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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HACCP - Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point; a mandatory food-safety program implemented by the seafood industry in December 1997 to minimize risk to public health. HACCP requires suppliers to write up and follow a program detailing all points in their manufacturing process where hazards exist; these are the critical control points.


H&G - Headed and gutted. hard-smoked Products that have been smoked for up to several weeks.


Haddock - A North Atlantic fish, the smaller cousin to the cod. The haddock has firm white flesh that is mild in flavor. Smoked haddock is called "finnan."


Hake - This low-fat saltwater fish, related to the cod, is found in the Atlantic and North Pacific. It's flesh features a white, delicate flavor.


Halibut - A low-fat, firm white and mild-flavored fish from the flatfish family. Resembles a gigantic flounder. "Chicken Halibuts" weigh up to ten pounds and are considered the finest halibut.



Headed - Fish from which the head has been removed.


Headed and Gutted (H&G) - Have head and viscera removed before sale.


Herring - A small salt-water fish related to the shad, alewife, sardine, and the freshwater cisco. Herring is often pickled, smoked, and dressed in numerous sauces. As a high fat fish, the fresh meat has a soft, fine grain texture best suited for dry heat cooking. Most often, its encountered in one of its very many cured forms:

  • Pickled herring, a popular form in Scandinavia and Russia, is marinated in vinegar and spices, then canned in either a wine or sour cream sauce.
  • A rollmop is a cured herring fillet, rolled up and preserved in vinegar, flavored by onions and spices. 
  • A kipper (or kippered herring) is a split and smoked herring, and a Bloater is a whole smoked herring. Both of these smoked herring are important in British cuisine.
  • Raw herring (really enzyme-cured like ceviche) with raw shredded onions is a typical Dutch delicacy.
  • Silds are an immature Herring that are canned as sardines in Norway.
  • Very young Herring called Whitebait are eaten or cooked whole. Herring can also be prepared as herring soup.
  • In Germany, herring is pickled to make matjes, or soused herring, curing them in a spiced sugar-vinegar brine.


Histamines - Chemicals produced by decomposition of flesh in scombroid species (tuna, mahi mahi, mackerel) from poor handling. Not usually fatal in individuals with normal immune systems.


HLSO - head less shell (in reference to shrimp or prawns)


Hoki - A white fish resembling Hake quite bland in flavor and relatively bone free, it can be fried, baked and poached and goes well with a rich sauce. It is fished in large quantities off New Zealand and is mainly exported.


Honeycombing - see gaping.


Holiday - A condition in which the glaze is missing entirely, an indication of improper glazing.


HOSO - head on shell on (in reference to shrimp or prawns)


Hot Smoked - Fish exposed to smoke at gradually increasing temperatures (up to 180 F) over a period of 12 to 18 hours, resulting in coagulation of the protein. The product is cooked through, has a dry texture and an intensely smoky flavor.



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