butterfishThe Butterfish is a family of fish which can found on the west coast from British Columbia to Baja California. On the east coast it ranges from Nova Scotia to the shores of North Carolina.

They resemble the Florida pompano, therefore people on the west coast often mistakenly call them pacific pompano or golden pompano. They look similar but the pompano has ventral fins and the butterfish does not. On the east coast they are sometimes called dollarfish, pumpkinseed, shiner, skipjack or harvest fish.  Escolar is sometimes sold as butterfish although you must be careful about this one. If you eat to much escolar it can cause digestive problems. Because of this many countries, including the United States have banned the sale of escolar as butterfish. Sablefish and black cod are often called butterfish but this is not the same fish.

It is a thin fish with a somewhat oval shape where the cod will normally be in thicker pieces.  They have a bluish or gray back and a silver belly. It averages 8 inches in length although it can grow to 12 inches and 1 ½ pounds.  All said, the true butterfish is a very good eating fish.

Cooking Butterfish

Butterfish has a tender flakey flesh which is mild in flavor. After cooking it remains moist with a little color. Cooks often cook them whole because of their small size . The best way to cook  is to bake, pan fry or poach. Here are some ways to cook them.                               HOW TO BAKE FISH                                                                                                                       PAN FRY FISH                                                                                                                                    POACH FISH                                                                                                                                        For information on other fish and how to cook them go to                                                                                                                                                                 If you need information on shellfish check out