Whiting fish can be a confusing fish for some people, with many people misidentifying it for other similar-looking and sounding fish out there.
But that also means that there’s a lot of confusing and inaccurate information about it. Is it like white fish? Are they the same size as whitebait, whitefish, sardines, or other popular catches?
That can be a real headache for chefs, both amateur and professional, that may be looking to add Whiting fish to their ingredients list, but don’t have enough accurate information to work with and purchase them with confidence.
Well, no longer. Our guide will not only tell you everything that you need to know about Whiting fish, but also answer the most important that you’ll probably have about Whiting fish: Does it taste good? The TLDR of it is, yes, it does. At least, when you prepare it right!
What Are Whiting Fish?
Let’s get started with some basic information about this often-overlooked fish. Whiting fish (also known by their scientific name of Melangius mellangus) are a species of whitefish that can be found across the world, and several subspecies.
The most well-known is probably the Pacific whitening fish (or Pacific hake), but they can also be found in the North Atlantic Ocean, and even in the Mediterranean Sea.
It’s most recognizable for its largely silver color scales, with black spots dotted across its back or upper side. Whitefish generally grow to around 3 feet long and weigh up to a pound. Whiting Fish is generally considered to be a cheap fish to catch for several reasons.
Not only are they not overfished compared to other species like Atlantic Cod and Tuna, but catching them also has a small impact on the sea habitat that they live in, as well as being unlikely to catch other sea creatures in their nets accidentally.
Whiting fish is so common, that they used to be considered a poor working man’s fish, and were often dismissed by many middle and upper-class chefs and communities because of this.
However, as the other, more highbrow fish species are more impacted by overhunting and climate change, Whiting fish are becoming much more popular for fishermen to catch.
Whiting Fish = Whitefish?
As we’ve already mentioned, Whiting fish is distinct from the term ‘whitefish’, which usually refers to most types of fish that have white flesh, are mildly flavored, and are usually relatively cheap to both catch and buy. These include other popular fish like pike, haddock cod, and many others.
What Do They Taste Like?
So, we’re at one of the most important questions that a chef may have when it comes to this fish: What exactly does it taste like, and is it any good? Well, in the right hands, a Whiting fish has a flavor and texture that is unlike a lot of other fish that you’ll eat out there.
Whiting fish meat is soft and delicate, and has a noticeably sweet taste to it almost at times. The meat of Whiting fish flakes very easily too, making it quite similar to cod in some ways, but more dramatic.
The white meat of this fish is known to remain firm even after it is cooked, so it can be a little tricky for inexperienced chefs to tell when their fish has finished cooking.
Health Benefits Of Whiting Fish
Seafood and fish food in particular are often touted and highly regarded for their many health benefits. Well, Whiting fish is no different. Its white fish meat is rich in both protein and vitamin B, both of which are vital for any balanced meal plan.
The meat of Whiting fish is also very good for the immune system, boosting your body from mild ailments, and generally aiding in healthy skin maintenance and body oil production.
You’ll also find a small amount of cholesterol, as well as unsaturated fat in this meat, a great source of energy. Plus, despite all those healthy components.
Whiting fish have a remarkably small amount of calories in them, only 86 per 100g. So, it’s safe to say that Whiting fish is food that everyone should be having in their diet if they can!
How To Prepare/Cook Whiting Fish?
So, with this fish meat tasting good, and having so many health benefits, you’re probably wondering how to cook Whiting fish for yourself. Well, this is where things get tricky.
Whiting fish is a delicate meat to cook and takes a little skill and preparation to do so. Luckily for you, we can help get you started on the right foot!
Preparing Whiting Fish
Before you start cooking with it, make sure that your piece of Whiting fish meat smells right. Fresh whiting fish will smell faintly sweet and mild, with very little noticeable odor.
If it smells very fishy, then the cut that you have is likely too old, and starting to decay, so avoid whiting fish meat that smells like this. You should also make sure that the fish meat isn’t discolored in any way.
Fresh Whiting fish meat is a light white meat, so anything that strays from this color should be discarded safely.
Ways To Cook Whiting Fish
Being white fish meat, Whiting fish can be prepared in several ways.
- Pan-frying is a very popular option for this meat.
- Whiting fish can also be added to stews for a light, sweet meat texture, and flavor.
- Deep-frying this fish is also a popular option, but does negate some of its healthier benefits.
- Whiting fish can also be roasted or grilled, for a crispy texture.
Important Notes For Cooking
Because Whiting fish is a delicate fish, there are a few tips that you should keep in mind as you’re cooking it. Try not to overcook whiting fish meat, as the meat can often turn mushy when exposed to heat for too long.
This is what originally made people assume that Whiting fish was a bad-tasting fish, as people simply kept overcooking it too often to appreciate its more delicate nature. Whiting fish remains firm even after it has been cooked.
Final Notes – Do Whiting Fish Taste Good?
So, overall, what do we think about Whiting Fish? Is it a good fish meat to work with and eat? And, very importantly, does it taste good? Well… yes! Whiting fish can certainly be a difficult fish to work with.
It not only needs to be freshly cooked, but it also needs to be stopped from overcooking, something that is very easy to do for this lean fish meat.
However, in the hands of a good chef, you can make magic with this fish. And we’re glad to see it get the recognition that it deserves!