Cooking Tasmanian Scalefish Species

The content for this page is adapted from the Tasmanian Seafood Cookbook. There were two versions of this popular fishing cookbook published by the Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority; the first in 1981 by Patricia Bolin and the second in 1988 by Barbra Blomberg.  Find cooking tips and fish recipes on Tas Fish Guide, our recreational fishing phone app.

Barracouta

Fish illustration by Peter GouldthorpeEconomical to use but beware of bones.

Characteristics
Medium oil content. Good flavour. Firm white flesh when cooked. Fillets, steaks, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, casserole, deep fry, grill, shallow fry, soup, steam.


Blue Grenadier

Adapts readily to all cooking methods when fresh. Flesh tends to be soft after freezing. Reasonably priced.
Characteristics
Low oil content. Mild delicate flavour. Fine, white moist flesh. Fillets.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, casserole, foil bake, grill, poach, shallow fry, smoke, soup, steam, steep.


Cod, Southern Rock

Fish illustration by Peter GouldthorpeCommonly found on rocky seafloors. Mainly caught by recreational fishers.

Characteristics
Low oil content. Delicate flavour. Medium soft flesh, easily flaked. Fillets, smoked, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, casserole, fry, grill, marinate, poach, smoke, soup, steam, steep.


Dory, Silver or Mirror

Quick cooking. Adapts well to most cooking methods. Caught in shallow to medium deep water. Economical.

Characteristics
Low oil content. Excellent flavour. Firm white delicate flesh. Fillets or whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, shallow fry, grill, poach, steam.


Dory, Deep Water Oreo

Different in appearance to John, Silver and Mirror Dories. Found in depths between 600-1200m. Reasonably priced.

Characteristics
Medium oil content. Excellent flavour. Thick, firm flesh. Fillets, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, casserole, deep fry, poach, shallow fry, steam, steep.


Dory, Oreo Smooth

As above.

Characteristics
Medium oil content. Excellent flavour. Thick, firm flesh. Fillets, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, deep fry, foil bake, grill, shallow fry, marinate, poach, steam, steep.


Eel

Fish illustration by Peter GouldthorpeTwo fresh water species common in Tasmanian waters, a short finned and a long finned are both good eating. Conger, a salt-water eel, is excellent for eating. Remove skin to reduce fat content. Reasonably priced.

Characteristics
High oil content. Delicious especially when smoked. Excellent keeping qualities. Remove skin and cut into segments. Pieces, smoked, whole
Cooking Method
Bake, casserole, pates, smoke, soup.


Flake (Shark)

Fish illustration by Peter GouldthorpeDifferent species of shark such as school shark and gummy shark are sold as Flake. Widely used in home cooking and in fish and chip shops. Elephant shark is sold as white fish and is equally popular.

Characteristics
Low oil content. Delicate flavour. Medium textured firm flesh. Fillets.
Cooking Method
Bake, casserole, deep fry, foil bake, marinate, poach, shallow fry, soup, steam, steep.


Flathead

Fish illustration by Peter GouldthorpeVery popular among Tasmanian recreational fishers. Two species are taken - southern sand flathead and tiger flathead. Watch out for bones. Very economical.

Characteristics
Low oil content. Pleasant, medium flavour. Fine textured flesh, can be dry. Keeps well. Fillets, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake in foil, casserole, shallow or deep fry, marinate, poach, souse and steam.


Flounder

Fish illustration by Peter GouldthorpeCaught in fairly large quantities by both professional and recreational fishers in shallow water. Reasonably priced.

Characteristics
Low oil content. Delicate flavour. Fine textured, firm flesh. Whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, grill, shallow fry and poach.


Garfish, Southern

A very tasty fish. Small rather bony species.FIsh illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe Bones easily removed by putting fish belly-side down on a board. Roll a rolling pin along the length of the spine several times then lift out bone structure. Can be filleted with practice. Reasonably priced.

Characteristics
Medium oil content. Delicate flavour. Fine textured, firm flesh. Whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbeque, casserole, deep fry, foil bake, shallow fry, souse.


Gemfish

Sometimes referred to as hake, kingfish or Kingcouta. A popular fish at a reasonable price.
Characteristics

Low oil content. Medium flavour. Moist firm textured flesh. Keeps well. Fillets, steaks, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, casserole, foil bake, marinate, poach, shallow fry, smoke, soup.


