The spotted fish is a coral trout, found in tropical waters throughout the world. You’ll see small one’s in restaurant fish tanks in Taiwan. They are a bright pink fish mostly. They are best cooked by steaming or within a soup – or maybe both ways if the fish is large enough.
They are an ‘A” grade species.
Beware of eating the larger dark blue coral cod. Very similar-looking. These are avoided in French Polynesia altogether, but not in Australia. In fact beware of eating slices from any large tropical fish.
Do a Google search for ciguatera, (it’s a tasteless fish toxin most doctors probably don’t know about), especially if you begin feeling strange after eating any seafood. The bad fish are big ones that may have eaten smaller fish. The predator species.
The fish was on ice ready for selection.
Coral Cod are similar to coral trout, nowhere near as common. A bit of a rare species in fact.
Definitely an A grade fish, so I chose it for dinner.
The chef cleaned and prepared it out of sight. Note the way the fish has been sliced, almost – but not quite in halves. Still attached at the top. A practical method yet to be learned by Australian chefs.
The lesson in all this is how much we, is Australia, waste fish.
In Australia we also tend to eat huge portions of a fish as if it were a steak of beef.
The Taipei method is more civilized. Small fish served with delicious sauces and combined with other dishes.
For example, a 300gm fillet of deep fried fish in batter with chips (frozen not fresh) would be a culinary crime here.
In Australia I can’t remember ever seeing a fresh coral cod for sale. Our fish are caught and frozen.
Maybe a few days or a week old by the time we get to eat them. Due of course to the long distances involved from coral reef to consumer.
Live reef fish are exported to Asia where the diners are much fussier.
Smaller versions of this fish are in Taiwan markets and restaurants.