Chilean longliners near the coast of Antarctica. While average market weight is around 20 pounds, some specimens may weigh in at nearly 100 pounds—headed and gutted! Chilean sea bass are typically frozen at sea, so most product is usually indicated as “refreshed” fish that has been frozen and subsequently thawed.
Due to its high oil content, Chilean sea bass is excellent for smoking but unsuitable for frying. Full-flavored and delicate, it’s ideal for grilling—just be sure to handle skinless fillets carefully and pair with subtle sauces that bring out the fish’s flavor.
The hybrid striped bass was engineered in 1967 in response to the rapid decline in wild striped bass stocks? The new species was created by crossing the wild striper and the white bass, which resulted in a fish with the edibility of
the striper and the hardiness of the white bass. Physically differentiated from its wild relatives by a distinctive broken- line pattern along the sides, the hybrid can live in both fresh and estuarine water. They are grown in ponds, tanks or cages and can be harvested, chilled, graded, sorted and shipped to market within 24 hours—ensuring premium quality and freshness.
A good substitute for catfish or black sea bass, the hybrid striped bass can be grilled, stuffed or baked whole. For optimal flavor and moistness, leave the skin on when grilling.
Australis Barramundi is sustainably raised by Massachusetts- based Australis Aquaculture in one of the world’s largest
and most environmentally friendly indoor aquaculture systems, and is ranked a “best choice” by all major seafood guides. Australis also sustainably raises barramundi in the pristine waters of central Vietnam. The company never uses hormones or antibiotics, and all product is independently tested to ensure that it is free of mercury, PCBs and other contaminants. Virtually all Barramundi are born male, then turn into females when they are 3-4 years old. Their age is determined by counting growth rings on their scales (much like counting growth rings on a tree).
Australis Barramundi is sustainably raised by Massachusetts-based Australis Aquaculture in one of the world’s largest and most environmentally friendly indoor aquaculture systems, and is ranked a “best choice” by all major seafood guides. Australis also sustainably raises barramundi in the pristine waters of central Vietnam. The company never uses hormones or antibiotics, and all product is independently tested to ensure that it is free of mercury, PCBs and other contaminants. Virtually all Barramundi are born male, then turn into females when they are 3-4 years old. Their age is determined by counting growth rings on their scales (much like counting growth rings on a tree).
Halibut is the largest of all flatfish; the largest halibut grow up to eight feet long and four feet wide, and weigh over 600 pounds. Market sizes typically range from 10 to 100 pounds. Pacific halibut are found along the Pacific Coast from Northern California to the Bering Sea, and westward to Russia and the Sea of Japan. They are primarily taken by longlines in Alaska and British Columbia.
An extremely versatile fish, the thick, meaty halibut holds up well to a number of cooking methods and sauces. It is one of the mildest and most pleasant-tasting fish. It’s white and flaky, contains little oil and never has an overpowering taste or smell. It can be used in just about any recipe that calls for a mild white fish and can be substituted for other types of fish.
The yellowfin (also known as "ahi tuna") is distinguished by its long, bright-yellow dorsal fin and the yellow stripe down its body. More slender than the bigeye or bluefin tuna, yellowfins are the most tropical of the tuna species. Yellowfin is primarily caught by purse seine, but the higher-quality yellowfin is caught by hook and line. These fish range from the ocean surface to below 600 feet. High-quality yellowfin comes from Hawaii, Florida, Mexico, Southern California and the Gulf of California.
Yellowfin tuna (also known as ahi tuna) is excellent raw or cooked. For grilling or broiling, cut steaks one inch thick, and use a marinade or seasoning to enhance the flavor. For quick preparation, just brush with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning. For a milder taste, remove the dark lateral line from the meat. Tuna can also marinate for several hours without becoming "cooked".
Chinooks, also called “kings,” are the largest and most prized species of Pacific salmon. They are the most expensive of all salmon species and are often found in upscale restaurants and better supermarkets. Most Pacific salmon spend one to three years at sea; kings can stay out as long as five years before returning to where they spawn. Chinooks are harvested primarily by trawlers, but are also fished by seiners and gillnetters. They can reach upwards of 50 pounds, but the bulk of the commercial catch ranges between 11 and 18 pounds.
For the purist, the less you do to the rich and flavorful king salmon, the better. However, this fish can also stand up to hearty seasonings and flavorful sauces. For a simple yet bold treat, try broiling or grilling a piece of king salmon with pesto sauce.
To meet a rapidly growing demand, Atlantic salmon farming first emerged on a large scale in the early 1980s, with Norway leading the way. Since then, global production has increased tremendously. Today, Atlantic salmon are farmed in more than a dozen countries in Latin America, Europe and North America. The fish are typically raised in large, floating netpens, which are usually located in open bays. Farmed Atlantics start at four pounds, but can grow as large as 18 pounds.
Fillets of Atlantic salmon are pleasing to the eye, and should be used with recipes that highlight their vibrant color and texture. Since the flavor of this fish is delicate, avoid using flavors, glazes or seasonings that overpower it. For example, a light dill and yogurt or cucumber-dill sauce works well.