Gurnard

Common Gurnard PerchDorsal fins have very sharp spikes which can cause painful injuries. Be careful when handling whole fish. Economical.
Characteristics

Low oil content. Medium flavour. Firm white flesh. Fillets, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, casserole, deep fry, foil bake, grill, poach, shallow fry, souse, steam and steep.


Latchet

LatchetVery similar to Gurnard in texture and flavour; can be interchangeable. Economical.
Characteristics

Low oil content. Delicate sweet flavour. Fine, tender, moise flesh. Fillets, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, grill, shallow fry, poach, smoke, steam, steep.


Leatherjacket

LeatherjacketAn economical fish to use; often underrated. Skin before cooking. Caught in shallow waters by both recreatinal and professional fishers. Reasonably priced.
Characteristics

Low oil content. Delicate, sweet flavour. Fine, moist flesh. Fillets, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, grill, poach, shallow fry.


Ling

Also known as Pink Ling. Large deep-sea species. Easy to prepare. No small bones.
Fish illustration by Peter GouldthorpeCharacteristics
Low oil content. Mild, delicate flavour. Firm textured white flesh. Boneless fillets, steaks.
Cooking Method
Bake, casserole, foil bake, poach, shallow fry, soup, steam, steep.


Mackerel, Jack

Jack mackerelUnderrated fish which is economical and can be prepared in various ways. Available practically all year round.
Characteristics
High oil content. Medium flavour. Dark flesh which becomes lighter when cooked. Firm texture. Fillets, smoked, whole.
Cooking Method
Barbecue, casserole, foil bake, grill, marinate, smoke, souse.


Morwong

Jackass MorwongSometimes known as Perch in Tasmania and Silver Bream on the mainland. Reasonably priced. Characteristics
Medium oil content. Firm, flaky white flesh. Tends to be dry. Fillets, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, casserole, deep fry, foil bake, marinate, shallow fry, soup, steam, steep.


Mullet

Fish illustration by Peter GouldthorpeA fish found in large quantities, often caught by nets. Economical.
Characteristics
High oil content. Distinctive flavour. Fairly oily but excellent firm-textured flesh. Whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, casserole, grill.


Orange Roughy

Sometimes called Red Roughy. A popular eating fish - usually sold in fillets.
Characteristics

High oil content. Mild, delicate flavour. Thick pearly-translucent boneless flesh which keeps well. Flesh not affected by freezing because of its high oil content. Skinned fillets.
Cooking Method
Bake, casserole, foil bake, grill, marinate, poach, shallow fry, steam, steep.


Fish illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe

Salmon, Atlantic

The King of all fishes is farmed exclusively in Tasmania. Our clear and clean waters have made this possible. Excellent eating - a highly sought after delicacy that does well with very short and simple cooking methods.
Characteristics

High oil content. Rich delicate flavour. The deep pink flesh lightens during cooking and flakes easily. Should never be overcooked. Fillets, smoked, steaks, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, grill, shallow fry, poach, smoke, steam.


Fish illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe

Salmon, Australian

Commonly called Black-back or Cockie salmon. Popular fish at reasonable price.
Characteristics

Low oil content. Distinctive flavour. Dark flesh lightens when cooked. Firm texture. Canned, fillets, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, casserole, grill, shallow fry, soup, steep.


Fish illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe

Trevalla, Blue eye

The best known of our many fish and 'the fish' of Tasmania. A large deep sea fish which adapts to all cooking methods.
Characteristics

Medium oil content. Excellent flavour. Prime eating. Firm moist flesh. Fillets, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, casserole, deep fry, foil bake, grill, marinate, poach, shallow fry, steam, steep.


Fish illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe

Trevally, Silver

Not to be confused with Trevalla. A few different species available. A popular and economical fish, caught both commercially and by recreational fishers.
Characteristics

High oil content. Delicate flavour. Dark, tender, firm flesh which lightens during cooking. Does not keep well unless frozen. Fillets, steaks, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, casserole, deep fry, foil bake, grill, shallow fry, smoke.


Fish illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe

Trout, Brown

A freshwater species which is also being farmed as well as readily available in lakes around Tasmania. Flesh can vary in colour from light to bright pink.
Characteristics

Medium oil content. Delicate flavour. Fine textured flesh. Do not overcook. Fillets, smoked, whole plate size.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, grill, poach, smoke, shallow fry, steam.


