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.
Silver bream, bream.
Available wild-caught, it is a coastal-dwelling marine fish, with smaller fish found in estuaries and larger fish in near-shore waters, off beaches and around offshore reefs to depths of about 35m along the eastern coast from Victoria to far north Queensland and along the western coast from southern to central WA. It is caught mainly by handlines, haul nets, traps and gillnets and is also a bycatch of inshore trawling. It is often caught with Yellowfin Bream, from which it can be distinguished by the yellow lines along Tarwhine’s rows of scales.
Available year round.
Typically 200-500g and 20-30cm, but can grow to 2kg and 50cm.
Black Bream, Frypan Bream, Pikey Bream, Yellowfin Bream and Snapper (Pagrus auratus, not Goldband Snapper, which is a member of the Tropical Snapper family).
Sold mainly whole (gilled and gutted) and occasionally in fillet form (usually skinned). In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In fillets, look for pale pinkish, firm, lustrous, moist flesh with some dark veins and without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.
Make sure whole fish is scaled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly as soon as possible (completely remove the lining of the abdominal cavity and the white fat along the abdominal wall). 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.
Average yield is 35%. Has a mild, sweet flavour, low oiliness and moist, medium-textured flesh. Some fish can have a slightly ‘weedy’ taste due to their estuarine and coastal habitat.
Steam, poach, pan-fry, bake, grill, barbecue. A good plate-sized fish cooked whole, flesh also works well in mousseline.
Capers, chilli, coriander, garlic, lemon, lemongrass, lime, parsley. Soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, ginger and Asian spices can help balance the slightly weedy taste Tarwhine sometimes develops due to its estuarine habitat.
Emperors (such as Grass, Longnose, Redspot, Redthroat and Spangled), Morwong, Tropical Snappers (such as Goldband, King and Ruby Snappers, and Green Jobfish).
None. Frozen imported fillets of other species are sometimes sold as ‘seabream’, although there is also an Australian fish called Seabream, which is actually a member of the Emperor family.
Almond-Crusted Tarwhine Fillets with Roasted Potatoes & Saffron Garlic Mayonnaise >
Steamed Whole Bream with Green Chilli & Coriander >
Yellowfin Bream with Vietnamese Salad >