Species Groups

Learn about the following species groups (including their most common members, as well as purchasing, storage and cooking information), or select a specific species from the species list on the right.

More Species Groups 

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Bluespotted Flathead
Platycephalus caeruleopunctatus
 
Deepwater Flathead
Neoplatycephalus conatus
 
Dusky Flathead
Platycephalus fuscus
 
Southern Sand Flathead
Platycephalus bassensis
 
Tiger Flathead
Neoplatycephalus richardsoni (Tiger Flathead)
Neoplatycephalus aurimaculatus (Toothy Flathead)
 
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Deepwater Flathead

Neoplatycephalus conatus
Other names:

Deep sea flathead; flathead; trawl flathead.

Family:

Platycephalidae (flatheads)

Description:

These appropriately named bottom-dwelling marine fish have a flat-triangular shaped head and long, greyish-green, tapering body. Wild-caught, they are found mainly on the continental shelf and upper slope in depths of about 70-490m and are caught by trawling off southern WA and in the Great Australian Bight. It is endemic to Australia and closely related to tiger flathead, but lacks their distinctive spots.

Season:

Available year round with peaks in SA and WA from October to February.

Size and Weight:

Commonly 700g-1.8kg and 45-65cm, but can grow to 4kg and 94cm.

Price:

Low-medium priced.

Relations:

Bartail, bluespotted, dusky, longspine, northern sand, rock, southern bluespotted, southern sand, tiger, and other flatheads.

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 sea smell. In fillets, look for yellowish-white, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings (a few dark veins may be visible) 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 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 30%. Has a slightly sweet flavour, low oiliness and slightly dry, medium textured flesh with fine flakes. Their unusual shape means that there are relatively few bones, mostly towards the head section of the fillet, which are easily removed. The bones make good stock. Cut thick fillets into serving-size portions to allow even heat penetration.

Cooking Methods:

Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, bake, grill, barbecue. It is best wrapped in foil or banana leaves if baking or barbecuing, to prevent it drying out. It is an excellent fish battered for fish and chips.

Goes well with:

Beer batter, beetroot, cauliflower, capers, cornichons, dill, garlic, horseradish, lemon, lettuce, lime, mayonnaise, onions, tartare sauce, tomato, white wine vinegar, yoghurt.

Alternatives:

Bream, hussar, morwong, redfish, tarwhine, whiting.

Imports:

None.

Recipes:

Flathead Fillets in Beer Batter >
Flathead Fillets with Roasted Baby Beetroots & Walnuts > 
Flathead Pitas with Tzatziki & Cherry Tomato Salad >
Bouillabaisse >