Steak: The Meat Eater’s AlternativeDEFINITION:
Cross-sectional slices of fish, cut perpen dicular to the backbone, normally 1 to 2 inches thick. With some fish, like salmon, steaks often contain a thin band of skin and a piece of backbone. There also may be some pinbones and pieces of belly flap. In smaller fish like mahimahi or catfish, bone-in steaks are uniform in shape. In larger fish like halibut, tuna or shark, steaks come in several shapes and configurations: ovals, squared ovals, sandwich cuts, half-moons, quarter-bone squares and wedges.


Full utilization. Boneless, skinless steaks cut from the loins of large fish have no waste. 

Economy. Cross-sectional steaks are generally less expensive than fillets or loins. 

Portion pricing. Steaks can be priced by the piece, reduc ing the “sticker shock” of seafood sold by the pound. 

Custom cuts. Though most portion-controlled steaks average 4 to 10 ounces apiece, suppliers can provide additional definitions and specifications to meet customers’ needs. 

Customer appeal. Steak is an easy sell to consumers who usually prefer meat.


Shelf life. Mostly or entirely skinless and cut across the grain, steaks are vulnerable to dehydration and, thus, limited shelf life. 

Bone-in cuts. Cross-sectional steaks are often less. popular at the foodservice level, owing to the inclusion of bones.


  • Steak should be moist, firm and elastic, with a fresh-cut appearance. 
  • Look for traces of browning, drying or curling around the edges, a sign of deterioration or over-extended shelf-life. 
  • Look for uniformity of thickness and size. Too much variation will make cooking times uneven.