Skip to content

Important

For a better browsing experience, this site has been optimized for Chrome on your device.

Ok

Anchors Aweigh! Discover Exotic Fish!

Did you know that Quebecers are eating more fish now than 15 years ago? A whopping 10% more! The trend is toward increased fish consumption and adventurous sophistication as growing numbers explore the sea's bounty displayed at the fish counter.

Check out the fish counter at your Metro store and discover a world of exotic fish — swordfish, mahi-mahi, marlin, redfish and tilapia.


Fat or Lean, Fish Is Healthy!

 

Fish are classified by flesh colour and fat content. Lean fish like tilapia, mahi-mahi, and redfish have less than 2% fat, while the fat content of semi-fatty fish like swordfish and marlin ranges from 2 to 10%, and the fat content of fatty fish like sturgeon is over 10%. The fattier the fish, the higher its level of omega-3s.

 

Numerous studies show that having fish or seafood 2-3 times a week is healthy for the heart, reduces the risk of certain types of cancer (colon, breast), and helps fight skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. All fish are low in calories and rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, plus fatty fish are rich in polyunsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids.

 

What's so great about omega-3 fatty acids? They play a critical role in the construction of cell membranes, help keep the cardiovascular system in tiptop condition, control blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of asthma and arthritis. Also, a diet rich in omega-3s seems to increase levels of serotonin ? the body's own antidepressant. Talk about health benefits! And they start early. Omega-3s enhance a fetus's growth, and are essential to vision and brain development, so pregnant women need plenty of omega-3s.

 

The key to getting the full benefit of the omega-3s in fish is proper storage, because these polyunsaturated fats deteriorate rapidly, and, cooking fish with the skin on whenever possible, since most of the fat lies is right under the skin.

 

The Secret to Delicious Fish, Exotic or Other? Proper Cooking!

 

Fish are sold in steaks, fillets and sometimes whole. They can be steamed, broiled, baked, wrapped and cooked, poached in court bouillon, even barbecued for a real taste treat!

 

Two key points to remember are that lean fish cook more quickly than fatty fish and that thickness not weight determines the cooking time. For perfect fish, calculate five minutes per ½ inch (1 cm) of thickness measured at the thickest point. Add an extra five minutes if fish is bundled or wrapped.

 

Always pat fish dry, removing as much moisture as possible. Handle fish gently with a spatula during and after cooking to prevent it from breaking up.

 

For flavourful fish, avoid overcooking. Prolonged cooking dries fish out, robbing it of tenderness and flavourful juices, making it tough and tasteless. Fish is done when white drops form on the surface and the flesh is opaque and flakes.

 

Swordfish

 

The swordfish, an ocean species of migratory fish that can weigh up to 915 lb., owes its name to the distinctive look of its long flat upper jaw. The main capture methods used for swordfish are longlines and harpoons. Most of the swordfish sold in Quebec is from western Atlantic stocks that range from Cape Breton to Argentina.

 

Its streaked white flesh is firm, fatty and quite flavourful, and the tail and fins are edible. Fresh swordfish is more digestible if poached 10-15 minutes first before cooking. Swordfish, often sold as steaks, can be prepared in the same manner as other firm-fleshed fish such as halibut, sturgeon and tuna. Swordfish steaks or kebabs are sensational barbecued. Swordfish can also be braised or baked, bundled or not, marinated or not.

 

In southern Spain, smoked swordfish dressed with capers, hardboiled eggs, oil and lemon juice (just like we do smoked salmon) is fanned out on big round plates and served as a sophisticated dainty.

 

Swordfish is rich in vitamin B12, niacin, potassium and phosphorus.

 

Mahi-mahi

 

This magnificent, brilliantly coloured tropical fish was named mahi-mahi (strong-strong) by Hawaiians. It is also called dolphinfish or dorado in English.

 

All mahi-mahi are striking with an iridescent bluish green and gold body, but males have blunt, club-shaped heads. Although mahi-mahi have a short lifespan of only three or four years, they can weigh up to 48 pounds (22 kg) and measure up to 6½ feet (2 metres) long. Their flesh is firm, lean and pink to light beige.

 

Fresh mahi-mahi has almost translucent flesh and no “fishy” smell. For a quick freshness check, press the flesh lightly; it should spring back into shape. Mahi-mahi deteriorates when it sits in its own juices, so remove packaging, rinse fish under cold water, pat dry, wrap in waxed paper and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Mahi-mahi, usually sold whole or as fillets or steaks, is excellent pan-fried, poached, broiled or steamed. When its flesh turns an opaque white, the fish is done. Mahi-mahi is great barbecued, but must not be left on the grill overlong because like all lean fish it quickly becomes dry.

 

Island cooking often teams it up with lime, coconut, macadamia nuts, pineapple and other tropical fruit or gives it an Asian flavour with a little soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, garlic and ginger.

 

Mahi-mahi has almost no fat and is a good source of selenium, potassium, niacin and vitamin B6.

 

Fennel-flavoured Mahi-mahi Bundled in Foil.

 

Marlin

 

Blue marlins like warm waters and are found in tropical and warm temperate waters where they follow warm currents that range from 15oC to 30oC. Blue marlins have a dark blue back and dorsal fins and a silvery white belly. Their other fins are dark brown. These fish can reach a length of 15 feet (4.60 metres) and feed primarily on squid, crustaceans and small tuna, although also consume larger prey such as swordfish and mackerel.

 

Marlin is a semi-fatty fish with firm dark pink flesh that is highly prized by the Japanese because it is ideal for sashimi. Mainly sold as steaks, marlin, which benefits from being marinated, is delicious wrapped and baked, broiled, pan-fried or grilled. Its firm flesh is perfect for brochettes. This tasty fish melts in the mouth.

 

Redfish/Rockfish/Ocean Perch

 

The redfish family, also called rockfish and ocean perch though they aren’t perch at all, can be found in deep northern waters as well as shallow southern waters. Yelloweye rockfish is the largest rockfish species on the west coast and can grow up to 3¼ feet (1 meter) long and weigh up to 50 lb. (23 kg). Although it is sold under the name of Pacific red snapper, it should not be confused with authentic red snapper (a species belonging to a different family altogether) that is found in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Yelloweye rockfish, a species of scorpaenidae, has orange-yellow colouring washed with pink on its back and sides and a pale belly. Usually sold as fillets, its tasty, lean, firm-flake flesh can be prepared any number of ways and is often a key ingredient of fish soups, chowder and casseroles.

 

Tilapia

 

Tilapia is a freshwater fish from Africa. The popularity of tilapia is growing apace with its expanding production as a farmed fish.

 

Tilapia is sold whole or in fillets, which are usually deboned. Given the delicate sweet flavour of its firm lean flesh, the best recipes for tilapia are simple ones that don't mask the flavour. When buying fresh tilapia, look for fish with translucent creamy white flesh and no "fishy" smell.

 

Season tilapia with some fresh ginger and soya sauce or tomatoes and fresh coriander. Braise it in a little court bouillon or fish stock with carrots, celery, onion or fennel in a slow oven. Tilapia is also delicious simply pan-fried in a little olive oil.

 

This versatile fish can be poached, grilled, pan-fried, braised, baked, steamed and makes great brochettes.

 

Exotic fish…another good reason, in fact several good reasons to visit your Metro fishmonger. Come discover exciting flavours from the seven seas!



STAY CONNECTED