Trout, Ocean

Ocean trout or sea trout, a saltwater species now successfully farmed in Tasmania. Farming allows for different sizes of fish from plate size 750g (for two) to large sizes 1.5-3 kilograms.
Characteristics

Medium oil content. Excellent flavour with soft pink flesh, medium flakes. Do not overcook. Fillets, smoked, steaks, whole.
Cooking method
Bake, foil bake, marinate, poach, smoke, shallow fry, steam.


Fish illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe

Trumpeter

Two species available - Bastard and the more highly esteemed Stripey. Bastard Trumpeter is the most common, but both are good to eat.
Characteristics

High oil content. Excellent flavour. Fine textured, moist flesh. The dark flesh becomes lighter when cooked. Does not keep well. Fillets, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, casseroles, grill, foil bake, smoke, shallow fry.


Fish illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe

Tuna

Fresh tuna is available late summer and early autumn. It is a fish that needs correct handling after catching eg. bleeding to retain its quality. Highly sought after by the Japanese for sashimi.
Characteristics

High oil content. Distinctive flavour. Firm, dark flesh which lightens when cooked. Fillets, steaks.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, casserole, foil bake, marinate, sashimi.


Fish illustration by Peter Goulthorpe

Warehou, Blue (Trevally)

Also known under a less attractive name - snotty trevally. Available at a moderate price.
Characteristics
Medium oil content. Good flavour. Dark flaky flesh which lightens during cooking. Fillets, steaks, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, casserole, deep fry, grill, marinate, shallow fry, steep.


Whiting, School

Southern school whiting illustration by Peter GouldthorpeThe most common whiting in Tasmanian waters. it is a small fish, usually sold whole. Not to be confused with European whiting or King George whiting.
Characteristics

Low oil content. Delicate flavour. White flesh which flakes easily. Fillets, whole.
Cooking Method
Bake, barbecue, casserole, grill, foil bake, shallow fry.


Alternative Fish Species to Use

Barracouta - Australian Salmon, Gemfish, Gurnard, Latchet, Morwong.
Blue Grenadier - Bream, Cod, Gemfish, Gurnard, Silver Trevally.
Cod, Rock - Flathead, Gem, Gurnard, Kingfish.
Dory, Silver or Mirror - John Dory, Flounder, Gurnard, Snapper.
Dory, Black Oreo (fillets) - Smooth Dory, Latchet, Ling, Travalla, Warehou.
Dory, Smooth Oreo (fillets) - Black Dory, Latchet, Ling, Trevalla, Warehou.
Eel - No real alternative available, but Jack Mackerel can be used in some recipes.
Flake - Bream, Cod, Grenadier, Ling.
Flathead (fillets) - Gemfish, Morwong, Trumpeter.
Flounder - Mirror or Silver Dory, Whiting.
Garfish - No real alternative available, but Pilchards can be used in some recipes.
Gemfish - Barracouta, Gurnard, Latchet, Ling, Morwong, Perch.
Gurnard - Cod, Blue Grenadier, Latchet, Perch.
Latchet - Cod, Blue Grenadier, Gurnard, Perch.
Leatherjacket - None for whole Leatherjacket, fillets of Mirror or Silver Dory can be used or small whole Whitings.
Ling - Black or Smooth Dory, Gurnard, Trevalla.
Mackerel, Jack - Mullet, Silver Trevally, Trumpeter.
Morwong - Barracouta, Bream, Trevally, Warehou.
Mullet - Australian Salmon (small), Mackerel, Silver Trevally, (small) Trumpeter.
Orange Roughy - Black or Smooth Dory, Trevalla.
Salmon, Atlantic - Ocean Trout.
Salmon, Australian - Barracouta, Gemfish, Kingfish, Silver Trevally.
Shark - See Flake.
Trevalla - Black or Smooth Dory, Orange Roughy, Warehou.
Trevally, Silver - Australian Salmon, Gemfish, Kingfish, Morwong, Trumpeter.
Trout, Ocean - Atlantic Salmon, Brown Trout (in some recipes).
Trout, Brown - Ocean Trout (in some recipes).
Trumpeter - Australian Salmon, Morwong, Silver Trevally.
Tuna - Mackerel, Trumpeter (both only in limited tuna recipes).
Warehou - Kingfish, Snapper, Trevalla, Silver Trevally.
Whiting, School - Mirror or Silver Dory, Flounder, Perch.

Fish illustrations by Peter Gouldthorpe
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