King Dory

Cyttus traversi

Other names: Horsehead, lookdown dory, McCulloch's dory, shadow dory.

Family: Cyttidae ('Australian' dories).


Available wild caught, it is a bottom-dwelling marine fish found mainly on the upper continental slope commonly between 500-600m and mainly caught as bycatch of blue grenadier trawling off the south-eastern coast of NSW and Victoria, with some off SA and WA as far north as Exmouth. Its skin is silver and, unlike some other dories, rough to touch.

Season: Available year round.

Size and Weight: Typically 1.5-3.2kg and 40-55cm, but can grow to 65cm and 6kg.

Price: Medium priced.



To Buy:

Sold mostly in fillet form, fresh and frozen. 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. 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 flavour, low oiliness and moist, medium textured flesh with fine flakes and few bones, which are easily removed. The edible skin can be left on.

Cooking Methods:

Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, bake, grill, barbecue. Fillets are thin and, to protect them when barbecuing or grilling, best wrapped in foil or banana leaves.

Goes well with:

Butter, citrus, fresh herbs (such as chives, coriander, dill, French tarragon, parsley, thyme), olive oil, white pepper, white wine.


Other dories or oreodories, flounder, sole, whitings.




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