Market Name: Patagonian toothfish
Scientific Name: Dissostichus eleginoides
Common Name: Patagonian toothfish, Antarctic cod, icefish
Flavor: Moderate/Full
Texture: Medium/Firm

Chilean sea bass are not really bass but Patagonian toothfish, a large, slow-growing species first harvested in the early 1980s by Chilean longliners working the conti nen tal shelf in depths of 5,000 to 6,000 feet. Chilean sea bass is a member of the Nototheniidae family. In Chile, the fish is also called mero, merluza negra and bacalao de profundidad (“cod of the deep”). The fish was first harvested off the southern coast of Chile, almost to the Antarctic. The grounds have been extended to much of the Southern Hemisphere. It’s a big fish; headed-and-gutted Chilean sea bass have weighed in at 100 pounds, but aver age market weight is closer to 20 pounds. The fish is marketed in frozen form; “fresh” sea bass is nearly always “refreshed” product (frozen fish that has been thawed). However, since Chilean sea bass is generally frozen at sea, it’s a superior product even when sold as “previous ly frozen.” Sea bass from South America tend to be bigger than their South African counterparts.

Product Profile:
Chilean sea bass has a rich, melt-in-your-mouth flavor. The moderately oily meat is tender and moist with large, thick flakes. Meat from raw Chilean sea bass is snow white. When cooked, the meat remains white, comparable in appearance to cod. Refreshed fillets should be shiny and resilient. Frozen product shouldn’t have freezer burn or discoloration.

You Should Know:
Be cautious of an enzyme caused “jellying” that affects the flesh of some sea bass. The only way to find out if your fish have this problem is to fillet them.

Cooking Tips:
Chilean sea bass is an excellent fish for grilling, but the skinless fillets must be handled carefully so they don’t fall apart while cooking. You can also poach or sauté the meat, but avoid heavy sauces that compete with the fish’s own full flavor. Because of its high oil content, Chilean sea bass also lends itself to smoking. The same characteristic makes it unsuitable for frying.

Cooking Methods: Broil,Grill,Poach,Saute',Smoke

Substitutions: Sablefish, Black sea bass

Primary Product Forms:
Fresh: H&G, Fillets (skinless)
Frozen: H&G, Loins, Fillets (skinless)

Global Supply: