Market Name: Pompano
Scientific Name: Trachinotus carolinus
Common Name: Florida pompano, common pompano, Atlantic pompano, sunfish, butterfish
Flavor: Mild
Texture: Medium/Firm

Gourmands describe the Atlantic pompano as “the world’s most edible fish.” The flat-bodied, pan-sized pompano is easy to eat whole, a form that shows off the beautiful, silvery skin. The species is harvested from Virginia to Texas, but primarily off Florida’s west coast. Commercial landings are limited, and as a result, prices remain high in most markets. This makes the pompano a tempting target for substitution — and an easy one, since there are several different species of pompano within the confusing Carangidae, or jack, family. The star of the clan, the Atlantic pompano, is often confused with three less delectable relatives: the similar-looking permit, the palometa and the gafftopsail pompano. But it’s not that difficult to tell the real McCoy: Any fish bigger than 3 pounds can be eliminated, since market-sized pompano average 2 pounds.

Product Profile:
Though technically a round fish, the narrow-bodied pompano is structured much like a flatfish and generally weighs less than 3 pounds. The attractive, silvery skin is edible and does not require scaling. Pompano meat is firm but finely flaked, with a sweet, mild flavor. The flesh is pearly white, with a moderate fat content, and cooks up white.

You Should Know:
Real pompano is sold fresh, in the round; it is not available as fillets. It is seldom sold frozen, though pompano freezes very well and retains its flavor and texture nicely.

Cooking Tips:
Pompano lends itself to whole preparations since it is easy to eat off the bone. It can also be halved lengthwise to produce two long fillets. When serving, try to display the attractive skin. The simplest way to prepare pompano is to broil it with lemon and butter. Perhaps the most famous preparation for this fish is en papillote (cooked in parchment).

Cooking Methods: Bake,Broil,Fry,Grill,Saute'

Substitutions: Flounder, Snapper, Mahimahi

Primary Product Forms:
Fresh: Head-on, gutted, H&G
Frozen: H&G

Global Supply: