The delightful seafood delicacies offer many succulent and memorable adventures in dining. To assure that each tasty morsel is prepared to please the palate and bring out all the choice flavor, careful attention to the selection of ingredients and an uncompromising insistence on quality seafood are the only requirements now necessary to produce smiles at the dinner table.
Fish is marketed in various forms for different uses. Knowing these forms or “cuts” is important in buying fish. The best known forms of fish are:
WHOLE OR ROUND fish are those marketed just as they come from the water. Before cooking, they must be scaled and eviscerated (remove the entrails). The head, tail, and fins must be removed if desired, and the fish either split or cut into serving-size portions, except in fish intended for baking. Some small fish are frequently cooked with only the entrails removed.
DRAWN fish are sold with only the entrails removed. In preparation for cooking, they generally are scaled. Head, tail, and fins are removed, if desired, and the fish split or cut into serving-size portions. Small drawn fish, or larger sizes intended for baking, may be cooked in the form purchased after being scaled.
DRESSED fish are scaled and eviscerated, usually with the head, tail, and fins removed. The smaller sizes are ready for cooking as bought. The larger sizes of dressed fish may be baked as bought but frequently are cut into steaks or serving-size portions.
STEAKS are cross section slices of the larger sizes of dressed fish. They are ready to cook as purchased, except for dividing the very largest into serving-size portions. A cross section of the backbone is usually the only bone in the steak.
FILLETS are the sides of the fish, cut lengthwise away from the backbone. They are practically boneless and require no preparation for cooking. Sometimes the skin, with the scales removed, is left on the fillets; others are skinned. A fillet cut from one side of a fish is called a single fillet. This is the type of fillet most generally seen in the market.
BUTTERFLY FILLETS are two sides of the fish corresponding to two single fillets held together by uncut flesh and the skin.
STICKS are pieces of fish cut lengthwise or crosswise from fillets or steaks into portions of uniform width and length.