What is Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides)?

Patagonian toothfish Patagonian toothfish

Common names for Patagonian toothfish

Patagonian toothfish, Antarctic cod, icefish bluefish, tallywag

Other languages for Patagonian toothfish

  • French name: Légine australe
  • Italian name: Merluzzo nero
  • German name: Schwarzer Seehecht

Introduction to Patagonian toothfish

Chilean sea bass are really Patagonian toothfish, a big, slow-growing species that was initially caught in the early 1980s by Chilean longliners fishing the continental shelf at depths of 5,000 to 6,000 feet. Chilean sea bass are members of the family Nototheniidae. The fish is also known in Chile as mero, merluza negra, and bacalao de profundidad (“deep cod”). The fish was first caught off Chile’s southern coast, close to the Antarctic. The grounds have been expanded to include a sizable portion of the Southern Hemisphere. The Chilean sea bass is a large fish; head-and-gutted specimens have weighed in over 100 pounds, although the average market weight is closer to 20 pounds. The fish is sold frozen; “fresh” sea bass is almost usually a “refreshed” product (frozen fish that has been thawed). However, since Chilean sea bass is usually frozen at sea, even when marketed as “previously frozen,” it is a better product. South American sea bass are often larger than their South African cousins.

Product profile for Patagonian toothfish

Chilean sea bass has a taste that is delicious and melts in your tongue. The beef is soft and juicy with huge, thick flakes and is fairly greasy. Raw Chilean sea bass meat is a bright white color. The flesh remains white when cooked, resembling cod in appearance. Freshly cleaned fillets should be gleaming and durable. Freezer burn or discolouration on frozen products are not acceptable.

Cooking tips for Patagonian toothfish

Chilean sea bass is a great grilled fish, but the skinless fillets must be handled with care to avoid falling apart during cooking. Poach or sauté the flesh instead, but avoid strong sauces that overpower the fish’s natural flavor. Chilean sea bass lends itself to smoking due to its high oil content. The same characteristic makes it unsuitable for frying.

Nutrition facts for Patagonian toothfish

Calories: 184 Fat Calories: 130 Total Fat: 14.2 g Saturated Fat: 3.2 g Cholesterol: 49 mg Sodium: 56 mg Protein: 13.2 g Omega 3: 1.3 g

Primary product forms for Patagonian toothfish

Fresh (usually “refreshed”): H&G, Loins, Fillets (skinless) Frozen (most common): H&G, Fillets (skinless)

Global supply for Patagonian toothfish

Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Iran