Fish and Shellfish



Classifications help to break down and explain the parts of something that make up a whole. Write a classification of different types of fish or shellfish that you know, as an introduction to the subject.

Writing Tips

^^ Begin with an introduction that defines the broad topic.

^^ Describe each category and provide supporting details.

^^ Keep it simple. Do not use too many categories.


Fish and shellfish are healthful protein choices for a main dish or appetizer. What types of shellfish can you name?

Fish and shellfish are healthful protein choices for a main dish or appetizer. What types of shellfish can you name?


Fish is a popular choice in most restaurants.


Fish Basics

Reading Guide

Understanding It is normal to have questions when you read. Write down questions while reading. Many of them will be answered as you continue. If they are not, you will have a list ready for your teacher when you finish.

Read to Learn

Key Concepts

• Describe the composition and structure of fish.

• Distinguish between the different market forms of fish.

Main Idea

Fish is a low-fat, healthful protein that is popular with diners. Selecting high-quality fish is an important skill for foodservice professionals.

Content Vocabulary

Types Boneless Fish

• fatty fish

• dressed

• lean fish

• fillets

• flat fish

• butterflied

round fish

• freezer burn

• boneless fish

• drip loss

• drawn

• vacuum


Academic Vocabulary

Graphic Organizer

As you read, use a web organizer like this one to list the eight different market forms of fresh fish.

Types Boneless Fish

Graphic Organizer Go to this book's Online Learning Center at for a printable graphic organizer.

English Language Arts

NCTE 7 Conduct research and gather, evaluate, and synthesize data to communicate discoveries.

y Mathematics

NCTM Data Analysis and Probability Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data.

Social Studies NCSSVIIF Production, Distribution, and Consumption Compare how values and beliefs influence economic decisions in different societies.

NCTE National Council of Teachers of English

NCTM National Council of Teachers of Mathematics NSES National Science Education Standards

NCSS National Council for the Social Studies

Types Boneless Fish

Structure of Fish

More than 30,000 species of fish live in oceans or freshwater sources. These coldblooded animals are important to the foodservice industry. Approximately 75% of all the fish eaten in the United States is eaten in restaurants. Customers looking for a tasty, low-fat, healthful alternative to meat often choose fish. Knowing how to select, purchase, and store fish will allow a foodservice operation to serve fish of the highest quality.

Like poultry and meat, fish is made up of protein, fat, water, and vitamins and minerals. Fish can be divided into two broad categories. Some fish are called fatty fish. Fatty fish have a relatively large amount of fat. Salmon is a popular type of fatty fish. Fish with little fat are known as lean fish. Haddock is a common example of lean fish. A major difference between fish and meat is that fish has very little connective tissue. Because of this, fish:

• Are naturally tender.

• Cook rapidly, requiring low heat.

• Can be cooked using moist cooking techniques to keep its natural moistness.

j Will fall apart when cooked, if not handled carefully.

Fish have backbones, an internal skeleton of cartilage and bones, gills for breathing, and fins for swimming. Fish may be divided into three categories, based on their skeleton type. (See Figure 21.1.)

• Flat Fish Flat fish have a backbone running horizontally through the center of the fish. They swim horizontally and have both eyes on the top of their heads. Flounder and halibut are examples of flat fish. Generally, flat fish swim along the bottom of the ocean. They have dark skin on the upper side of their bodies to hide from predators.

• Round Fish Round fish are fish that have a backbone on the upper edge of their bodies. They have an eye on each side of their heads, and they swim vertically. Trout, bass, and cod are common types of round fish.

j Boneless Fish Boneless fish are fish that have cartilage instead of bones. Sharks are boneless fish. Many boneless fish also have smooth skin instead of scales. Some chefs will classify, or sort, boneless fish with round fish.

I Compare What is the major difference between fish and meat?

L 1figure2iT Flat and Round Fish

' Fish Structure Flat fish and round fish have slightly different bone structures. What are the characteristicis of flat fish?


Dorsal fin



Dorsal fin


Gill cover

Dorsal fin



Dorsal fin


Gill cover

Types Boneless Fish


Pelvic Fin

Gill cover

Gill opening Pectoral fin

Pectoral fin

Pelvic fin

Anal fin


Pelvic Fin

Gill cover

Gill opening Pectoral fin

Pectoral fin

Pelvic fin

Anal fin

Examples Round Fish

An Ocean of Fish Most foodservice operations serve only a portion of the types of fish that exist worldwide. Which of these fish are flat fish?

