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A white, round sea fish, whiting is a small member of the cod family and very similar in flavour but is more economical and sustainable to buy than cod. Its flesh is light, firm, lean, sweet and delicate but can turn mushy if cooked too slowly. There are several varieties of whiting.
Species which is adversely affected by the horrific discard process in the North Sea. An estimated two-thirds of all whiting caught by trawlers in this part of the world are dumped back in the sea - dead! - Due to the lunacy of European Union fisheries policies!
Whiting is a good fish to use in fishcakes and homemade fish fingers. Like pollack, its taste is sensational if eaten very fresh. The French use whiting to make mousseline (a sort of fish pâté) or treat it to a number of lovely wine-based or cider-based sauces. Or mix whiting with other white fish in pies and soups.
Whiting is a smallish fish just under 30cm in length; whiting have slender bodies with a silvery belly, white sides and sandy to blue-green coloured backs. They also have long snouts with an upper jaw longer than the lower and weigh between 500g and 2kg.
What does the fishmonger say?
It’s important to choose whiting that smell fresh, clean and oceanic. The flesh should be clean and translucent-looking, and the gills should have a vibrant colour. A good tip is to check that the eyes are well rounded and clear – not sunken, dry or cloudy.