Chilean Sea Bass
Chilean Sea Bass is a wonderfully flavored fish with a high oil content which keeps it moist during cooking. Chefs-Resources' shows what it’s flavor profile and taste is like, the butchering yield % so you can determine your yield percentage for plate costing purposes, nutrition table, and other useful information.
Chilean Sea Bass Flavor Profile
Chilean Sea Bass has a fabulous taste and an almost sinful mouthfeel. Its high fat content gives it a rich, moist, tender flavor profile which melts in your mouth. It has white flesh with large, tender flakes. I usually cook it to 125° F, about medium to medium-well (note that the Health Dept. recommends 135° for fish).
Typical Cooking Methods
Patagonian Toothfish, Antarctic Toothfish, Antarctic Cod, Icefish, Black hake, Antarctic Blenny, Patagonian Blenny, Icefish, Mero, Bacalao de profundidad, Merluza Negra, Légine australe
Chilean Sea Bass Description (Dissostichus eleginoides, Dissostichus mawsoni)Chilean Sea Bass are actually Patagonian Toothfish (eleginoides) or Antarctic Toothfish (mawsoni) and not a true bass. The average commercial market size is about 20-40 lbs but they can weigh up to 200 lbs. Almost all Chilean Sea Bass is frozen at sea and is almost never available fresh. But these flash frozen fish are very high quality.
Image from Wikipidia-click for licensing
Typical Wholesale Products
H&G, Loins, Skin-on Fillets, Skin-off Fillets
Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh. Frozen available all year long. Chilean Sea Bass is rarely available fresh, but high quality flash frozen product is available all year long.
Chilean Sea Bass Butchering Yield %
|Item||To Skin/On Fillets||To Skin/Off Fillets||Notes|
|Whole Head/Off gutted||68%||54%||If you have yield info on this fish please comment below.|
Range & Habitat
Chilean Sea Bass are caught in both the eastern & western waters of southern South America and southern South Africa. They dwell at depths of between 5,000 - 6,000 feet deep and are caught by longliners.
|Name||Alternate Names||Catch Method||Where|
|Chilean Sea Bass, Black hake, Antarctic Blenny, Patagonian Blenny, Icefish||Longline, Bottom trawl, Chilean Longline, Traps||Crozet Islands, Prince Edward and Marion Islands, Chile||Yes|
|Longline||Heard and McDonald Islands, Falkland Islands, Macquarie Island|
|South Georgia, Kerguelen Islands|
|MSC Certified Gear||MSC Certifed Areas||n/a|
Marine Stewardship Counsel (MSC)
There are currently 4 Chilean Sea Bass fisheries which are certified sustainable by MSC:
|Disclaimer: The sustainability info here is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, each program randomly updates their information without our knowledge. We therefore recommend that you verify the current accuracy of this information.|
= Best Choice/Recommended = Good Alternative = Avoid/Not Recommended
In April 2013, after a one year reassessment of the fishery, the Seafood Watch updated the status and rating of Chilean Sea Bass to include some "Best Choice" and "Good Alternative" options. This is due to a major improvement in the management of the fishery, a decrease in bycatch due to the use of improved gear, and a decrease in pirating and illegal fishing.
There are are also several fisheries which are certified sustainable by the MSC (Marine Stewardship Counsel). MSC certified Chilean Sea Bass does not fall under the "Avoid" categorization for Seafood Watch. And Ocean Wise states, "The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has certified the small South Georgian Chilean Sea Bass fishery as ‘sustainable’ but this fishery only represents a small proportion of Chilean Sea Bass catches." Any vendor, restaurant, or grocery store that states they are selling an MSC product is required to have the MSC "Chain of Custody" certification.
The former rating of "Avoid" was based on the 2006 Seafood Watch Report which suggested the following:
"The majority of Chilean Sea Bass is considered to be over-fished. Additionally, most of the long-line gear which is used is unmodified and as a result it traps and drowns thousands of sea birds including endangered albatross. Because of its popularity, many fish are also caught illegally."
Chilean Seabass Nutritional Information
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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