Market Name: Orange roughy
Scientific Name: Hoplostethus atlanticus
Common Name: Orange roughy, red roughy
Flavor: Mild
Texture: Medium

This species was first fished commercially off New Zealand, and then later off of Australia. It was the New Zealanders who launched the marketing effort for the fish formerly known as slimehead — a distinct marketing handicap. After the Kiwis persuaded the Food and Drug Administration to allow use of the name orange roughy, it soon become New Zealand’s most valuable finfish species. The fish is distinctive, with its bright-orange skin, spiky fins and bony head. Orange roughy averages 3 1/2 pounds, and the fillet size is generally 6 to 8 ounces. Roughy is a deepwater species taken by trawls at depths of up to 700 fathoms. In such a cold and pressurized environment, mating is not a frequent activity. Additionally, the average age of roughy caught in commercial fishing nets is from 30 to 50 years, which translates into a slow replacement rate and a high susceptibility to overfishing.

Product Profile:
Orange roughy has a mild, delicate flavor and moist, large-flaked meat that holds together well after cooking. Raw orange roughy flesh is pearly white, and it cooks up to an opaque white. The skin side of the fillets often sports a faint, orange-brown band of color. With roughy, the darker the meat, the lower the quality.

You Should Know:
The fat beneath the skin of orange roughy contains a partially indigestible oily wax, called wax ester. Roughy fillets should always be deep-skinned to remove this subcutaneous layer.

Cooking Tips:
The meat of the orange roughy is tolerant of most cooking methods, except deep frying and grilling, and works well with almost any seasoning or sauce. Orange roughy has a moderate oil content, which helps the meat retain moisture during cooking. Though some product is frozen twice (once aboard the boat and again after skinning and filleting), roughy maintains its quality remarkably well if frozen properly.

Cooking Methods: Bake,Broil,Poach,Saute',Steam

Substitutions: Ocean perch, Cod, Haddock

Primary Product Forms:
Fresh: Fillets (skinless/boneless)
Frozen: Fillets (skinless/boneless)
Value-Added: Blocks, Breaded

Global Supply: