Miscellaneous Fish

In the past, certain varieties of fish could only be obtained at the market during certain times of the year. Today, fish can be purchased in almost any stage of preparation-fresh, frozen, cleaned, dressed, filleted, or even cut into steaks.

Whichever fish the cook prefers, they should select one with bright, clear, bulging eyes, reddish-pink gills free from slime or odor, and scales which are bright colored and adhere tightly to the skin. The flesh of the fish should be firm and elastic, springing back when pressed. Allow 1/3 to 1/2 pound of edible fish per person. If the fish is to be dressed at home, the larger amount should be selected.

The following terms will be helpful in understanding what shape your fish is in:

Whole or round fish are those that are marketed in the same form as they come from the water. Before cooking they must be scaled and eviscerated (entrails removed). The head, tail, and fins may be removed if desired, and the fish split into serving-size portions.

Drawn fish are marketed with only the entrails removed.

Dressed or pan-dressed fish are scaled and eviscerated, usually with the head, tail, and fins removed.

Steaks are cross-sectional slices of the larger sizes of dressed fish.

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