Burbot

burbot BurbotThe burbot is the only freshwater member of the cod family found in North America. It is related to the common ling and the cusk. It is found generally in  deep, cool, lakes, rivers and reservoirs north of Iowa. They prefer freshwater but they can survive in brackish water. They prefer colder water and feed more aggressively in the winter months. Burbot are a bottom feeding, predatory fish and can swallow other fish almost as large as them. The burbot or eelpout as it is sometimes called, has been mistakenly considered a worthless fish by some people. Many believe the meat is similar to the taste of lobster therefore it is sometimes referred to as “poor man’s lobster”. Its body is somewhat eel shaped with a head resembling a catfish and one barbell on it’s chin.  It has a mottled green and black skin resembling a reptile. They have very small scales which gives it’s skin a slimy feel. If you catch a burbot and hold it near it’s head, it has a tendency to wrap their body around your arm.  The largest one on record was over 24 pounds and 40 inches in length. Its firm textured flesh is distinctive in flavor.

Cooking Burbot

SKINNED BURBOT Burbot
aokettun / Foter.com / CC BY

The burbot has  firm textured flesh with a  distinctive, delicate flavor. It is a good idea to remove the dark line that runs down the fillet. The best way to cook burbot is to bake, broil, poach, steam or deep fry. Click on a link for ways of cooking.                                                                    HOW TO BAKE FISH                                           HOW TO BROIL FISH                                         HOW TO POACH FISH                                            HOW TO STEAM FISH                                         HOW TO DEEP FRY 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/ 

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