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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Gaping - The separation of the individual flakes of meat in a fillet. Gaping can be a natural feature of the fish flesh or a result of poor handling. Also refers to the opened shell of live shellfish. Severe gaping indicates the animal is dead and that the shellfish should not be eaten.

 

Garfish - (Hyporhamphus ihi). Average size 20-25 cm. Species restricted to New Zealand but is very similar to other species widely distributed elsewhere. Greenish back with dark markings, silver white below. Characteristic projecting lower jaw, which gives it the name half-beak, and opposing dorsal and anal fin. The half beak distinguishes it from the saury which has a long double beak. Garfish are found in inshore waters around New Zealand, saury is oceanic. Pelagic; schools for spawning mid summer. Caught by beach seining. Small local fisheries. Resource size unknown but undoubtedly very small. Flesh has medium colour and texture.

 

Gastropod - A type of mollusk, the shell of gastropods is of one piece and usually coiled or spiraled, or completely absent, hence why the are also known as univalves. Periwinkles, conches, whelks, limpets, and abalones, are examples of the former, sea slugs (knows as sea cucumbers) an example of the latter. They are generally not as important culinary as bivalve mollusks.

 

Gefilte Fish: This popular Jewish dish consists of ground fish mixed with eggs, matzo meal, and seasonings that have been formed into balls or patties then simmered in vegetable or fish stock. The fish used is usually carp, pike, or whitefish.

 

Gel Pack - A coolant package filled with a combination of water and a gel-type material used for shipping seafood. Coolants are often dyed blue so any leakage is obvious.

 

 

Gem Scallop - (Chlamys delicatula) Occurs from as shallow as 20m out to at least 400m, but most common in IOO-150m. Quite abundant in some localities. Smaller than the scallop, about 6-8cm across the shell, but as both valves are curved the edible meat is of reasonable size. Also known as Queen Scallop

 

Gemfish - Average size 60-90 cm, weighing 2.5-4.5 kg but many grow to over 175 cm in length. Occurs around New Zealand and southern Australia with a related species in Japan. Blueish back, silvery sides and belly; skin smooth. Distinguished from the related barracouta by two lateral lines, a deeper body, more silvery skin. Found throughout  New Zealand coastal waters, more common in the south, 150-200 m. Trawled incidentally throughout its range, no major grounds known. Main season February-July. Flesh white. Delicate texture, flakes easily. High fat content. Excellent smoked. Suitable for most cooking methods. Does not have the pinbone structure found in barracouta.

 

Geoduck - Pronounced gooey-duck, these are enormous Pacific soft-shell clams. It is mostly found in Pacific Northwest, and can weigh up to 12 pounds—though they average 3 pounds. It is the largest intertidal, burrowing bivalve in the world, with a shell of only 6 inches, and a neck that can extend up to a foot and a half. Difficult to obtain, the are rarely marketed. When found, the neck can be cut or ground for chowders, and the body meat can be prepared like abalone, which it resembles. Clam Trivia: Based on fossil records, geoducks are among the oldest animals in the word.

 

Glaze: Protective coating of ice on frozen product to prevent dehydration. There are laws against excessive glazing.

 

Glazed - Indicates fish has been dipped in water after freezing. Ice forms a glaze around the fish or meat, protecting it from damage by freezer burn. Fish or shellfish may be "reglazed," or "double-glazed" to ensure adequate protection.

 

Goatfish: Goatfish is so named because of its two long "whiskers" that resemble a goat's whiskers. The meat is firm and lean. This fish is normally available only on the East Coast and through the Florida Keys.

 

Goosefish: This large low-fat, firm-textured salt-water fish has a mild, sweet flavor that compares with lobster. Also called "angler fish," and "monkfish."

 

Grading - A term for incremental measurement of seafood products, such as counts per pound of shrimp or weight range of fillets.

 

Gravlax - Fillets of salmon rubbed with a mixture of coarse salt, sugar and white pepper, placed meat side against meat-side with mustard and dill and pressed with weights in a chilled environment for at least 24 hours.

 

Green - Term used for uncooked or raw seafood (usually crustaceans / shrimp/prawns)

 

Green Headless - Raw, heads-off, unshelled shrimp; does not indicate actual color.

 

Green Sheet: The name by which most people refer to the Market News Reports issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service from New York.

 

Greening - A rare condition affecting shrimp; caused by thermal abuse and/or contaminants in the breading.

 

Grenadiers - Most species small, averaging 15-30 cm, but a few grow to over 60 cm. Several genera and over 20 species in New Zealand waters. A commonly caught species, the javelin fish (Lepidorhynchus denticulatus) can be distinguished from most other grenadiers by its silvery body, and from hold by its black ventral surface and blunt snout. Grenadiers or macrourids can be an important trawl by-catch and are generally captured in waters deeper than 200 m. The largest group of grenadier species are the rattails (Coelorinchus spp), abundant in 200-800 m, together with the javelin fish. They are potentially commercial, but macrourids are probably more important as food for other fish. Hold is sometimes referred to as blue grenadier but is related to the hakes and is not one of the grenadiers. Flesh white, delicate texture, medium moisture. Flesh of some species is similar to red cod or ribaldo.

 

Grey Mullet - (Mugil cephalus). Average size 30 -40cm and less than 1 kg, but can grow to about 60cm. Widespread throughout tropical and subtropical seas. Thick-bodied with a broad head and snout. Grey above, tinged with blue or green, with faint stripes along sides, silver below. Eye dull yellow. Large scales. Distinguished from yelloweye mullet by broader head and presence of lateral stripes. A surface dwelling coastal species rarely seen offshore. Most common in northern New Zealand in sheltered bays and harbours. Caught mainly by set nets and beach seines. Taken all year round but landings are highest November - March. Resource size unknown but probably small. Flesh pinkish grey, medium firm, with seasonally high fat content. The roe is considered a delicacy. Makes excellent smoked product and is suitable for all cooking methods.

 

Grill: 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 "Broil"

 

Groper - (Polyprion oxygeneious) Average length 80-120 cm, average weight 6 kg, ranging from 3-20kg. Occurs in New Zealand and southern Australia. Similar to groupers or sea basses (Family Serranidae) widely distributed elsewhere. Grey-blue to grey-brown above, white below, and has small scales. Distinguished from the related but less common bass groper by its more slender body, pointed head, and protruding lower jaw. Found right around New Zealand, including the Chatham Rise but not the Campbell Plateau. Most common over or near rocky areas, down to 250 metres. Main fishing areas are the deep canyons off the East Coast of the North Island, Cook Strait, off Kaikoura and off the West Coast of the South Island. Caught mainly by longline and handline, though occasionally by trawl and recently set net. Available all year round but landings peak in mid winter during the spawning season, June-August. A small to moderate resource. Firm flesh, of excellent eating quality, suitable for all methods of cooking. Makes good steaks. In season, June-August, has excellent roes, large and very suitable for smoking.

 

Groundfish: Broadly, fish that are caught on or near the sea floor. The term includes a wide variety of bottomfishes, rockfishes, and flatfishes. However, the National Marine Fisheries Service sometimes uses the term in a narrower sense. The term usually applies to cod, cusk, haddock, hake, pollock and Atlantic ocean perch.

 

Grouper: This true sea bass, found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, has a lean firm flesh. Its skin has a strong flavor and should be removed prior to cooking. Groupers have the ability to change to the color of their surroundings.

 

Gutted - Fully eviscerated.

 

 

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