Bacalao - Most salt cod comes
from Norway. When choosing look for white flesh and black skin -
yellowing flesh denotes age. To use the fish needs to be soaked for
24-48 hours, frequently changing the water, to remove most of the salt.
It is then ready to be poached - never boil salt cod otherwise it will
go stringy. Popular in Spain, the fish is often cooked with chilli and
red pepper. Try adding to soups as part of the seasoning as well as
Barracouta - (
Barracuda - A pike-like sea fish with long pointed jaws filled with
razor-sharp teeth. It is a firm-textured fish with moderate fat content.
The type most commonly found in the U.S. is the Pacific barracuda (also
called the California barracuda).
Barnacle - A
crustacean that forms calcareous (containing calcium or limestone)
shells. Barnacles attach themselves to submerged surfaces—both natural
such as rocks, whales and large fish, and man-made such as ships,
wharves, and pilings. The two most important barnacles for for eating
are the acorn and gooseneck barnacles, also known as stalked or goose
barnacles. They are particularly popular in Spanish, Portuguese,
Moroccan coastal cuisines as where they are quite plentiful. An uncommon
item in the U.S., they can be found in some specialty and online fish
markets. They tend to be gritty and need a thorough rinsing prior to a
quick boiling or steaming. The flavor tends towards other
crustaceans—Shrimp, Crab, Lobster or lobster. They are eaten by pealing of the
outer skin, and biting off the neck. Watch for a spurt of orange liquid
Basket Shrimp -
Small undeveined, breaded shrimp ranging in size from 40 to over
100-count per pound. Also called "mini-shrimp" or "mini-rounds." batter
– A mixture of dry ingredients (such as flours or starches) and water in
a ratio suitable for coating.
Bass - Also known as sea perch, bass is a term that refers to numerous
and often unrelated freshwater and saltwater fish. True basses include
groupers, black sea bass, and the striped bass. Largemouth, redeye,
rock, smallmouth and the spotted bass, are actually sunfish.
Product covered in liquid mixture, usually egg and flour.
This is usually partly cooked (pre-cooked) to set the batter in place
A condition where the rib bones protrude into the belly
cavity. It usually indicates soft flesh, and shows that the fish was not
totally fresh when processed or not properly eviscerated.
Belly-Fish: This large low-fat, firm-textured salt-water fish has a
mild, sweet flavor that compares with lobster. Sometimes referred to as
"poor man's lobster." Also called "angler fish," "monkfish," and
Berry - A term
used for the fertilised eggs of crustaceans, such as rock lobsters, when
they are carried in a cluster beneath the body.
Bigeye - The fat tuna, known as mebachi to the Japanese, this cousin of
the bluefin is becoming more popular as the number of bluefin decrease.
Billfishes - Any
of various fishes of the family Istiophoridae, such as a marlin or
sailfish, having an elongated, sword-like or spear-like snout and upper
jaw. Any of various other fishes having long, pointed jaws.
Bisque - a rich spicy soup containing lobster, shrimp or other
Small pieces of fish breaded or coated with batter,
weighing less than 1 oz. each. Shape may be round, square, or irregular.
May be cut from regular blocks or blocks of minced fish. Also
called cubes, nuggets, petites, tidbits. Generally sold by count,
25-35 per lb.
Bivalve - Any
mollusk that has two shells hinged together by a strong muscle, such as
a clam, oyster, cockle, or mussel. They are important around the world
and in many diverse cuisines. Some can be eaten raw, most must be
Black Cod - This saltwater fish, which is not a true cod, has a soft
textured flesh and a mild flavor. Its high fat content makes it a good
fish for smoking. Also called "sablefish."
Black Oreo Dory -
Black Spot - A
darkening between a shrimp shell and the tail muscle; it develops as the
product deteriorates. It is more properly known as melanosis. Bisulfite
(sodium bisulfite) Also called shrimp dip and shrimp powder. Used mostly
by shrimp trawlers to prevent melanosis, or black spot.
Blacken - to sear fish or seafood in a cast iron frying pan or grill
with high heat. The item is usually heavily coated with a
blackening seasoning and typically cooked rare in the center.
Blackfish: A lean, delicately flavored Pacific Ocean fish that
is popular in Chinese cookery. Also called "Black Trout" and "Chinese
Blast Freezing -
Freezing by circulating cold air over batched product placed in trays or
racks. Continuous operations are available with rotating belts or spiral
Bleeding: Method in which fishermen remove blood from fish by cutting
an artery. Large meaty fish like tuna are routinely bled before further
processing. Skates and sharks are also bled to remove uric acid.
Block: Frozen fish blocks are rectangular or other
uniformly-shaped masses of cohering fish fillets or a mixture of fillets
and minced fish flesh, or entirely minced fish flesh. These blocks
usually range in weight from 13 to 16 lbs. and are intended for further
processing into fish sticks and portions. Larger blocks may be available
that contain whole dressed fish for subsequent thawing, processing or
Blocklisting - A
procedure of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that requires
automatic detention of imported products and 100 percent approval by the
FDA before distribution in the United States.
