The bonito can be found on the east coast from Nova Scotia to Argentina and on the west coast from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California. It is a predatory fish. Also a very fast, strong swimmer often reaching speeds of 50 miles per hour. It’s average weight is from 4 to 6 pounds but it can reach the 12-15 pound range. Fish over 20 pounds and 40 inches in length are found but they are uncommon. Their lifespan is about 9 years.
Sometimes called Skipjack or Horse Mackerel, the Bonito is dark blue on the back and has a white belly with horizontal stripes that slant upward toward the tail. They are similar in appearance to the skipjack tuna although the tuna has the stripes on it’s lower belly. The bonito also has many needle like teeth where the tuna doesn’t. It is often substituted for skipjack tuna but cannot be sold as tuna.
The bonito is an oilier fish than the tuna and is considered less desirable because of it’s strong taste. You should bleed the fish as soon as it is caught. For a better flavor it is suggested that you remove the brown blood line that runs the length of the body. The meat of the bonito is dark in color although younger fish tend to have lighter colored flesh.
It has a very distinctive flavor with a rather chewy, layered flesh. After cooking it has a dark color with low moisture content. The best way to cook is to bake, broil or grill. Click on the links for easy ways of cooking bonito.
HOW TO BAKE FISH
For information on other fish and how to cook them go to http://tocookafish.com/fish-index
If you need information on shellfish check out http://tocookashellfish.com/