Market Name: Barracuda
Scientific Name: Sphyraena argentea
Common Name: Pacific or California barracuda
Flavor: Full
Texture: Firm

The Pacific, or California, barracuda is one of about 20 species of predatory fish in the family Sphyraenidae. It is found from Baja, California, to Kodiak Island, Alaska, but is most prevalent from Baja to Southern California. The great, or Atlantic, barracuda (S. barracuda) is also a commercial species, but the Pacific barracuda is the only one marketed in the United States. It is seldom bigger than 12 pounds; market size averages 3 to 6 pounds. The great barracuda can attain 100 pounds. It has little domestic market value, since great barracuda from Florida and the Caribbean have been associated with ciguatera poisoning. Properly handled Pacific barracuda poses no health threat. The fish must be bled immediately upon harvesting, or the meat will turn dark and spoil even when frozen. Rapid icing is also important to maintain quality.

Product Profile:
The flesh of the barracuda is creamy tan when raw and cooks up to off-white. Pacific barracuda meat is firm, with a large flake and moderate fat content. It has a full, meaty flavor.

You Should Know:
Buy only Pacific barracuda, as the Atlantic, or great, barracuda species can cause ciguatera poisoning.

Cooking Tips:
The firm-fleshed barracuda fillets and steaks hold together well during grilling or broiling, the favorite preparation methods for this fish. Steaks can be pan-fried as well. The flavor stands up to marinades and flavorful sauces. Since barracuda spoils quickly if not properly handled, keep it well chilled until ready to cook.

Cooking Methods: Bake,Broil,Fry,Grill,Smoke

Substitutions: Bluefish, Mackerel, Wahoo

Primary Product Forms:
Fresh: Whole (gilled and gutted), Fillets, Steaks
Frozen: Whole (G&G), Fillets, Steaks

Global Supply: