Posted on February 19, 2020 by Your Friends at Seafood at Home
A GUIDE FOR UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENT TYPES OF WHITE FISH
Have you ever seen a recipe that calls for white fish, and wondered what you’re supposed to buy? White fish is a term used to describe mild flavored, thin, easy to cook fish. This white fish guide will do a deep dive into four of the most common types of white fish- cod, haddock, halibut, and pollock.
Cod is the common name for the fish genus Gadus, a member of the Gadidae family. The two most popular species of cod are Atlantic cod and Pacific cod.
Cod is a high protein fish, and it’s low in fats and carbs. Another nutrient cod are rich in is B vitamins. Both Atlantic and Pacific cod contain high levels of B vitamins which help your body metabolize nutrients, release energy from food, and form red blood cells and DNA. Cod also have some important minerals, such as phosphorus, which aids in bone and teeth health. Because cod are low in fat and high in protein, they may help in creating a healthier heart and lifestyle. Replacing fattier proteins such as chicken or pork with cod may promote better overall health. Cod also contain very little amounts of mercury, so they are a great starter for introducing your children to seafood.
Cod is known for being a mild flavored, firm fish. A dish cod is most commonly used for is fish and chips. Cod can be prepared in many ways, such as baking, grilling, and pan frying. Cod absorbs the different flavors of spices well.
Haddock is another member of the Gadidae family, and there is only one type of haddock, Melanogrammus.
Haddock is low in fats and contains good amounts of protein. One mineral that is common in haddock is selenium. Selenium is vital because it helps protect DNA from rogue molecules that can lead to chronic diseases. Haddock also contain high levels of B vitamins. The recommended serving size for haddock is about 3 ounces (approximately the size of your palm). One serving of cooked haddock contains about 75% of the daily value of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is linked to brain, nerve, and cognition health. Niacin is another B vitamin found in haddock, and niacin aids in metabolizing carbs and fats into energy.
Haddock is similar to cod, but haddock taste a tad sweeter and their texture is usually finer. Haddock works great in seafood stews and chowders. Haddock are mild flavored, so they absorb flavors easily. Cooking methods that work best with haddock are baking, broiling, pan searing, and frying. The sweetness of haddock pairs excellently with flavors like lemon and garlic.
Halibut is the common name for the genus Hippoglossus. The two species of halibut are Atlantic halibut and Pacific halibut.
Like cod and haddock, halibut contains high levels of protein. Some of the vitamins and minerals found in halibut are niacin, phosphorus, and vitamin B12. One serving of halibut contains about 42% of your daily magnesium dietary needs. Magnesium is crucial for protein formation and muscle movement. 32% of your daily dietary Vitamin B6 needs is found in halibut, and vitamin B6 is important to your central nervous system and may help with brain function. Because of the levels of magnesium, halibut is considered a high-quality protein option. Halibut is seen as a great alternative to chicken and beef. The vitamins and minerals in halibut may help lower blood pressure and increase overall heart health. Halibut contains low to moderate mercury levels, however the possible overall health benefits outweigh the potential mercury concerns.
Halibut is often known as the “steak of seafood.” Halibut is firm and flaky, and it has a very light flavor. Because of the firmness and light flavors, halibut is one of the most versatile seafood options. Halibut can be baked, fried, grilled, pan seared, and broiled. When cooking halibut, it’s important to note that the light flavors mean it will take on the flavors of spices easily, so a little seasoning goes a long way. It can be easy to over-season halibut. Halibut is also firm, so it’s important to use olive oil or butter to help keep the moisture so the fish does not dry out.
Pollock is the common named for the genus Pollachius. The two common names for the species are pollock and coalfish.
Pollock is one of the most unrecognized fish on the market. Pollock is healthy because it is loaded with nutrients, but its calorie count is low. Pollock is a low cholesterol protein, and it contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. These acids may help improve heart and brain health, fight inflammation, and prevent dementia. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America, but pollock has vitamins B6 and B12 which may help fight heart disease. One common disease that pollock may help with treating or preventing is diabetes. The omega-3 fatty acids may help regulate blood sugar, and other vitamins and minerals may aid in preventing loss of vision, obesity, and cognitive issues.
Pollock is lean in texture, has a mild taste, and its appearance is known for being snow white. Pollock is flaky, and it’s quite versatile when cooking. A common food item you may not know is pollock is McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich. Pollock is often used for fish tacos and fish sandwiches. Baking, pan searing, and pan frying are the best ways to cook pollock because it is a thin, flaky fish. Lemon juice is used to cut the fishy smell and flavors of pollock.