Golden Perch

Macquaria ambigua

Other names: Callop, freshwater bream, golden, Murray perch, Murray bream, tarki, white perch, yellowbelly, yellow-belly, yellowfin perch.

Family: Percichthyidae (temperate basses).

Description:

This bronze to olive green freshwater fish with a yellow belly has a more pronounced humped back than the closely related Australian bass and Murray cod. It’s found from clear highland streams to slow-flowing muddy rivers in central and eastern Australia as well as billabongs and dams, and was an historically important food source, though today it’s mainly caught recreationally and stocked in farm dams. It is endemic to Australia and a small quantity is farmed.

Season: Supply is limited.

Size and Weight: Commonly 800g-4kg and 35-50cm, but can grow to over 20kg and 76cm.

Price: Medium-high priced.

Relations:

Australian bass, eastern freshwater cod, golden cod, Mary River cod, Murray cod, and trout cod.

To Buy:

Sold whole (gilled and gutted) and in fillet form. In whole fish look for lustrous skin with a slippery, mucilaginous coating, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh smell. In fillets, look for yellowish-white, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh smell.

To Store:

Make sure whole fish is scaled, gilled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Lay whole fish and 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 for up to 3 months, below -18ºC.

To Cook:

Average yield is 35%. Has a milder flavour than most other freshwater fish, low oiliness and moist, medium-textured flesh with fine flakes and few bones, which are easily removed. The thick skin is best removed. 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, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, grill, barbecue. 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:

Chilli, coriander, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, green onions, lemon, lime, mirin, olive oil, olives, sesame oil, soy sauce, tomatoes.

Alternatives:

Barramundi, bream, mirror dory, silver perch, silver trevally.

Imports:

None.

Recipes:

Baked Whole Golden Perch with Olive & Walnut Stuffing >