This fish has some similarities in appearance to the mackerel, although it is actually a member of the jack family. It is closely related to the Florida pompano. An abundant fish, it usually travels in large schools. It is similar shape to the mackerel and it has a greenish -blue back, silver sides and a white belly. It can be found on the Pacific coast from Alaska to Baja California and has been known to grow to 5 pounds and 32 inches in length. Less than 20 inches is the most common market size.
Also known as California jack mackerel, the jack mackerel is most often found canned. It has a dark colored meat with a distinctive flavor. When canned, it has a taste similar to sardines and can be substituted in recipes calling for canned salmon or tuna. It is considered a safer fish to eat than tuna because of its smaller size. The best way to cook jack mackerel is to Bake, Broil, Pan fry or Poach.