Salmon: a group of fish, most sought after are Pacific salmon, of
which there are several species. Salmon are available wild caught
or farm raised. Salmon is known for it's visually appealing orange
or pink flesh and high Omega 3 oil content.
While wild salmon are caught in North
America, northern Europe, and elsewhere, much of today’s salmon supply
is farmed. Atlantic salmon are farmed around the world and account for
more than 95% of all the pen-raised salmon (the remainder is Cohoe), and
five large companies produce half the world’s farmed salmon. (It takes
about 30 to 36 months to raise an Atlantic salmon from an egg to a
market size of about 10 pounds.) While farming makes salmon accessible
to more people, it does not produce as fine a product as wild salmon:
fish live in tanks with their own waste instead of flowing streams and
rivers, and are fed antibiotics. A synthetic carotenoid pigment is added
to their feed to achieve the reddish-orange color that wild salmon get
naturally from eating caretonid-rich shrimp and other natural feed. In
addition to the Atlantic salmon:
Cohoes or “silvers”
are the middle-of-the-road salmon. The resource isn’t that big, and
though it can be an excellent eating fish, it’s not as highly
regarded as a king or a sockeye salmon. Seventy percent of world
production is farmed. They weigh 2 to 12 pounds.
Keta or Chum salmon have an
excellent texture, attractive meat color and a lower oil content
that helps to give them a mild delicate flavor. This species is the
meatiest with the firmest texture of the wild salmon. Most weigh
from 4 to 13 pounds.
King salmon, a.k.a. Chinook,
are the largest and most prized of the wild salmon: big,
silvery, fighting fish, with a rich red meat. They are found on the
eastern North Pacific, from the Yukon River in Alaska to the
Sacramento River in central California. The most famous and
highly-prized for their fat marbling are Alaska’s Copper River
salmon, along with the Copper River sockeye, is the first major
variety of wild salmon to come to market each year (the Copper River
empties into the Gulf of Alaska—the season begins May 14 and lasts a
month). It has more fats than other species, providing more flavor.
King salmon typically weigh from 5 to 40 pounds but can exceed 100
Pink salmon are the largest
in volume (200 million return to the rivers and streams of North
America in good summer). In terms of size, though, pinks are the
smallest of the five species of Pacific salmon, averaging just 3
Sockeye salmon are the
money fish in the wild salmon business, with the reddest flesh and
highest level of omega 3 essential fatty acids. They weigh up to 15
pounds. Alaska produces more than 75% of the world sockeye harvest.
About 60% of the North American harvest is exported to Japan and 30%
is canned for domestic consumption.
Salmonella: A microorganism
causing food poisoning in humans, salmonella is very common and is found
on meat, poultry and rarely, seafood. Normal cooking destroys
Salted - The process of mixing
fish with dry, food-grade salt such that the resulting brine drains
Sand Flounder - (Rhombosolea
plebeia). Average size 25-35 cm. Occurs around New Zealand only. Colour
brownish to greenish grey, blind side white. Adult diamond-shaped, but
juveniles more rounded and easily confused with young yellowbelly
flounders. Distinguished from yellowbelly by larger eyes, colour, and
adult angular shape. Found throughout New Zealand coastal waters down to
100 m. Caught by trawl and set net. Available throughout the year. The
most abundant flounder species in New Zealand. Upper side fillets
slightly darker than under side but whiten on cooking. Flesh moist, with
Sardine - A small, young,
saltwater fish with soft edible bones, found in the Mediterranean. There
are other small, young saltwater fish found that are called sardines but
they are not true sardines, such as the Pacific and Atlantic herring,
blueback herring and sprat. The sardine is a silver color and has a rich
flavored flesh that is dark colored. Fresh sardines should be put on ice
immediately and eaten as soon as possible, but in the U.S. they are
often hard to find fresh. They are generally found canned in olive oil,
soy oil or water. Sardines are popular as an appetizer and are good
broiled or grilled.
Sashimi - Japanese-style raw fish
cut into various forms and served with dipping sauces. Only high quality
fish are used. Fat level must be high and taste, firmness, and texture
are very important.
