Coral Trout


Coral trouts are among the most sought-after reef fishes for their impressive appearance and fine eating qualities. Their delicate flavour and fine, white flakes appeal to most.Coral Trout

Bake, steam, poach or grill, but avoid handling them too much as their delicate flakes can be easily damaged. Enrich with an abundance of citrus, light butter sauces, parsley and chives. The cheek flesh from coral trouts is very highly regarded and should not be wasted.

To Buy Coral Trout :
Sold whole (gilled and gutted), and in fillet forms. 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 Coral Trout :
Make sure whole fish is scaled, gilled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Lay whole fish or fillets 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 whole fish for up to 6 months, and fillets or cutlets for up to 3 months, below -18ºC.

To Cook Coral Trout :
Average yield is 50%. Has a mild flavour (with smaller specimens being slightly stronger flavoured, and fish from estuaries sometime shaving a slightly muddy flavour), low oiliness and moist, firm flesh with fine flakes and few bones, which are easily removed. The thick skin is best removed. The bones make excellent stock.

Score whole fish at the thickest part of the flesh. Cut thick fillets into serving-size portions to allow even heat penetration.

Coral Trout Cooking Methods :
Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, bake, grill, barbecue. Its attractive skin makes it ideal for cooking whole.

Coral Trout goes well with :
Butter, capsicum, citrus (lemon, lime, mandarin, orange), herbs (including chives, dill, parsley), olives, tomato.

General Information

  • Flavour : Mild, Delicate and sweet flavour
  • Oiliness : Low
  • Moisture : Moist
  • Habitat : Saltwater – near reef areas
  • Flesh Texture : Firm, Fine flakes
  • Thickness : Thick fillets
  • Bones : A few bones (mainly pin bones), which are generally large and easily removed
  • Season : Available year round, with peak supply in eastern Australia from September to November.
  • Size and Weight : Average 500g-4kg and 30-70cm, but can grow to 20kg+ and 120cm.
  • Price : High priced.
  • Family : Serranidae (rockcods).
  • Other Names : Bar-cheeked trout; barred-cheek coral trout; blue-spot trout; Chinese footballer; coral cod; coral-trout; coronation trout; corontation trout; fairy cod; footballer cod; highfin coral trout; leopard cod; leopard trout; lined coral trout; lunar tailed rock cod; lunartail rockcod; lunar-tailed cod; lyretail trout; squaretail coral trout; trout; vermicular cod; vermicular leopard-cod; vermicular trout; white-fringed moontail-bass.
  • Relations : Banded rockcod, bar rockcod, barramundi cod, blacktip rockcod, coral cod (similar but smaller with rounded, rather than convex, tail fins), duskytail grouper, goldspotted rockcod, grouper, longfin perch, longfin rockcod, maori rockcod, rankin cod, rockcod, sixbar grouper, wirrah, yellowspotted rockcod.

Coral Trout Substitutes

Other Rockcods – Rockcods are sold whole (gilled and gutted), and in fillet form. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In fillets, look for white-pink, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell. Species living in estuaries, such as goldspotted rockcod, will often have darker flesh.

Bass Groper

Hapuku

Leatherjackets – Leatherjackets are sold mainly as trunks (headed, gutted and skinned) and occasionally in fillet form (always skinned). In whole fish and trunks look for intact skin (if present), firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In fillets, look for white to off-white (or pinkish in reef leatherjackets), firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.

Murray Cod – Sold whole (gilled and gutted), but usually as skinless fillets. In whole fish look for lustrous skin with a slippery, mucilaginous coating, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh smell. In fillets, look for white, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh smell.

Pearl Perch – The east coast relative of the much acclaimed West Australian dhufish. Caught between Rockhampton and Sydney, it has thick, moist, flesh with a sweet, delicate flavour and is an excellent fish for steaming.

Red Emperor – Sold whole (gilled and gutted), as trunks (headless) and fillets. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In fillets, look for yellowish-white to pinkish, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.

West Australian Dhufish – West Australian dhufish and pearl perches are grouped together as they belong to the same genus (Glaucosoma) and produce similarly highly esteemed products. These species have excellent taste and yield thick, white flesh. Sold mainly as fillets, they are highly sought after.

When making substitutions in baking and cooking, you may end up with a somewhat different product. The taste, moisture content, texture and weight of a finished product can be affected by changing ingredients.

Coral Trout Recipes

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