Alaskan Pollock Flavor and Culinary Profile
Alaskan Pollock are members of the Cod family and although similar to Atlantic Pollock, they are distinctly different in that they are smaller, have a lower oil content and whiter flesh than their Atlantic cousins. Alaskan Pollock have a mild, delicate taste with white flesh, large flakes, a slightly coarse texture and a low oil content. They have a similar but somewhat milder flavor as haddock or cod.
Due to it’s mild flavor and inexpensive price Pollock is a very versatile option for restaurants. Pollock is also commonly used to make Surimi
Typical Cooking Methods
Buying Guidelines and Imperfections
Avoid fillets with the following defects:
- freezer burnt product – fillets it will have a white cottony appearance
- fillets w/ gray colored flesh
- pieces of skin still on the fillets
- blood spots – indicates bruised flesh as the result of mishandling
- parasites (worms)
Walleye Pollock, Pacific Pollock, Pacific Tomcod
As of January 21, 2016 only Pollock caught from Alaskan waters can be sold as “Alaskan Pollock.”
Typical Wholesale Products
- Boneless/Skinless Fillets
- H&G Loins
- Boneless/Skinless Fillets graded sizes 1/2, 2/4, 4/6, 6/8 oz.
Description (Theragra chalcogramma)
All Pollock (Atlantic & Pacific) are members of the Cod family, but are identifiable from Cod by their speckled markings. Alaskan Pollock, Pacific Pollock, and Walleye Pollock are all the same fish, but it should be noted that Alaskan Pollock is a marketing name specifically for fish caught in Alaskan waters. Pacific Pollock are generally smaller than their Atlantic cousins. They grow quickly and can reach sizes of up to 3 feet or 15 pounds. However, the average commercial size fish is about 2 – 3 pounds with lengths of between 12 – 20 inches.
Fresh Wild Availability
Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh. Frozen product is available all year long.
Average Butchering Yield Percentage and Recovery
|To Skin/On Fillets||To Skin/Off Fillets||Notes|
|62%||40%||34%||If you have additional yield info on this fish please comment below.|
|Head/Off, gutted (H&G)||%||%|
|Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.|
Range & Habitat
Walleye (Pacific) Pollock are found in the northern Pacific from California northward to Alaska on the US West Coast, and along the coasts of Japan, China, and Russia. Alaskan Pollock are found mostly in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. Pollock are commonly found at depths between 300 – 1000 feet, but can be found in waters as deep as 3,290 feet.
Pollock usually swim together in large schools, migrating to shallow waters in the spring to feed & breed, and then move to deeper warmer waters in the winter months.
Alaskan Pollock Sustainability Info
|Name||Alternate Names||Catch Method||Catch|
|Walleye Pollock||Alaskan Pollock, Pacific Pollock, Pacific Tomcod||Wild, Midwater Trawl||Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands||Yes||Low|
|Wild, Trawl||Gulf of Alaska|
|Wild, Trawl||Russia Sea of Okhotsk|
|Disclaimer: The sustainability info above 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||Updated|
The Alaskan Pollock fishery is very well managed and has a low incidence of by catch, lower than 1%.
based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving.