Silver Dory

Cyttus australis

Other names: Bastard dory, red dory, sun dory.

Family: Cyttidae ('Australian' dories)


Available wild caught, it is a bottom-dwelling marine fish found mainly on the continental shelf and upper slope commonly between 50-200m and caught mainly as bycatch of inshore trawling and Danish seines off the south-eastern coast of NSW and Victoria, with some off Tasmania, SA and southern WA. Its skin is silvery-pink and, unlike some other Dories, rough to touch; it also has a more elongated body than most other dories. It is endemic to Australia.

Season: Available year round with peaks from June to January.

Size and Weight: Typically 400g-900g and 30-45cm, but can grow to 1.5kg and 50cm.

Price: Medium priced.


John dory, king dory, mirror dory. Also closely related to oreodories, including black, smooth, spikey, and warty, oreodory.

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 2 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.


Chilled whole John dory and frozen or chilled John and mirror dory fillets are imported from New Zealand. Basa, a freshwater farmed catfish imported from Asia, is sometimes marketed as ‘Pacific dory’, though it is unrelated to the dories.


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Blackened Mirror Dory with Lime Butter >