Frypan Bream

Argyrops spinifer

Other names: Frypan snapper, King soldierbream, longfin snapper, longspine snapper.

Family: Sparidae (breams).

Description:

Available wild-caught, it is a marine fish found mainly on the inner continental shelf to around 150m and mainly trawled, lined and trapped off the north-western coast of Australia, although it is found from Queensland north around to the central coast of WA and is caught in sections of the Great Barrier Reef.

Season: Available year round.

Size and Weight: Commonly 600g-1.5kg and 30-45cm, but can grow to 4kg and 58cm.

Price: Medium priced.

Relations:

Black Bream, Pikey Bream, Tarwhine, Yellowfin Bream and Snapper (Pagrus auratus, not Goldband Snapper), with which it is sometimes confused. Reddish colouring distinguishes it from other Bream.

To Buy:

Sold mainly whole (gilled and gutted) and occasionally in fillet form (usually skinned). 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, gutted and cleaned thoroughly as soon as possible (completely remove the lining of the abdominal cavity and the white fat along the abdominal wall). 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 35%. Has a mild, sweet flavour, low oiliness and moist, soft-medium flesh.

Cooking Methods:

Steam, poach, pan-fry, bake, grill, barbecue. A good plate-sized fish cooked whole, flesh also works well in mousseline.

Goes well with:

Capers, chilli, coriander, garlic, ginger, lemon, lemongrass, lime, parsley, soy sauce.

Alternatives:

Emperors, Morwong, Seaperches.

Imports:

None. Frozen imported fillets of other species are sometimes sold as ‘seabream’, although there is also an Australian fish called Seabream, which is actually a member of the Emperor family.

Recipes:

Steamed Whole Bream with Green Chilli & Coriander >
Yellowfin Bream with Vietnamese Salad >
Almond-Crusted Tarwhine Fillets with Roasted Potatoes & Saffron Garlic Mayonnaise >