If you are a fish-lover, a housewife or even a professional chef, I guess you might know a kind of fish named Pompano. It is well known in Florida and Atlantics and for the special appearance and nutrition.
But what Pompano fish really is? How it helps your health and how to cook pompano fish perfectly? Let’s take a look at the article below, there is all the information about Pompano fish that you are looking for.
Table of Contents
- What is Pompano Fish?
- How does Pompano Fish look like?
- What does Pompano Fish Taste Like?
- What are the Health Benefits of Pompano Fish?
- How to Buy a Fresh Pompano Fish?
- How to Cook Pompano Fish?
- Top 4 Best Way to Cook Pompano Fish 2019
What is Pompano Fish?
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Pompano fish is a saltwater type that often found inshore and near the shore, particularly along sandy beaches, oyster banks, over grass beds, in turbid water and water as deep as 130 feet. The name Pompano is used to categorize the different species in the Jack family (Carangidae) because they put up a big fight.
Commonly, pompano fish grows to about 3 pounds and 18 inches and several largest species can weigh up to 30 pounds and grow up to 25 inches in lengths. This type of fish has an attractive appearance with beautiful skin, silvery scales and white flesh.
The species are cultivated and harvested primarily along Florida’s west coast; therefore, they are usually called as Florida and Golden Pompano or Atlantics Pompano. Pompano fish is mostly harvested from wild and commercial landings are limited, as a result, prices remain quite high in many markets. The harvesting period is between March and September and the adult Pompano fish migrates to the Bay area around the same time. Their menu usually consists of shrimp, tiny fish and mollusks.
Especially, Pompano is also called “the highly preferred eating fish” in the world because of its taste and its particular shape which totally fits every cooking appliance. The most preferred Pompano is the Trachinotus carolinus and is also the most expensive one.
How does Pompano Fish look like?
The pompano fish has a compressed body and short snout, coloration varies from blue-greenish gray silver on the dorsal area and silver to yellow on the body and fins. It has no visible vertical bars on sides with yellowish-in-color fins (mainly the anal fin) and a deeply forked tail. Throat, belly and pelvic are blue-greenish silver with yellow in color. The dorsal fin is set low on the Pompano fish’s back and matched by a slightly shorter anal fin underneath. It has 22 to 27 soft rays and the anal fin has 20 to 23 rays. Locating in front of an elongated dorsal fin is six short spines.
What does Pompano Fish Taste Like?
The Pompano fish is the expensive type of saltwater fish due to its wonderful flavor, texture and fat content. Pompano fish tastes firmly but finely-flaked with a sweet and mild flavor. The flesh is pearly white except for a darker layer under the skin but still remains fat in content and has a strong flavor. After you cook fillets, the thick pearly-white flesh is transformed into a slightly thicker whitish one.
Moreover, many chefs consider that Pompano fish is a “clean-tasting fish” with its sweetness and versatility so it can be used in many dishes. It also tastes like mahi-mahi, mullet and snapper; therefore, you can use Golden Pompano as a substitute.
Pompano is actually “the world most edible fish” in many at-home chefs’ opinion because it holds together very well for all modes of cooking and its shape fits perfectly for all cooking equipment such as pans and steamers better than most fish do. You can fry, steam, bake or poach whole fish or fillets, both choices definitely work well. Pompano fish works beautifully with acidic flavors, citrus and herbs that remove the “fishy taste”. Moreover, it is also combined with Sicilian and Asian cuisines such as Kimchi and Miso soup.
What are the Health Benefits of Pompano Fish?
Besides the amazing flavor of Pompano fish, it also has a variety of health benefits for people to prove its own value.
#1 Nutritional value
Pompano fish is a wonderful kind of fish that has good nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Florida Pompano or Golden Pompano contains high levels of phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B1, B12 and A, copper and potassium. Per 90-gram fillet provides 185 calories and high levels of protein. It is also found that this fish has key amino acids and antioxidants.
#2 Enhancing metabolism
With the high content of Vitamin B in Pompano fish, it helps to regulate bodily functions, increase the body’s metabolism and provide amounts of good concentrations of riboflavin, niacin, thiamine and pyridoxine.
#3 Lowering bad cholesterol
This fish is a great source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, though it has high levels of saturated fat. Just keep the rest of your saturated fat intake in check, obviously, you can lower bad cholesterol levels with Pompano fish.
#4 Strengthening bones and brain health
This fish has good amounts of key minerals that prevent weakness and fragility of bones. Moreover, Pompano fish contain healthy fats that have been linked to improve cognitive functions and lower the risks of neurodegenerative diseases.
How to Buy a Fresh Pompano Fish?
Well, when you know what Pompano fish is and how it looks like but you are still confused and unsure of what to buy. Remember all I give you below, then you will find the best choice.
People often confuse between Pompano fish and other fish that look similar, so in case of confusing, make sure to choose a Pompano that doesn’t weigh more than 3lbs. More physical signs for you to choose a good pompano fish are a shiny surface, pink or deep red gills and tight scales. Don’t buy a fish that has mucus, a foul odor or slime because it is not a typical fresh one. If it has a not-shiny belly and cuts or bones showing and doesn’t smell similar to milkfish, it is no longer fresh anymore.
The next thing to consider is the origins of Pompano fish: wild-caught or farmed-raised. The meat of wild-caught pompano fish is always firmer and tastes more natural than the farmed-raised one which is not well-regulated and tested.
Remember that you should always check when the deals are too good. If it is too cheap, maybe the expiration date coming or food safety is not be guaranteed. Especially, buying cheap pompano fish out of season – as the winter – can be also not a typically fresh and clean fish.
How to Cook Pompano Fish?
Because Pompano fish is “the most edible fish”, so you will find many ideal ways to cook Pompano fish beautifully and deliciously and still keep its mild flavor. However, there are 4 common methods to cook are baking, grilling, steaming and frying.
Top 4 Best Way to Cook Pompano Fish 2019
#1 Baking: BREVILLE the Compact Smart Oven BOV650XL
Like I’ve said above, you can bake your pompano fish. All you need is just a bit of butter or olive oil, a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper, it’s the typical baking way so you can easily taste the original mild flavor. You could use a combination of spices and sauces such as lemon juice, herbs or wine to add some extra flavors, you may find them bursting in your mouth.
Firstly, you should preheat oven to 200 degrees C and then baking pompano fish until fragrant, it will take about 20 minutes. 10 minutes after, when pompano flakes easily peeled with a fork, your dish is ready to serve.
The best oven that I want to introduce to you to cook the best pompano dish is the BREVILLE the Compact Smart Oven BOV650XL. The compact smart Oven by Breville has smart element IQ that transfers heat intelligently across 4 quartz elements for adjusting heat and time precisely so you never have to worry about the meat will be too dry or too scorched. Moreover, it has a compact and space-saving design; therefore, it is very suitable for people who don’t have a large space for kitchen equipment. Using this device, no doubt that your baked pompano fish will be cooked beautifully.
#2 Grilling: Blackstone 17in Portable Griddle
Do you know? Grilling is an ideal way to cook the golden pompano fish with the skin on, it does not need a lot of ingredients and it is easy to prepare. The best way is to grill the fillets with olive oil, lime juice and a touch of salt and pepper, the ingredients are quite similar to the baking method but making a total difference in flavor. Florida Pompano fish has fat content also buttery taste so heavy sauces or seasonings are not too necessary for grilling.
Before cooking, you need to heat up the grill and spray olive oil all over the pompano, then you grill each side in 7 to 9 minutes. You can use charcoal, gas or wood to make the best pompano fish with smokey flavor outside but still taste fresh inside.
You definitely need a grill to cook the highest quality dish of Pompano fish for your family, so I will let you acquainted with an appliance called Blackstone 17in Portable Griddle. If you just want to use a grill for average size food, it is the top choice for you, especially for cooking Golden pompano with a particular shape that fits all the devices as I said above. It uses gas and a stainless steel “H” burner that heats up fast and you will not need put much effort to fire up wood or charcoal so save your time. The flavor is also guaranteed because you can easily adjust the heat. Furthermore, this Blackstone griddle is convenient and portable, so you can bring it everywhere you want.
#3 Frying: Simple Living 5.8qt Digital XXL Air Fryer
If you are a big fan of crispy food and oily flavor, fried pompano fish is for you. The fried recipe is very simple and easy for everyone to follow. Before cooking, make sure that you remove all gills, innards and scales and do not forget to rub the fish with salt to decrease the fishy taste.
Before processing, you should create incisions on both sides of the fish, this will make the ingredients and spices penetrate and absorb the meat. If you scared of too oily fish, the most perfect way to not let pompano fish splatter oil is to dredge it in all-purpose flour. The flour will absorb all the liquid outside the fish’s surface which lessons and eliminates splatter.
Nowadays, there are a lot of modern fryers that help you prevent splattering action. An air fryer is the right cooking appliance you are looking for. You can consider Simple Living 5.8qt Digital XXL Air Fryer. The Simple Living Air Fryer uses a Dynamic Airflow Technology that rapidly surrounds food to cook instead of oil. Therefore, the result will be much healthier, more crispy and delicious. Compared with traditional cooking or deep frying, no smoke or smell is created so it ensures a healthier environment, low fat and calories. Moreover, it allows you to cook more in a time with 3 layers of non-stick Teflon coating.
#4 Steaming: Cook N Home 02401 Cooker Steamer Multipots
If you want to keep the original and fresh flavor of pompano fish, steaming is the right choice for you. This cooking method is not common in Western countries as in the Asia area, especially in South East Asian countries. It is considered as a light dish for lunch or even dinner that just has simple preparation and takes about 20 to 45 minutes to steam, different sizes of fish will take different cooking times. Ginger sauce is a popular ingredient that is used for steamed pompano fish. After that, you just need to place the dish in the steamer and wait. No stirring, no oil splatters so you can easily clean up without any difficulty.
Have you ever thought about buying your own steamer set to cook not only pompano fish but also a variety of dishes? A Cook N Home 02401 Cooker Steamer Multipots is an ideal steamer set you should get. It includes a stockpot, steamer insert, pasta insert/pot and a tempered glass lid. Made of stainless steel with an encapsulated aluminum bottom for even heat. You can easily view food inside the pot through the glass lid so it allows you to control the ripeness. You can steam a variety of food like Florida Pompano fish, dumplings, pasta, dim sum, chicken, etc… However, some bad reviews of the glass lid show that they are broken after some uses so maybe it doesn’t guarantee your food safety.
Pompano fish is a kind of healthy and nutritious fish, especially is well-known for its beautiful, shiny and special physical appearance so the price is very high in some markets. This fish looks quite similar to some species, be careful when buying to make sure you buy a good pompano fish. One advantage of this fish is that it has a unique shape, you can cook it with different cooking appliances such as oven, grill, pan/air fryer or even steamer. I hope this article will give you the most comprehensive understanding of Pompano fish and then know how to cook it right with the best devices.