Ocean Perch are found off the coast of North America in the Pacific ocean, most commonly from Oregon northward. They are also found from Japan to the Bering Sea.
Ocean Perch are a rockfish that live primarily in deep waters. They can be found anywhere from 82 to 2,700 feet deep. Ocean perch live and feed near the bottom as well as near the surface of the water and they can live as long as 98 years.
Ocean Perch eat plankton, copepods and krill. They can grow as big as 20 inches long and weigh about 4.4 pounds. Ocean perch reach maturity at around 8 years of age.
Ocean perch are light red, including the fins and have dark green areas on their back and the narrow part of the body to which the tail is attached.
Ocean perch is a healthy, economical fish that doesn’t cost a lot of money and is usually available year round. It is also easy to cook. They are sold whole as well as filleted.
When looking for Ocean Perch, you want a fish that is firm and has a bright, shiny skin. If you are buying it whole, it’s gills should be pinkish red in color.
The fish is delicate but moist and fries well. Most people prefer Ocean Perch baked.
To prepare Ocean Perch for baking, clean it thoroughly, take care to rub away all of the black lining in the stomach cavity. The fish should be rinsed well. Ocean Perch can be cooked with the skin on.
Nutritionally, Ocean Perch in it’s raw state, is low in saturated fat, is a good source of Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and Calcium. Ocean Perch is a very good source of Protein, Phosphorus and Selenium. The bad news is, it is relatively high in cholesterol, containing about 12 mg. per serving.
Recipe for baking Ocean Perch:
1 to 2 pounds of Ocean Perch
1 sliced red onion
Pinch of salt
Pinch of course black pepper
Butter, about 2 Tablespoons
1c. Low-fat sour cream
½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried mustard
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Layer onion in the bottom of baking dish, sprinkled with salt and pepper. Lay the fish on top of the onion and cover. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Mix sour cream, paprika and mustard. Spread mixture on fish and broil just until browned.