Lean, Flaky-textured Fish

Lean, Flaky-textured Fish

Lean fish generally don't pack as many vitamins and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids as, say, salmon or tuna, but they also have a milder flavor that's less "fishy."


A good way to judge whether a fish is lean is by its color. The lighter the fish, the leaner it is, which is why lean fish are sometimes call "white fish."


Many cooks sauté (aka pan-fry) lean, flaky-textured fish in butter or oil. It's done when the thickest part of the fillet flakes when you test it. You can also bake, broil, or--as the Brits do--coat cod with batter and deep-fat fry it.


Varieties:

cod, codling, markets, streakers, cod cheeks, cod sounds, cod tongues, schrod
cod
This includes cod cheeks, which are good and inexpensive, cod tongues, cod sounds, which are the cod's air bladders, and scrod = schrod, which are young cod. See also salt cod.
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cod cheeks
cod cheeks
cod cheeks, which are good and inexpensive
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drums, croakers
drums
This category includes yellowfish = yellow croaker (pictured), corvina = spotfin croaker, drum, redfish = red drum, white sea bass, kingfish, weakfish, and spot. Substitutes: hake (tastier) OR mullet OR tuna OR red snapper OR pompano.
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mullet, black mullet, grey mullet, red mullet, striped mullet, white mullet
mullet
This category includes red mullet, white mullet, and the fattier black mullet = striped mullet.
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parrotfish
parrotfish
This tropical fish is delicious, but environmentalists worry that overfishing will harm coral reefs, since parrotfish clean them of algae. In addition, parrotfish also convert dead coral into white sand (up to 220 pounds of sand per fish per year) that we all love to walk and play volleyball on. As with all reef fish, parrotfish also contain a toxin called ciguatera, which can cause food poisoning. You can reduce the risk by not eating the fish's head or organs.
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perch, Lake Victoria perch, Nile perch, walleye, wall-eyed pike
perch
This category includes walleye = wall-eyed pike, and Nile perch = Lake Victoria perch.
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pollock, Pacific Pollock, Alaska pollock, Boston bluefish, walleye pollock
pollock
Pollock is an important north Pacific groundfish.
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porgies, fair maid, jolthead porgy, red porgy, scup, sea bream, shad porgy
porgies
This category includes the scup = fair maid, sea bream, red porgy, sheepshead porgy, shad porgy, whitebone porgy, and jolthead porgy. Porgies tend to be bony, but they're highly prized for their delicate flavor.
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sole, Dover sole, English sole, gray sole, petrale sole, Rex sole
sole
Includes gray sole, petrale sole, English sole, Dover sole, and Rex sole.
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taape, blue-lined snapper, blue-stripe snapper, ta'ape
taape
This beautiful fish was introduced to Hawaii in 1958, and it multiplied so quickly that it's now crowding out some native species. Buying this fish helps prod fishermen to rid Hawaiian waters of this nuisance. It's a tasty fish, too, though there's concern that some of these fish may carry ciguatera, a toxin that affects certain reef fish.
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turbot
turbot
Turbot is an outstanding fish, but somewhat expensive.
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