Market Forms of Fish

As the demand for fish has increased and the supply has decreased, fish have become more expensive. Fish were once available only to those living along the coasts or near freshwater sources. Now, fish can be preserved and shipped to any location quickly and safely. However, the names used for different fish may vary from one region of the country to another. For example, bluefish are sometimes called blue snappers.

Fish may be purchased whole or in the form in which it will be cooked and served. (See Figure 21.2.) The available options may vary depending on whether the fish is purchased fresh, frozen, or canned. Generally, restaurant owners find it less expensive to buy fish that is already processed because of processing time that is required to prepare fish for cooking.

Inspection and grading of fish is not required by law like it is for meat and poultry. However, it generally is still inspected. See Section 21.2 for more information on inspection and grading of fish.

Fresh Fish

Before most fresh fish is made available for purchase, it is usually processed in some way. The unwanted parts of the fish, such as heads and fins, are often removed. There are eight forms of fish that can be purchased.

• Whole Whole fish refers to the entire fish as it comes out of the water. Because the internal organs are not removed, this form has the shortest shelf life.

• Drawn Fish that have had their gills and entrails removed are called drawn fish. This form has the longest shelf life. Whole fish are often purchased drawn.

j Dressed Drawn fish that have had their fins, scales, and sometimes their head removed are called dressed fish. j Fillets The sides of fish are called fillets. These are the most common cut offered in restaurants. Fillets can be cut with or without bones and skin. Round fish produce two fillets, one from each side. Flat fish produce four fillets. Two large fillets are cut from the top and two are cut from the bottom of the fish.

Cooking Method Fish
^J A Popular Choice Fish is a popular choice in restaurants today. Why do you think fish is so popular?

y figure 21I2I Fish Market Forms

Fish Forms Fish is available either whole or in the form in which it will be cooked. Why is it usually less expensive to purchase processed fish?

Types Boneless Fish


Types Boneless Fish


Cross Section Round Fish


Butterfly Fillets


Butterfly Fillets


Butterflied A butterflied fish resembles an open book. The fish is dressed, then cut so the two sides lie open, yet are attached by skin.

Steaks Cross-section cuts of dressed fish are called steaks. The backbone and skin may still be attached. When the cuts are from a large fish, such as swordfish, they are boneless.

Cubes Leftover pieces from large fish are called cubes. They are often used in stir-fries, stews, or kebabs.

• Sticks Small, leftover pieces of fish that are pressed together form fish sticks. They are breaded or battered and sold frozen.

Purchase and Store Fresh Fish

Because fresh fish is not usually graded, the person who receives a shipment of fish must check it for freshness. (See Figure 21.3 on page 546.) Fresh fish spoils more quickly than fresh poultry or meat. Whole fish should be stored on ice. Fillets should be kept on ice in watertight containers.

From the time fish is caught to the time it is cooked and served, maintaining proper storage temperatures is critical to the quality and safety of the fish. The shelf life of fish decreases one day for every day it is stored above 32°F (0°C).

Frozen Fish

Some people believe that frozen fish is not as tasty as fresh fish. However, modern processing methods often mean that frozen fish is less likely to be contaminated. More frozen fish is served in restaurants today than fresh fish.

Quality Characteristics

Use the following quality checks when you purchase and receive frozen fish. j Frozen fish should not be thawed. • Fish should not have freezer burn. Freezer burn is the discoloration and dehydration caused by moisture loss as a food freezes. Fish also should be kept well-wrapped. j Fish should have a thin layer of ice as a glaze. This glaze should not have evaporated or melted. j Fish should not have a fishy smell. A fishy smell results from improper handling.

Thaw and Handle Frozen Fish

Frozen fish products are usually raw or battered and breaded. Follow these guidelines to handle it safely:

j Never thaw fish at room temperature. Always thaw fish in the refrigerator. Allow 18 to 36 hours for frozen fish to thaw in the refrigerator. If you are in a hurry, keep fish in its original packaging, and run it under cold water at 70°F (21°C) or lower. j You can cook small pieces of fish while they are frozen. This makes for easier handling and less drip loss. Drip loss is the loss of moisture that occurs as fish thaws. • Fish may be partially thawed, then prepped and cooked. Partially thawed fish will handle more easily than completely thawed fish. j If frozen fish is already breaded or prepared in some way, be sure to follow the package directions for cooking. j Do not refreeze fish.