- Cooking over high heat in a shallow pan. A perfect piece of
sautéed fish is golden brown on the outside and moist and tender on
the inside. Season the fish with a little salt and pepper, then dip
it in flour, shaking off the excess. In a nonstick pan, add a
teaspoon of oil and arrange the fish in a single layer. Turn the
fish over when the bottom is nicely browned, and continue cooking
until it flakes easily with a fork.
Scallop - A very popular bivalve
mollusk with matching fan-shaped shells frequently used serve dishes in
such as the famous Coquilles St. Jacques. There are hundreds of species
of scallops around the world, but three of them dominate scallop sales
in the U.S.: North Atlantic sea scallops, bay scallops and the Japanese
sea scallop. The most common portion eaten in the U.S. is the round
adductor muscle, the disc-shaped white meat which connects a scallop's
tissue to its shell. In most other countries, however, scallops are
eaten with the roe attached to the adductor meat. Live scallops, which
are eaten whole like clams or oysters, are also increasingly popular.
Generally, the bigger the scallop, the more expensive it is. Fresh bay
scallops are available on the East Coast in the fall, whereas fresh sea
scallops are best mid-fall to mid-spring.
Bay scallops are usually
found on the East Coast, and are quite small, reaching the muscle
reaching only 1/2 inch or so wide. They are sweeter than the sea
scallop. They're also less common and so more expensive than the sea
scallop. Bay scallops typically run 80/120 per pound
The sea scallop’s muscle averages 1-1/2 inches across. North Atlantic sea scallops,
which are harvested from Nova Scotia to Virginia, are the largest
scallops sold in the U.S., averaging 10/40 count per pound. While
almost as sweet as bay scallops, they are less tenders.
There is also a tiny calico scallop,
caught off the coast of Florida, which runs 150/250 per pound.
Scampi: Another name for large
shrimp, usually about 1 oz. or larger. Outside the U.S., the term is
also applied to lobster. Also a method of preparation, usually with
shrimp, that includes butter and garlic.
Scombroid - See
Also spelled schrod. Small
Atlantic cod, haddock or pollock whole, 2.5 pound or less. Available
whole dressed or as fillets.
Sea Bass - Chilean Sea Bass, Mero,
Patagonian Toothfish. A round saltwater fish whose flesh has a firm
white flesh, flaky texture and rich, oily flavor—putting it in great
demand in the U.S., Japan and China. The name “Chilean sea bass” stems
from the fact the fish was first commercially harvested in Chilean
waters, and a more attractive marketing name was sought than its actual
name, Patagonian toothfish—a unique species and not a bass at all. Now,
however, sea bass are also fished off the coasts of Argentina, South
Africa, an Australia plus assorted other waters in the southern
latitudes. It can be cooked by broiling, baking, frying or steaming and
makes a good fish for cooking whole. If the fish has been properly
cooked, the meat will appear opaque but will still be moist.
Sea Perch - (Helicolenus spp).
Average length 25-35 cm, average weight 400-650 gm. Occurs around New
Zealand and southern Australia. Related to northern hemisphere redfish.
Helicolenus percoides is reddish-orange with brown and yellow dorsal
patterns; Helicolenus barathri is redder in colour. Moderate scales.
Head and gill spines less developed than in the red scorpion fishes; the
dorsal colour pattern distinguishes them from several unrelated red or
orange perches. Sea perch occur around New Zealand, 200-600 m, possibly
more common in the south. A moderate by-catch by trawlers and line
vessels. There are unrelated perches which include orange perch,
butterfly perch, red-banded perch, and splendid perch. They are quite
similar to sea perch and are sometimes caught with them. Orange perch (Anthias
pulchellus) has orange shading above to silver below; widespread but
uncommon in 200-400 m; is a small by-catch of trawling. Flesh white,
medium texture. Suited to all cooking methods.
- A sea animal that can
grow up to 10 inches in diameter and consists of a hard shell that is
covered by prickly spines, similar to a porcupine. The sea urchin is
considered a delicacy in Japan, Korea and other Asian countries. It is
mostly harvested for its eggs, which range in color from cream to
Seafood - Any type of fish or
shellfish that comes from the sea and is edible.
Sections: The three walking legs
and one claw on one side of king, snow or Dungeness crab, all attached
at the shoulder.
