A to Z Saltwater Fish

Anchovy:  The majority of anchovies gathered in Southern California waters (250 million pounds) are ground up and sold as poultry feed. The average market size is four to six inches. Commercially, they are sold rolled or flat and are cured in olive oil and canned. If anchovies are too salty, try soaking them in tap water for 10 to 15 minutes, then store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before using.

Angler:  This category includes the Monkfish, Sea Devil, Bellyfish, Lotte and Goosefish. They are for the most part all low-fat with a firm texture. They can weight from 2 to 25 pounds and only the tapered tail section is edible. Tastes similar to a lobster.

Monkfish is a saltwater fish that is growing in popularity. It is very low in fat and can be used in any recipe calling for crabmeat or white fish fillets.

Barracuda:  A moderate-fat fish that runs from four to eight pounds. The only variety that is best for eating is the Pacific Barracuda which has an excellent taste. Great Barracudas are known for their toxicity.

Blue Fish:  Usually weighs in at three to six pounds. Does not freeze well. When using, be sure to remove the dark strip of flesh running down its center. This may give the fish a strong undesirable flavor.

Butterfish:  Also known as Pacific Pompano or Dollar fish. It is a high-fat fish that usually weights in at one-quarter to one pound. These are small fish that are usually cooked whole or smoked. A very fine textured fish.

Cod:  The three main types are: Atlantic Cod, Pacific Cod and Scrod. They are a low fat fish with a firm texture. The Atlantic is the largest variety and the Scrod is the smallest (a young cod). Available in many cuts; fillets, steaks, whole or dressed.

Croaker:  Varieties include Atlantic Croaker, Redfish, Spot, Kingfish, Corvina and Black Drum. All are low in fat except Corvina. Size varies from one-quarter pound for the Spot to 30 pounds for the large Redfish, a popular chowder fish.

Cusk:  A fish gaining popularity with a taste similar to cod. Low fat and excellent for stews and soups. Weighs in at 1-1/2 to 5 pounds. Sold as fillets or whole.

Eel:  A firm textured fish that may run up to three feet long and has a tough skin that is removed prior to cooking. More popular in Europe and Japan.

Flounder:  Also called Sole. The most popular fish in the United States. The varieties seem endless and all are low in fat with a fine texture. Most are found one-half to three pounds with some varieties weighing in at up to ten pounds. One of the best eating fishes.

Haddock:  A close relation to the Cod and usually weighs in at three to five pounds. Smoked Haddock is known as Finnan Haddie.

Hake:  Usually caught in the Atlantic during summer and early fall. It is a low fat, firm textured fish. Usually weights in at one to eight pounds and is very mild flavored.

Halibut:  A flatfish hat usually weighs in from 5 to 20 pounds. A low in fat very popular fish with a firm texture.

Herring:  A small one-quarter to one pound fish with a fine soft texture and is high in fat. Usually used for appetizers and sold pickled or smoked.

Grouper:  Can weigh in from 3 to 25 pounds and may be called Sea Bass. The skin is tough and should be removed. It has a firm texture and may be cooked in almost any manner.

Mackerel:  Sold under a number of names, such as Wahoo, Atlantic Mackerel, Pacific Jack, King Mackerel and Spanish Mackerel. A high fat fish with a firm texture. A commonly canned fish.

Mahi Mahi:  Also known as the Dolphin Fish, or Dorodo. However, it is no relation toe the Dolphin nor does it look like a Dolphin. May weigh up to 40 pounds. Excellent eating fish.

Mullet:  The fat content will vary, but is usually a moderate to high fat fish with a firm texture. Has a mild nut like flavor.

Ocean Perch:  A low-fat fish with a firm texture. Most is Perch imported from Iceland. Usually weighs in at one-half to two pounds and available fresh or frozen.

Orange Roughy:  One of the most popular fish sold. Imported from New Zealand and is low fat with a firm texture. Available in two to five pound weights. Very similar to Sole but at a better price.

Pollack:  A close relative to Cod with a firm texture. Fresh usually weighs in a 4 to 12 pounds. Best when sold as fillets.