Because fish spoils quickly, it is important to store and use it carefully. If a fish tastes strong, it has already begun to spoil. Always check for quality before you prepare fish.

L ]FIGURE213 Quality Tests for Fresh Fish

' Fresh Fish Fresh fish is not usually graded, so foodservice workers must check it for freshness. What happens to fresh fish if it is not stored at the correct temperature?


: Feel


Does the meat separate when the fillet is bent? This is a sign of deteriorated connective tissue between the muscles.

When the fish is pressed, is there a fingerprint left? Fish should be firm. If a dent is visible after the fish is pressed, the fish has begun to decay.

Does the fish smell bad? Fresh fish should smell like seaweed or the ocean. If the fish smells like ammonia, it has gone bad and should not be used.

Are there blood spots in the flesh? Is the fish dry? Fish should be moist and free of blood.

Is the fish slimy? This can be a good sign in whole fish, but a bad sign in fillets.

If the gills are still attached, are they pink or grayish brown? Fresh fish will have red gills.

Are the eyes sunken or cloudy? Fresh fish generally have round, clear eyes.

Purchase and Store Frozen Fish

When you buy frozen fish, be wary of ice inside the fish. This shows that the fish was partially thawed and then refrozen. Be sure that there are no white spots or dry spots, which are signs of freezer burn.

Frozen fish can be kept safely frozen for up to six months, if stored at 0°F (18°C). To prevent freezer burn, keep fish vacuum packed or wrapped tightly in plastic. Vacuum packed fish are fish that have been placed in airtight containers from which the air has been removed to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Some fish is frozen and then vacuum packed prior to being sold. These fish are sometimes canned or sold in pouches. Fish sold in pouches are often packaged in individual servings.

Canned Fish

The most common varieties of canned fish are tuna and salmon. Tuna may be packed in oil or water.

Some canned salmon may contain skin and edible bones that add nutrients and flavor. The label should tell you if it is skinless and boneless. Canned salmon generally has no added liquid and comes in chunk style.

Do not purchase cans that are dented or damaged. As with other canned goods, store canned fish on shelves in a cool, dry place. When opened, transfer any unused fish to a covered container. Label and date the container and refrigerate. The fish will keep, or stay fresh, for two to three days.

fresh fish be stored?

I Explain How should


Review Key Concepts



1. Describe the composition and structure of flat fish.

2. Distinguish between fish fillets and fish steaks.

Practice Culinary Academics ^^ English Language Arts

3. Fish is a protein with many health benefits, but there are also some issues to remember when you select fish. Research and design a brochure that explains the health benefits of eating fish as a protein, as well as issues to remember when choosing fish.

NCTE 7 Conduct research and gather, evaluate, and synthesize data to communicate discoveries.

Social Studies

4. Research the different ways we get fish, including the issues of overfishing and sustainability in fishing, and the environmental and health issues associated with farming. Write a report on your findings, and decide whether these methods are sustainable for the future.

NCSS VII F Production, Distribution, and Consumption

Compare how values and beliefs influence economic decisions in different societies.

^^ Mathematics

5. Charlie is responsible for purchasing squid for appetizers for the restaurant where he works. Charlie has purchased 15 squid tubes ranging in size: 4, 8, 5, 6, 5, 6, 7, 5, 8, 6, 7, 6, 7, 4, and 6 inches. What is the median length of the tubes? What is the mode?

Finding the Median and Mode Given a series of values, the mode is the value that occurs most frequently. The median is the middle number in the series, when the numbers are arranged in ascending order.

Starting Hint Arrange the lengths in order from lowest to highest. Identify the length in the middle of the range. This is the median. Count how many times each number appears. The one that appears most often is the mode.

NCTM Data Analysis and Probability Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data.

fill Check your answers at this book's Online \rS9 |_eamjng Center at


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  • wiktoria
    Which market form of fish are commonly used in restaurants?
    11 months ago
  • stephanie
    What are the cooking techniques for fish and shellfish?
    4 years ago
  • olle
    What are the examples of fish with pictures?
    4 years ago
  • Andreas Holzman
    What are the type of flat fish?
    5 years ago
    What are the cooking techniques for fish and sellfishelaborate your answer?
    5 years ago