How to Cook Fish and Seafood - Recipes and Information
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Glossary of Terms for Fish, Shellfish, Crustaceans and other Cooking Ingredients & Methods

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Dab - This flatfish is variety of flounder that features a sweet, firm flesh.


Dahn Line - From a surface buoy a vertical drop line is positioned alongside underwater pinnacles in depths to 2500 m. Bluenose, groper and bass are taken on the lower part of the line which has numerous baited hooks attached.


Danish Seine - A single or pair boat operation where an area of seafloor of approximately 2 square kilometres is swept as two encircling ropes leading to a trawl-like net are retrieved by the operating vessel(s). Fish within the area of the ropes are herded back into the net during hauling.


Daurade - The French name for any of several freshwater or saltwater fish including the American porgy and the Japanese sea bream. In general, bream can be grilled, baked or fried. Not to be confused with dorado, another name for mahi-mahi.


Deep Skinned - Removing the fat layer underneath the skin on oily species for milder flavor and improved shelf life.


Defatted - See deep-skinned.


Demersal - Living on or near the sea bottom.


Depuration - A process used to clean and treat clams harvested from closed or specially regulated areas.


Devein - To remove the sand vein (intestine) from the tail section of a shrimp, lobster or other crustacean.


Dip - A number of similar chemicals are used in processing seafoods to help retain moisture, and sometimes to improve the appearance by whitening. The use of dips is long established and so far as is known, harmless. It is common in other parts of the food industry.


Diurnal Migration - The daily vertical movement of marine organisms usually between deeper water by day and the midwater or surface by night.


Dogfish - Not a fish, but rather a general name for several species of smaller sharks, some of which run in schools. The most famous of these sharks are the spiny dogfish and the smooth dogfish. The dogfish name refers to the size and shape of the fish, and the young are even called “pups.” Dogfish can found in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans as well as the Mediterranean Sea. Dogfish has a firm, moderately lean flesh with a fairly strong flavor. They are used in many cuisines but generally considered trash fish in the U.S., and difficult to find in markets here; although they are becoming more available over time. In the U.K. it is widely used for Fish and Chips.



Dollarfish - 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 "butterfish."


Dolphin Fish - Also called "Mahi Mahi" and "Dorado." Although this fish is a dolphin, it is not a mammal. To avoid confusion, the Hawaiian name "Mahi Mahi" is becoming prevalent. This fish is moderately fat with firm, flavorful flesh.


Dorsal - The top of a fish.


Dorsal Fin - The top fin of a fish.


Double Fillet - Fillets cut from both sides of the fish, with the two pieces remaining joined at the back. Also called "butterfly fillet."


Double Frozen - Fish or shellfish that is frozen at sea, thawed for reprocessing in a plant onshore and then frozen a second time. Also called "twice-frozen" or "refrozen."


Dover Sole - or English Sole - In the U.S., English Sole is rarely found. Rather, the “ Filet of Sole” found here is a species of flounder, also commonly called Lemon Sole. In Europe, this flatfish is a true sole that has a fine textured, low fat flesh. True English Sole is a small fish, ranging from 1/4 to 2 pounds, and when it can be found, it is usually already filleted and labeled “Fillet of Sole.” (Americans use the French word filet rather than the English word fillet.) English Sole is usually prepared in ways to protect its fine texture, such as baking, broiling, poaching and sautéing.


Dragger - A term interchangeable with a fishing trawler boat. Draggers tow a large net.


Drawn Fish - Entrails, gills and scales removed. Since entrails cause rapid spoilage, drawn fish have a longer storage life.


Dredging - The fishing vessel tows a rigid steel framed dredge along the seafloor to gather scallops or, in the case of oyster capture, a steel ring mesh dredge is used.


Dressed Fish - Completely cleaned but with head on (head removed is usually called pan-dressed). Both forms are ready for stuffing and are generally cooked in one piece.


Dried - Indicates that seafood has been dehydrated by natural (air, sun) or mechanical means.


Drip Loss - Weight loss that occurs as a seafood product gives up moisture. Also, loss of moisture during the thawing of frozen seafood.


Dry Pack - A pack form of chopped clams that contains no clam juice.


Dry Salting - A coating process used in curing seafood. It helps dry the outside of the product, allowing it to acquire a denser, firmer texture.


Drum - Any of a variety of fish named for the drumming or deep croaking noise they make. These fish are firm and low in fat. The drum family include the black croaker, black drum, hardhead, kingfish, and queenfish.


Dungeness Crab - Typically associated with the Pacific Northwest, particularly the town of Dungeness, Washington, where it was first commercially harvested, Dungeness crab can be found from Alaska to Mexico. A large crab, it can range from 1 to 4 pounds, and yields excellent meat that is sweet, yet slightly marine in flavor. One of the most flavorful of all crabs. Typically it is steamed, and eaten with fingers, by removing the top, breaking in half, and removing the viscera, and the “deadman’s fingers” or gills, then serving with drawn butter and a nut cracker or mallet. It can be served chilled or hot.



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