Yellowfin Whiting

Sillago schomburgkii

Other names: Fine-scale whiting, silver whiting, western sand whiting.

Family: Sillaginidae (whitings).


Available wild-caught, it is a marine fish found in sandy areas around river mouths and other inshore waters, and sometimes in brackish water, along the southern and southwestern coast from Shark Bay (WA) to Victor Harbour (SA). Caught mainly in Spencer Gulf and Gulf of St Vincent (SA) and Shark Bay (WA) using gillnets and haul seines. It is endemic to Australia. It looks similar to Sand Whiting as both have bright yellow lower fins.

Season: Available year round with reduced supply from May to August.

Size and Weight: Commonly 100-200g and 23-32cm, but can grow to 700g and 42cm.

Price: Medium priced.


School Whitings, King George Whiting, Sand Whiting, Trumpeter Whiting, and the other 20 or so species of Whiting (Sillaginidae) distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Blue Weed Whiting (Haletta semifasciata) is a Wrasse, not a Whiting. In the northern hemisphere the name ‘whiting’ is also applied to various unrelated species, including Pacific hake (Merluccius productus) and English whiting (Merlangius merlangus).

To Buy:

Sold whole (gilled and gutted), as trunks (headless), and in single and butterflied fillets. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In fillets, look for yellowish-white, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.

To Store:

Make sure whole fish is scaled, gilled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Wrap whole fish and fillets in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze whole fish for up to 6 months, and fillets for up to 3 months, below -18ºC.

To Cook:

Average yield is 30%. Has a delicate, sweet flavour, low oiliness and moist, medium-textured, flaky flesh with fine bones, which are easily removed. The edible skin can be left on and the bones make excellent stock.

Cooking Methods:

Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue, raw (sashimi). Thin fillets are best wrapped in foil or banana leaves to protect them when barbecuing or grilling. Flesh has good gelling characteristics and works well in mousseline.

Goes well with:

Almonds, asparagus, beer-batter, butter, capers, citrus, eggs, garlic, herbs (chervil, chives, dill, parsley, French tarragon), wine, verjuice.


Dory, Flathead, Flounder, Garfish, other Whitings.


None. Southern Blue Whiting, imported from New Zealand, and North Sea Whiting, imported from Europe, are not related to Whitings of the Sillaginidae family.


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