Semibright - Chum salmon that has
been harvested in freshwater, on its way to spawn. Semibrights are also
Set Net - A wall of netting
constructed of fine twine and held erect by a float line is anchored on
the seafloor for periods of several hours. Fish are snared as they
endeavour to swim through the meshes.
- The largest member of the
herring family, it has a slight oiliness and a mildly sweet flavor that
resembles pompano and salmon. Shad is an anadromous fish, which means
that it is born in freshwater, migrates to saltwater to mature and then
returns to freshwater to spawn. It is hard to fillet because of its many
small bones, so it may be desirable to purchase one already filleted.
Otherwise, it can be steamed or baked at a low temperature for more than
six hours, until the bones disintegrate. Female shad is more in demand
than male because it is fatter and larger, and because it contain the
Shatterpack: A box of frozen fish
fillets separated by interleaved polyethylene sheets. Fillets can be
separated by dropping the box, "shattering" the pack.
- The expected amount
of time a seafood product will remain in high-quality condition for
consumption. In general, the higher the fat content, the more prone the
product is to spoilage and flavor changes. Most of these changes are
retarded by cold temperatures.
Shellfish: Two major groups of
seafood are called shellfish. Mollusks include clams, oysters, mussels,
conch, snails and scallops. Crustaceans include Shrimp, Crab, Lobsters, lobster
and crawfish. Squid and octopus are generally considered shellfish as
Shortfinned Eel - (Anguilla
austrails). Average adult size: Shortfin 40-50 cm (males), 50-80 cm
(females). Shortfin occurs in New Zealand and southeast Australia.
Shortfin has shorter dorsal fin, smaller more slender head, and smaller
mouth than longfin. shortfin abundant in coastal ponds, lakes and swamps
and in some inland lakes. On reaching maturity they migrate to the sea
to breed. The maturing shortfin adults change to greenish bronze with
distinctly metallic silvery-grey belly. The shortfin matures at an
earlier age (average female 19 years). The migrant eels have a much
higher fat content. Caught mainly by fyke nets, some by traps and pots.
. Flesh white, with firm texture. Fat content variable but generally
lower than fat content of European eels. Makes excellent smoked product.
Shouldered - A form of preparation
where the head, viscera, and belly flaps are removed by a cut made from
the back of the head to the rear of the belly cavity.
Shrimp: a term for several species
of small crustaceans. Wild American shrimp include white shrimp (Litopenaeus
setiferus), brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus), pink shrimp (Penaeus
duorarum), royal red shrimp (Pleoticus robustus or Hymenopenaeus
robustus) and rock shrimp (Sicyonia brevirostris) See also
Shrimp Paste - An Asian paste made
from grinding fermented shrimp and salt together, which may be dried to
be shaped into cakes or kept in a soft, paste form. Made from shrimp
meat that is either ground and salted or with meat placed whole in jars
where it is allowed to ferment, shrimp paste has a very strong aroma and
provides a very salty, fishy flavor when used in foods. It ranges in
color from grayish-pink to brownish and is used sparingly in Asian
soups, sauces, curries, marinades, and rice dishes so it does not
overpower the flavor of the main ingredients being prepared.
- Natural weight loss of
seafood due to seepage or fluids draining from product, also called drip
or purge. Also, loss of seafood product or profitability due to other
means, such as discarding seafood too old to sell.
Silver Warehou - (Sertolella
punctata). Average length 40-60cm, average weight 2.5kg. Occurs around
New Zealand and the southern coasts of Australia and South America.
Blue-grey above and silvery-white below, head dark, with a coloured
point extending towards dorsal fin; a dark pectoral blotch, and some
spots along the side - fewer in large fish; skin pitted. More slender
shape than the blue and white warehous. The white warehou is uniformly
greyish white, has no apparent scales or pits, no pectoral blotch, and
has a relatively larger eye. Both silver and white warehous are caught
by trawling and are available all year round. Both silver and white
warehou have white flesh of firm texture. Suited to all methods of
cooking. Silver warehou has high fat content.
Silverbright - A term referring to
chum salmon that have been harvested at sea rather than in freshwater.
Silverside - (Argentina elongata).
Average size about 25 cm weighing 100 gm. Closely related to the
European species. Occurs around New Zealand and southern Australia with
similar species in northern temperate waters. Pale yellowish grey, with
a bright silver band along each side. Large but thin and loose scales.
