New Zealand, Wild-caught
- Size: Length 12-18 inches (30-40cm)
- Weight: Average whole fish 2-5 lb. (0.9-2.5kg) / fillet 7-17 oz. (180-500g). Can range up to 13 lb. (6kg)
- Availability: Year Round
- Cooking Methods: A great item to menu or offer as a special, Tarakihi lends itself well to all cooking methods including Sushi/sashimi, bake, BBQ, curry, fry, poach, marinate, soup/chowder.
Tarakihi belong to the Cheilodactylidae family and are common throughout New Zealand’s inshore waters in depths of 82–492 ft (25 to 150 meters). They are silver-grey in color with a blue-green sheen. The belly has shading of silver and white, and there is a distinctive black band between the head and dorsal fin.
Tarakihi is highly sought after by both commercial and recreational fishermen. Its eating properties belie it’s somewhat plain appearance and it is considered by the culinary world as one of New Zealand’s ‘best kept seafood secrets’. Tarakihi compare favorably even to the much more popular New Zealand snapper in terms of both flavor and texture.
Lee Fish Tarakihi are caught by long-line, and New Zealand’s Tarakihi fishery is managed by strict quotas, as regulated by the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) which is set every year in order to ensure sustainability.
Current TACC is 6,439,173 tons.
Fillets are firm and white, with a medium flake and a somewhat sweet flavor profile.