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Whiting, also known as Merluccius bilinearis, is a species found in the North Atlantic Ocean and is particularly abundant in waters off the eastern coast of the United States, including New England and the Gulf of Maine. It is also prevalent in regions of Europe, especially in the North Sea and the western Mediterranean.

Whiting fish have a delicate flavour and a tender, flaky texture, making them versatile for various culinary preparations. They are commonly enjoyed baked, grilled, or fried, and their mild taste pairs well with a variety of seasonings and sauces.

In the United Kingdom, whiting is often used in traditional dishes such as fish and chips, while in Spain, it is a popular choice for seafood stews like zarzuela. In the United States, whiting fish is frequently used in seafood soups, chowders, and fish tacos.

Its popularity stems from its affordability, mild flavour, and versatility in cooking methods, making it a staple in many seafood-loving communities around the world.

How to Cook Whiting

Whiting fish, with its delicate texture and mild flavour, can be cooked in various ways to bring out its best qualities.

One popular method is baking, which preserves the fish's moisture while imparting a subtle flavour. To bake whiting, season the fillets with salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice, then drizzle with olive oil and bake in a preheated oven until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

Grilling is another excellent option for cooking whiting fish, as it adds a smoky flavour and beautiful grill marks to the fillets. Simply brush the fish with oil and seasonings, then grill over medium heat until cooked through, typically about 4-5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the fillets.

For a healthier alternative, consider steaming whiting fish. Steaming helps retain the fish's natural moisture and nutrients while keeping it tender. Place seasoned fillets in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam for 6-8 minutes or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily.

Lastly, pan-searing whiting fish is a quick and easy method that results in a crispy exterior and tender interior. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add seasoned fillets, and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through.

Whichever method you choose, be sure not to overcook the whiting fish to preserve its delicate texture and flavour.

What Can You Make with Whiting?

Whiting Fish and Chips: In the United States, one popular dish is whiting fish and chips, where fillets are battered and fried until golden brown, served alongside fries. This dish is reminiscent of the classic British fish and chips, highlighting the fish's versatility.

Pescado Frito: In Spain, whiting fish is often used in pescado frito, a traditional dish of fried fish served with aioli or lemon wedges. The fish is lightly seasoned, coated in flour or breadcrumbs, and fried until crispy and delicious.

Filet de Merlan: In France, whiting fish is commonly used in filet de merlan, a dish where fillets are pan-seared and served with a buttery white wine sauce infused with herbs like parsley and tarragon. This dish showcases the delicate flavour of the fish and is often served with steamed vegetables or potatoes.

Nizakana: In Japan, whiting fish is a popular ingredient in nizakana, a dish of simmered fish in a soy sauce-based broth. The fish absorbs the umami flavours of the broth and is served with grated daikon radish and green onions.

Overall, whiting fish is a versatile ingredient used in a wide range of dishes globally, from simple fried preparations to more complex culinary creations, highlighting its popularity in various cuisines around the world.

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