Demersal. Caught by trawling as a by-catch. Fish too small for most
permitted mesh sizes. Flesh very translucent and delicate texture.
Skate - A saltwater fish found in
temperate waters throughout the world. It is part of the ray family and
is related to the shark. Skate has a flat body with triangle shaped
wings on each side of its body. The wings are the edible part of the
fish and are boneless. The meat of the skate has a mild, sweet flavor
with a gelatin-like texture. If not available, catfish, shark or
sturgeon can be substituted.
Skinned: Some species of fish are
skinned rather than dressed, such as catfish and eels.
Slacked Out - Frozen seafood that
has been thawed.
Smoked Fish - Fish fillets that
have been cured with smoldering, aromatic wood. The smoke from the
burning wood gives the fish a distinctive smoky flavor and scent. Trout,
salmon, herring, cod, and mackerel are some of the fish that are popular
choices for smoking. Smoked fish is sold in fish markets and some
Smooth Oreo Dory - (Pseudocyttus
maculates). Average length 35-45 cm, average weight about 1 kg.
Distributed around New Zealand and southern coasts of Australia, South
Africa and South America. Despite the name, it is not a member of the
family Zeidae (true dories) which are marketed as dory, but belongs to a
closely related family. Grey with large dark spots, more prominent in
small fish. Scales very small, easily dislodged. Distinguished from
other oreos by the very small scales, small fin spines and generally
rounded, smooth body form. Occurs around the south of New Zealand, 600m
to over 1000 m. Distribution tends to overlap black oreo dory and spiky
oreo dory. New Zealand’s second most abundant oreo dory. Caught by
deepsea trawling. Available all year. Firm white fillets which are
larger and thicker than fillets of black oreo dory. Does not flake
easily, holds together with cooking. Suitable for most cooking methods.
Snail - or Escargot. A univalve
mollusk with a spiral shell. Of the various varieties, the vineyard
snail, which feeds on grape leaves, is considered the best eating; but
it grows slowly and is difficult to raise. It has a dull yellowish brown
streaked shell with a blotchy flesh, and grows to approximately 1- 1/2
to 1 3/4 inches in size. The French petit-gris is a smaller variety,
growing to about 1 inch, and is currently grown in the United States.
Its shell and flesh are brownish gray in color. Fresh snails can be
found in specialty markets throughout the year and are generally boiled
first and then baked or broiled in the shell. Canned and packaged snail
shells are also available in many supermarkets.
Snap-n-eats - Crab legs that have
been cooked, frozen and scored through the shell so they can be
hand-cracked for easy eating.
Snapper - (Chrysophrys auratus).
Average size 30-50cm weighing 0.5 to 5.5kg, but smaller fish are common
in shallow water. Occasionally grow to over 80cm and more than 10kg.
Occurs around New Zealand and Australia with a very similar species in
Japan. Golden pink to reddish above, with numerous small blue spots on
the upper sides, paler to white below: individuals vary from pale pink
to dark red-bronze. Strong teeth: moderate firm scales. Only species of
sea bream family found in New Zealand and easily recognised. Very
important commercially. Caught mainly by trawling, Danish seining and
longlining: some by set netting. A very popular food fish. Flesh white,
medium texture. Suitable for most cooking methods, including smoking. In
season, October-December, has excellent roes: very suitable for smoking.
Snow Crab - This crustacean, also
known as the Queen Crab or Spider Crab, is harvested in the cold waters
off Canada’s North Atlantic coasts. Whole legs can be found frozen, as
well as the meat, pulled from the shells, in many food stores. The meat
is mild and sweet, with a firm texture. Orangey-pink on the surface and
white inside, the crabmeat is composed of fine filaments. Whole legs are
cooked in a variety of ways, including steaming, and served with drawn
butter. The removed meat is usually served cool, in salads, or added to
a variety of dishes. It is the inspiration for the dyed, whitefish based
Soft Shell Crabs - Soft Shell
Crabs, in season from April to mid-September (with their peak in June
and July), are blue crabs that have shed their hard shells.
