When a recipe calls for white fish, what does it mean?

 

Buying the right kind of fish can be a little difficult. Your recipe may require a specific type of fish or may have the generic term: “white fish.” Fish can be very regional, and sometimes the seafood counter has only a few options to choose from, so how do you buy the right kind of fish?

 

Here are some tips to help you buy the right one.

 

What does white fish mean?

White fish is not a type of fish, it generally means fast tasting and fast cooking fish that is generally not very expensive. The popular types of white fish are tilapia, cod, sea bass, grouper, haddock, catfish, and snapper, and these are great for frying, roasting, using in soups and soups, and baking.

 

6 tips for buying white fish

If you have a lot of options at the seafood counter, here are some tips that may help:

 

  1. Ask the fishmonger.

Tell the person at the counter what you are doing and they can usually guide you to the correct type of fish.

 

  1. Think about thickness.

If a recipe says that the steaks should be a certain thickness, this thickness is really important since it is related to the time it takes to cook something. Prioritize a white fish of the specified thickness.

 

  1. Check the recipe for clues.

If the recipe just shreds the cooked fish for tacos, or if it’s cooked with a ton of other ingredients like fish soup, go for a cheap option, as it’s not necessarily the star of the recipe. These are not the times when you want to buy something expensive like halibut.

 

  1. Go for freshness.

Fish is an extremely perishable ingredient, so if there are a couple of options available, ask which one is the freshest or smell fast and pick the one that smells the least fishy.

 

  1. Be flexible.

Just because your best option isn’t available, don’t be disappointed. There are so many different types of fish that they can be used in many different ways. Use this as an opportunity to test a new fish – you might end up discovering something even better than your first choice!

 

  1. Don’t forget sustainability.

The privilege of eating fish comes with the responsibility of making sure we care for our oceans and fish stocks. Seafood Watch is a great resource to check if a fish is sustainable. It also has an app that you can use while shopping, as well as good substitutions if the fish you’re looking for isn’t the most sustainable option.

 

White Fish Recipes

How to cook fish on the stove

Fish tacos with quick coleslaw

Creamy but light fish soup

Baked fish, spinach and tomatoes in foil packages

 

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