Longfin Perch

Caprodon longimanus

Other names: Longfin orange perch, pink maomao.

Family: Serranidae (rockcods).

Description:

Available wild-caught, this marine fish has distinctive pinkish-red colouring, orangeish-yellow in mature males which also have a prominent black blotch on the dorsal fins. It is found, often in large schools, over reefs of the inner continental shelf of south-eastern Australia, to depths of about 80m. It’s caught off southern NSW, mainly by lining and trapping.

Season: Available year round, though supply is limited.

Size and Weight: Average 500g-1kg and 30-40cm, but can grow to 1.6kg and 50cm.

Price: Medium-high priced.

Relations:

Banded rockcod, bar rockcod, barramundi cod, blacktip rockcod, coral cod, coral trout, duskytail grouper, goldspotted rockcod, grouper, longfin rockcod, maori rockcod, rankin cod, rockcod, sixbar grouper, wirrah, yellowspotted rockcod.

To Buy:

Sold whole (gilled and gutted) and in fillet form. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In fillets, look for pinkish-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. Lay whole fish or fillets in a single layer on a plate and cover with 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 or cutlets for up to 3 months, below -18ºC.

To Cook:

Average yield is 47%. Has a mild flavour (with smaller specimens being slightly stronger flavoured, and fish from estuaries sometime shaving a slightly muddy flavour), low oiliness and moist, firm flesh with large flakes and few bones, which are easily removed. The thick skin is best removed. The bones make excellent stock. Score whole fish at the thickest part of the flesh. Cut thick fillets into serving-size portions to allow even heat penetration.

Cooking Methods:

Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, grill, barbecue, raw (sashimi). A good plate-sized fish cooked whole. The firm flesh holds together well in soups, curries and casseroles and can be cubed for kebabs.

Goes well with:

Butter, capsicum, citrus (lemon, lime, mandarin, orange), herbs (including chives, dill, parsley), olives, tomato.

Alternatives:

Other rockcods (see relations, above), bass groper, hapuku, leatherjackets, Murray cod, pearl perch, red emperor, west Australian dhufish.

Imports:

Frozen whole fish and fillets of various rockcod species are imported from India, Myanmar and Namibia.

Recipes:

Steamed Bar Rockcod in Nori with Soba Noodles >