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Market Name: Yellow perch
Scientific Name: Perca flavescens
Common Name: Ring perch, striped perch, jack perch, redfin
Flavor: Mild/Moderate
Texture: Medium/Firm

Description:

Hailed by many as “the ultimate pan fish,” yellow perch is rivaled only by walleye as the most popular freshwater fish on restaurant menus. The perch are typically 6 to 10 inches long and weigh 1/2 to 1 pound. The species was one of the most important Great Lakes fisheries until the 1990s, when over-fishing and environmental degradation decimated stocks by as much as 80 percent. Today, commercial wild fisheries are limited to Canada and a few U.S. sites. However, the fish has adapted well to pond culture and intensive tank rearing. Thanks to successful aquaculture, the yellow perch supply, once seasonally limited, is now strong year-round, keeping pace with rapidly growing demand among U.S. diners. An estimated 40 aquaculture operations in the United States raise yellow perch to food size. Most commercially available yellow perch are now farmed, with wild fish accounting for just a small percentage of annual sales. The top yellow perch farming states are Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. Most commercial wild supplies are from the Lake Erie region, with Canadian fisheries dominating.

Product Profile:
Fresh perch has moist, translucent, deep-pink flesh with no fishy odor. Cooked, the lean meat is white, with a mild, sweet flavor and firm but flaky texture. Although farmed fish have a higher fat content and lower protein level than wild, the taste is essentially identical.

You Should Know:
Since it is a small, lean, short-lived species, yellow perch contains very low levels of PCBs.

Cooking Tips:
Highly versatile, yellow perch can be pan- and deep-fried, baked, sautéed, poached, grilled or used in chowder. For most recipes, prepare skin-on. Avoid overcooking to keep the flesh moist. Because of its mild but distinctive flavor, yellow perch can be prepared with minimal seasoning. It lends itself equally well to light treatments — sautéing and topping with artichoke hearts or cucumber sauce, for example — and heartier recipes, such as bakedstuffed or battered and deep-fried.

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

Substitutions: Walleye, Snapper, Cod

Primary Product Forms:
Fresh: Skin-on fillets, Whole
Frozen: Skin-on fillets, Whole
Value-Added: Breaded/battered fillets


Global Supply: