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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King George Whiting
Sillaginodes punctata
 
Sand Whiting
Sillago ciliata
 
School Whiting
Sillago flindersi (Eastern School Whiting)
Sillago bassensis (Southern School Whiting)
Sillago robusta (Stout Whiting)
 
Trumpeter Whiting
Sillago maculate
 
Yellowfin Whiting
Sillago schomburgkii
 
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Trumpeter Whiting

Sillago maculate
Other names:

Diver whiting, winter whiting, spotted whiting.

Family:

Sillaginidae (whitings).

Description:

Distinguished from other Whitings, especially the similar looking School Whiting, by multiple dark brown spots on the side with upper spots often joined to lower spots towards the back of the body. Available wild-caught, it is a marine fish found mainly in sheltered bays and estuaries over mud or silt, especially in mangrove creeks and river mouths, along the east coast to 30m. Caught mostly off southern Queensland (Moreton Bay), and central to northern NSW, as bycatch of prawn trawling, by haul seine in shallow waters and with hook-and-line. It is endemic to Australia.

Season:

Available year round with peaks in June to August.

Size and Weight:

Commonly to 100g and 25cm, but can grow to 200g and 30cm.

Price:

Medium priced.

Relations:

King George Whiting, Sand Whiting, School Whiting, Western Trumpeter Whiting, Yellowfin Whiting and the other 20 or so species of Whiting (Sillaginidae) distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Blue Weed Whiting (Haletta semifasciata) is a Wrasse, not a Whiting. In the northern hemisphere the name ‘whiting’ is also applied to various unrelated species, including Pacific hake (Merluccius productus) and English whiting (Merlangius merlangus).

To Buy:

Sold whole (gilled and gutted), as trunks (headless), and in single and butterflied fillets. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In fillets, look for 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, gilled, 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 30%. Has a delicate, sweet, low oiliness and moist, soft flesh with fine bones, which are easily removed. The edible skin can be left on and the bones make excellent stock.

Cooking Methods:

Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue. Thin fillets are best wrapped in foil or banana leaves to protect them when barbecuing or grilling.

Goes well with:

Almonds, asparagus, beer-batter, butter, capers, citrus, eggs, garlic, herbs (chervil, chives, dill, parsley, French tarragon), wine, verjuice.

Alternatives:

Dory, Flathead, Flounder, Garfish, other Whitings.

Imports:

None. Southern Blue Whiting, imported from New Zealand, and North Sea Whiting, imported from Europe, are not related to Whitings of the Sillaginidae family.

Recipes:

Pan-Fried King George Whiting Fillets with Mushrooms & Asparagus > 
Crumbed Pan-Fried King George Whiting with Baked Chips > 
Whiting Quenelles with Sorrel Sauce >  
Steamed School Whiting with Asparagus & Sauce Gribiche >
Bouillabaisse >