Blue Cod - (
Blue Crab: Named after its blue claws and dark blue-green
shell, this crab is found along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. It is sold
in both its soft and hard-shell stages. The "soft-shell crab" is simply
a blue crab caught just after molting.
Blue Mackerel - (
Bluefin Tuna: The best and among the largest of tuna, the
bluefin can weigh over 1,000 pounds. As bluefin age, their flesh turns
from light to dark red and takes on a stronger flavor. It is now
considered the finest of all fish that can be served raw as sushi and
sashimi. Its numbers are now declining dangerously as it is much sought
Bluefish: A fatty, fine-textured fish that is also known as
"bulldog of the ocean" because of its tenacity. Found in the Atlantic
and Gulf coasts. Discard the dark oily strip that runs down its center
to prevent a strong, fishy flavor.
Bluegill: One of a large number of North American freshwater
fish closely related to the perch. Known for their bright, sunny colors,
bluegill are also known as "sunfish."
Bluenose - (
A small, semi-transparent fish that is found in
the Arabian Sea off the west coast of India. They can be eaten fresh,
but more commonly, they are sun-dried and often have asafoetida added to
them. Also known as bumalo or bummalow it has a very strong and salted
fish taste. It will keep a long time, providing it is kept dry and is
usually eaten having been grilled, baked or shallow fried until crispy
and then be crumbled over rice and curries, and is sometimes served as a
starter or cocktail snack.
Boned/Boneless: Term used by packer to indicate that product
has been processed to remove backbone and rib bones.: Term used by
packer to indicate that product has been processed to remove backbone
and rib bones.
Bonito: Sort of half way between a mackerel and a tuna, bonito
is the smallest of the tuna family, rarely weighing over 25 pounds. They
range from moderate to high fat and are the most strongly flavored of
the tunas. Many Japanese recipes call for dried bonito ("dashi").
Brailing - When
fish are concentrated alongside the catching vessel in a purse seine
net, a brail or dip net is used to lift them aboard.
Breaded: Product covered in liquid dip, bread crumbs and
seasonings. The breading forms a jacket within which the product cooks
gently. Breading helps to retain moisture in the product during cooking,
and also adds contrasting texture and flavor to the product.
Bream - More of a
catch-all term for any of several freshwater or saltwater fish than a
fish species, per se. It’s most close to an alternate term for any fish
of the sunfish family, a major North American freshwater fish. But,
bream is also loosely used to refer to saltwater fish such as the
American porgy, the Japanese sea bream and the French daurade, which are
all quite different.
Brill - Hard or
near impossible to find in the U.S., this is an excellent European
saltwater flatfish closely related to the turbot, which it is often
mistaken for. Like most flatfish, the brill has a flakey, light flesh
that is best broiled, fried, baked, grilled or poached.
Freezing seafood by soaking in liquid brine.
King crab or snow crab is often brine-frozen.
Brined - Often
referred to as "pickled" or "wet salted." The process of immersing a
fish in a solution of food-grade salt and water for a period of time to
allow the fish tissue to absorb a quantity of the salt.
Broil: to cook an item in the lower section of the oven where
heat contacts the item from above. This method is good for
browning the topside of a fillet or other seafood. Also known as
Bubble Pack -
Packaging in which whole-cooked lobster is frozen in brine and packed in
a sealed plastic "bubble" with water. Also called "popsicle" pack.
This freshwater fish, which belongs to the
sucker family, is similar to carp. It offers a coarse but sweet, low-fat
flesh that lends itself to a variety of cooking methods.
Bullhead: A small, freshwater catfish that usually weighs in
at under a pound. Its flesh is lean and mild in flavor.
Bummalo: Aka bombay duck - a small, semi-transparent fish that
is found in the Arabian Sea off the west coast of India. They can be
eaten fresh, but more commonly, they are sun-dried and often have
asafoetida added to them. Also known as bumalo or bummalow it has a very
strong and salted fish taste. It will keep a long time, providing it is
kept dry and is usually eaten having been grilled, baked or shallow
fried until crispy and then be crumbled over rice and curries, and is
sometimes served as a starter or cocktail snack.
Burbot: A freshwater cod with a lean white flesh and a
delicate flavor. It is normally poached, baked, broiled or sautéed.
Unit of measure equal to 8 gallons or 32-quart
capacity. Often used to measure quantity of clams, oysters or crabs.
Butter Clam - A
small, hard-shell clam native to the protected bays and estuaries of the
Pacific Northwest. Canada is largest producer with Washington State’s
Puget Sound second in importance. Most are caught wild, with a quarter
farmed. These sweet clams can be cooked in a variety of ways, including
steaming, stewing and frying. See also clam.
Butterfish: This small, high-fat fish has a tender texture and
a rich, sweet flavor. Found off the coast of the Atlantic and the Gulf
of Mexico, this fish is also called the "dollarfish," "Pacific pompano,"
Butterflied - A
fish fillet or shrimp that has been split. A butterfly fillet is cut
along both side with the two pieces remaining joined by a piece of skin
and flesh. Butterfly shrimp is peeled and deveined with the shell left
on the last tail segment.
Peeled and deveined shrimp with the shell
left on the last (tail) segment. Shrimp in this form is often breaded.
By-Catch - That
part of a fish catch that is incidental to the target species.