- Seafood packer and processor, canned, fresh and frozen Pasteurized
Crabmeat, Blue Swimming Crab, Portunus Pelagicus, Soft Shell Crab,
Stuffed Raw Crabmeat, Raw Crabmeat Portion
Sole - True soles belong to the
Soleidae family. The highest value sole, the true Dover sole, Solea
solea, is fished in the eastern North Atlantic off Europe. Small
quantities of true Dover are exported to white tablecloth restaurants in
the U.S., primarily on the East Coast. The popular Dover sole,
Microstomus pacificus, which is fished off the West Coast and Alaska, is
a flounder that sells for considerably less than its European namesake.
Dover sole is the most common flounder sold on the West Coast. Although
Dover can reach 10 pounds in size, most are 1 to 1- 1/2 pounds.
Sook - A female blue crab. (a male
is a Jimmy)
Soused - The cooking of fish in
vinegar (or lemon juice) with herbs and spices for seasoning.
Southern Blue Whiting - (Micromesistius
australis). Average size about 40 cm weighing 400 gm. Occurs around
southern New Zealand and southern South America; a similar but smaller
species occurs in the northern hemisphere. Grey, faintly bluish above,
with many small black spots, silver-white below; small, loose scales.
Distinguished from small hake by three dorsal and two anal fins, but
similar to some other deepwater cods. The Russian name for this fish,
poutassou, is used in a number of other countries. Deepwater, mainly
demersal, but becoming increasingly pelagic in the spring spawning
season. Caught by trawling. Flesh white, delicate texture, moist with
low fat, and flakes easily. Similar flesh to hold. The flesh is firmer
than the flesh of the blue whiting from the northern hemisphere and is
free from parasites.
Spiny Lobster - or Rock Lobster.
Spiny lobsters provide what most consumers buy as “lobster tails”—a big
tail, bursting with meat. “Spiny lobster” and “rock lobster” are
interchangeable terms. Both refer to some 40 species of clawless lobster
found around the world. They generally range from 1 to 5 pounds, but can
grow to 15 pounds. The vast majority of spiny lobster sold in the U.S.
is sold as frozen tails, although much of the world harvest is sold live
to Asian markets. Spiny lobster are marketed as either warmwater or
coldwater, with the latter getting a premium because of their preferred
flavor, texture and reputation for superior processing.
Split - A fish cut open from the
throat or nape to the tail. Gills, guts and roe have been removed, head
or backbone may be removed. Also, P&D shrimp cut into two separate
halves, attached only at the tail fin. Cooked, frozen red king or snow
crab legs or claws, split to expose meat for easy access.
Spp. -taxonomic abbreviation
signifying more than one species.
Sprat - (Sprattus antipodum).
Average size about 8-12cm, grow to 15 cm. Restricted to New Zealand
only. Dark blue above, silver below. Laterally compressed and a row of
scutes along belly midline; these two features distinguish the species
from anchovy, pilchard and small mullet. Pelagic and common in inshore
waters around South Island and in localised patches around North Island.
Tends to be a bottom or midwater species except during summer when
surface shoals may appear. Found all year; extends to deeper water in
summer and retreats to close inshore for spawning during winter. No
developed fishery at present. Sometimes caught for bait. Flesh darkish,
oily. Suitable for canning.
Squid - or Calamari. Also called
by its Italian name, calamari, this cephalopod has ten arms and is
related to both the octopus and cuttlefish. Squid are mollusks, just
like clams, mussels and oysters. The difference is squid have an
internal shell, which is called a pen. Squid can usually be found from 2
to 3 inches long up to 10 inches. Although almost a hundred species of
squid are fished commercially, two species, the Japanese flying squid
and the Argentine shortfin squid account for over half the world
harvest. Squid is the second most widely consumed shellfish in the world
but is more popular in Asian and Mediterranean cuisines than in U.S.,
with the exception of fried calamari, a staple appetizer at many
restaurants, and in sushi. As with octopus, the the ink can be used to
color or flavor dishes such as Black Pasta or Calamares en su Tinta
(“squid in their ink”).
Slices of dressed fish
smaller than chunks. They yield an edible portion of about 86% to 92%.
They are ready for cooking. Salmon, halibut, swordfish and other large
fish are commonly processed and sold as steaks.
- Cooking over the hot vapors of water, wine or other liquid. Season
the fish with your favorite spices, then place it in a steamer
basket with enough room for each piece to lie flat. Check the fish
for doneness after 10 minutes.
