Two very similar species are marketed as Samsonfish; they are distinguished by the number of fin rays on their backs.
Available wild caught they are a free-swimming marine fish found right around the Australian coast (excluding Tasmania), mainly over the inner continental shelf.
They are mainly caught off the central to southern coast of WA by handlines and droplines, also as bycatch of line fishing off southern Queensland and northern NSW.
Allied Kingfish; Sambo; Samson; Samson Fish; Sea King Fish; Sea Kingfish.
Available year round, though supply is limited.
Size and Weight
Commonly 50-100cm and 1-15kg, but can grow to 53kg and 170cm.
Trevallies (including Bigeye, Black, Bluefin, Bluespotted, Diamond, Giant, Golden and Silver Trevallies), Black Pomfret, Darts, Jack Mackerel, Queenfish, Turrum, Yellowtail Kingfish, Yellowtail Scad.
Sold whole (gilled and gutted), and in fillet and cutlet forms. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In fillets and cutlets, look for pale pink, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell. The flesh discolours quickly once cut, so it is best to buy whole fish.
Make sure whole fish is scaled, gilled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Lay whole fish, fillets and cutlets 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 for up to 3 months, below -18ºC.
Average yield is 35%. Has a slightly fishy flavour, and slightly oily, dry, medium-textured flesh with medium flakes and few bones, which are easily removed. The thick skin is best removed. The centre bone of cutlets can be removed and a filling placed in the cavity.
Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, bake, grill, barbecue, smoke, pickle. It tends to be dry so marinating prior to cooking helps prevent drying out, as does wrapping in foil or banana leaves if baking or barbecuing.
Goes Well With
Basil, caraway, chilli, coriander, cumin, curry, fennel, garlic, ginger, herbs (such as coriander, dill, French tarragon, parsley, sage, thyme), lemon, lime, olive oil, onion, oregano, sesame oil, soy sauce, tamarind, teriyaki sauce, tomato, vinegar, wasabi, white wine.
Silver Perch, Morwong, Gemfish, Queenfish, Snapper, Warehou, Yellowtail Kingfish.
Barbecued Queenfish in Vine Leaves with Chickpea & Fennel Salad