Range & Habitat: Northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
Identification & Biology: This marine fish is a member of the rockfish family and bears no relation to freshwater perch. Ocean perch range in color from deep red to orange-red (often called “canary ocean perch”) to black (often called “black ocean perch”). The dorsal fins and opercle (gill covers) are strong and spiny.
Market Description: The flesh is pinkish-white, lean, tender and mild-flavored. The scales are small and easily scraped off; the skin is edible.
Sold as: Fillets (scaled but with skin left on)
Buying tips: Look for fillets of uniform color (no browning or graying); skin should be bright and unmarred, and flesh should glisten. The smell should be seawater fresh.
Substitutes: Rockfish, cod, flatfish, red snapper, weakfish, whiting
Recommended Preparation: You can treat ocean perch as you would any all-purpose white-meat fillet; it is delicious broiled, sautéed, baked, or pan-fried.