Stone Crab - A very popular crab
from the American south, its name comes from its stone like, oval shell.
Only the claws are eaten, and they are harvested by simply twisting off
one claw and releasing the crab to grow a new one. This re-growth can
take 1 or 2 years. The female crabs are not allowed to be de-clawed. In
Florida, where most Stone crabs are harvested, the season runs from
October 15th to May 15th. The claws are sold precooked and frozen to
prevent the meat from sticking to the shell. It’s sold by size, with
Jumbo being the largest typically available—around 1/3 of a pound a
claw. It’s traditionally served cooked, chilled, cracked, and with
STP - An additive, sodium
tripolyphosphate, used on fish and shrimp to retain moisture.
Striped Bass - A lean saltwater
fish with flesh that is tender, white, and mildly sweet. The striped
bass is a saltwater fish that migrates to fresh water to spawn. It is a
versatile fish that can be prepared in many ways, but when grilling, it
is best to place the fish in a fish basket because it does not hold
together well. Trout, grouper, snapper, or monkfish can be used for
substitutes if striped bass is not available. To check the fish for
doneness, use the tip of a sharp knife and cut through the thickest part
of the fillet. If the fish has been properly cooked, the meat will
appear opaque, but will still be moist.
Stuffed Fish: Whole dressed fish
which is stuffed with dressing/stuffing before cooking. Some species,
such as flounder, are available in stuffed frozen form for convenience.
Stuffing - Mixtures of foods and
seasonings that may be packed into body cavities, rolled into fillets or
otherwise stuffed into or between the seafood. subcutaneous – Beneath
the skin of a fish.
Sturgeon - An anadromous fish,
meaning it matures in saltwater, but migrates to fresh water to spawn.
It averages in weight at 55 to 60 pounds, but some specimens grow much
larger. The fish roe from the sturgeon is considered the “true caviar”
and is probably more important than its flesh. The sturgeon has a rich,
high fat flesh that is very firm, similar to meat, and is delicately
flavored. On a limited basis, fresh sturgeon is available whole (less
than eight pounds), or cut into steaks or chunks. Most of the sturgeon
caught in U.S. waters is smoked.
Sulfites - An additive used to
delay melanosis, or black spot, on raw shrimp. A small percentage of the
population is allergic to sulfites, causing the FDA to carefully monitor
residual amounts that may be present.
Sunfish - A North American
freshwater fish, which consists of many varieties that are noted for
their unique shapes and brilliant colors. The varieties include white
and black crappies, and several types of bass, such as largemouth,
smallmouth, redeye, rock and spotted.
The Japanese term for fish
paste. Surimi is restructured fish flesh, usually pollock or some other
economically-priced finfish, bound together, and flavored and/or colored.
Surimi products are usually colored and shaped to resemble crab,
lobster, scallops, shrimp or other more expensive seafood species, and
may contain varying amounts of these shellfish for flavoring. The FDA
recently approved disjunctive ("and/or") labeling for surimi, so the
actual proportions of each species may be difficult to determine.
Surimi Seafood - Analog shellfish
products made from surimi that has been thawed, blended with flavorings,
stabilizers and colorings and then heat processed to make fibrous,
flake, chunk and composite molded products, most commonly imitating crab
meat, lobster tails and shrimp.
Sushi - Thin, Japanese-style
slices of raw fish placed on boiled rice, flavored with rice wine
vinegar and rolled in seaweed (nori). The rolls are sliced into
Sustainable: the ability of a
population to be harvested and still reproduce enough for
population levels to remain constant.
Swordfish - The firm, juicy white
meat of swordfish is a favorite of chefs in the U.S., the world’s
largest single market for swordfish. A big, voracious predator,
swordfish can exceed 1,000 pounds. With a thick, meaty texture and full
flavor, swordfish can be served simply or with fresh herbs, marinades or
salsas. Perfect for high-heat cooking methods such as grilling and
broiling, swordfish can also be baked with excellent results. The key is
cooking swordfish quickly, so it retains its moisture and doesn’t dry
out. Although the U.S. is a major market for swordfish, American
fishermen catch just 5% of the annual worldwide swordfish catch. Japan
is the world’s leading producer, followed by Taiwan.