John Dory: Edible?

Is a John Dory a good fish to eat?

The John Dory fish, which is also known as St. Pierre, is a deep-sea fish with a laterally compressed olive-yellow body.  The body also has a large dark spot on it and there are long spines on the dorsal fin.  The dark spot is used as a mechanism to detect danger.  The John Dory is an edible fish, though one that is rarely consumed in the United States.  This is because the John Dory resides primarily in the Atlantic Ocean near Europe and Africa.  As a result, the fish is particularly expensive to export to America, making it a rarity.  When it is shipped, it is typically by air to specific U.S. fish markets.  Consumers seeking John Dory can look for bright skin and red gills as signs of freshness.  The scent of the fish (if it is fresh) will be sweet.  In addition, there is only a relatively small percentage of the fish that is edible.  However, the meat itself is firm-textured and white-fleshed.  It has a mild, sweet flavor and low fat content.  When the John Dory is sold (for the purpose of eating), it is sold whole or as a fillet.  It is a fish that is best enjoyed when cooked whole, particularly because it is suited for roasting or baking.  Fillets can be poached or sautéed, or cut into chunks and added to chowders or stews like bouillabaisse.  The bones also add great flavor to soup stock.  Close substitutes for the taste and texture of the John Dory are porgy, grouper, and monkfish.   

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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