Pompano:  Rated as one of the best eating fishes. It has a moderate fat level and a firm texture. One of the more expensive fishes.

Porgy:  A firm textured, low fat fish that usually weighs in at one-half to two pounds. Primarily caught in New England waters.

Red Snapper:  Red Snapper has a very rose colored skin and red eyes. It is low in fat with a firm texture. Excellent for soups and stews.

Rockfish:  Available in more than 50 varieties. Often sold under the name of Pacific Snapper. They have a firm texture and are low in fat.

Sablefish:  Also known as Alaskan Cod or Butterfish. A very high fat fish with a soft texture due to its fat content. Makes an excellent smoking fish and is usually sold as smoked.

Salmon:  (Blueback) Red salmon is the highest in fat, is the most expensive and the highest grade. The lower grades are red or sockeye, Chinook, or king and pink salmon is the lowest grade.

  • Three ounces of salmon contains 120 calories, one-half cup of salmon contains more grams of protein than two lamb chops.
  • Smoked salmon (Lox) is heavily salted unless you purchase the Nova variety. Salmon used for smoking is usually raised on aquaculture farms and has never had a reported incidence of parasite contamination.
  • Salmon used for sushi gives you a one in ten chance of consuming a roundworm from the anisakis family of parasites, according to the FDA in samples from 32 restaurants.
  • If you see a label on canned salmon that says, “Norwegian Salmon”, be aware that there is no such species.

Sardines:  These are actually soft boned herring. They are descaled before being canned and the scales used to make artificial pearls and cosmetics. The Norwegian bristling sardine is the finest. Maine sardines are almost as good and cost considerably less. They are high in fat and best used for appetizers.

Sea Bass:  A moderate fat fish with a firm texture. It has a mild flavor and is a popular seller.

Sea Trout:  A moderate fat fish with a fine texture; excellent baked or broiled. Usually caught in the Southeastern United States.

Shad:  A high-fat fish with a fine texture. A difficult fish to bone and almost always sold as fillet. The eggs (roe) are considered a delicacy.

Shark:  Shark steaks are one of the most vitamin rich foods in the sea. It is low in fat and has a firm, dense texture, occasionally sold in chunks. Is fast becoming a popular eating fish. There are 350 species of Shark. In Hong Kong, a bowl of shark soup sells for 50.00-dollars per bowl. The 60 foot Whale Shark is the world’s largest fish.

Shad:  A high-fat fish with a fine texture. A difficult fish to bone and almost always sold as fillet. The eggs (roe) are considered a delicacy.

Skate:  The wings are the only part that is edible. They have a flavor similar to scallops and are low in fat with a firm texture.

Swordfish:  The flavor is not as strong as Shark and is best served as steaks. It is somewhat higher in fat than Shark but has as similar texture.

Tuna:  White tuna is from Albacore tuna and is the best grade of tuna. Light tuna comes from the other five species of tuna. It is nutritious and usually tastes just as good.

  • The average American eats more than 3.7 pounds of tuna per year.
  • Tuna packed in oil has 50 percent more calories as water packed tuna.
  • Solid pack tuna is tuna that is composed of the loins of the tuna with a few flakes.
  • Chunk tuna will include pieces that will have a part of the muscle structure attached.
  • Flake tuna has the muscle structure and a high percentage of the pieces are under one-half inch.
  • Grated tuna is just above a paste.
  • When tuna is packed in olive oil it is sometimes called tonno tuna.
  • Bluefin tuna may weigh up to 1000 pounds.
  • If you are making tuna salad for sandwiches, it may not matter which tuna you choose. It is more a matter of taste.
  • If you have noticed that tuna in cans is darker than it used to be, you are right. The reason being is that smaller nets are being used so that the porpoises will not be netted. This means that the larger tuna will not be netted either. The smaller tuna has darker meat.
  • Watch the tuna label for the chemical pyrophosphate, a preservative that you should not eat.

Turbot:  A fish low in fat with a firm texture. Similar to flounder, a flatfish. Usually sold only as fillets.

Whiting:  A relative of Hake. Low in fat with a firm texture. Best broiled or steamed.

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