Fresh Barracuda is a powerfully flavored fish which lends itself best to grilling or searing cooking applications. Chefs-Resources' Barracuda page shows when fresh Barracuda is available, what it?s flavor profile and taste is like, the butchering yield % so you can determine your yield percentage for plate costing purposes. You?ll also find a Barracuda nutrition table, the Flavor Scale, and links for further Barracuda research.
Barracuda Flavor Profile
Pacific Barracuda have a full flavor, meaty firm texture with large flakes, low fat content and flesh which is light tan when raw and off-white when cooked. Barracuda spoils quickly so keep it well chilled right up to the time of cooking and use within 2 days of purchase. It works well with marinades, sauces need to be potent in order to stand-up to this full flavored fish.
Typical Cooking Methods
Pacific Barracuda, California Barracuda, Silver Barracuda, Kaku, Kupala
Description (Sphyraena argentea)
The Barracuda is a slim, missile shaped fish with silvery-blue skin. There is an Eastern (Great Barracuda) and a Pacific Barracuda. The Pacific Barracuda is the only one sold commercially in the USA. It averages 3 - 6 lbs but can weigh up to 12 lbs.
By contrast, the Eastern or Great Barracuda can reach 100 lbs. Although the Great Barracuda is sold in other parts of the world, it has no commercial value in the USA due to concerns with ciguatera poisoning. Pacific Barracuda poses no health concern if handled properly. Barracuda must be bled immediately upon catching or the meat will spoil.
Image from Wikipidia-click for licensing
Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh. Frozen available all year long.
Barracuda Butchering Yield % and Recovery
|Item||To Skin/On Fillets||To Skin/Off Fillets||Notes|
|Whole Head/On gutted||61%||If you have yield info on this fish please comment below.|
Range & Habitat
Pacific Barracuda are found from Kodiak, Alaska to southern California. Younger fish are frequently found in small schools, while adults tend to be more solitary. Both young & old tend to be found near the surface and close to shore. They are a voracious, predatory species which feed primarily upon other fish.
Typical Wholesale Products
Whole Dressed (gilled & gutted), Fillets, Steaks
As of January 2013 I could find no info on the sustainability, good or bad, of Barracuda. I searched the sustainable programs of Seafood Watch, SeaChoice, Ocean Wise, and Blue Ocean but found nothing.
based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving
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David Buchanan is a professional chef and author of Chefs-Resources.com, a site geared towards providing chefs and culinarians useful info to help in their kitchens.
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