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What is a Covina Fish?

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I had this dish of a whole fried fish called Covina on the menu of a Korean restaurant in Irvine, CA. It had a delectably moist and soft greyish white flesh (not dry like cod or halibut) while the skin was crisp and salty. The taste of the flesh was very distinctive, almost anchovy-like, but milder. The size was of a very small trout. My question is, what is a Covina fish? I'm sure there are other names that it goes by, as other species such as Wahoo have so many names associated with it. Any clues?

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  1. I believe it is a misspelling of CORVINA...

    Corvina is like a white sea bass...

    1 Reply
    1. re: HDK

      I'm glad to see this question asked. But I repeat Elmomonster's question: does it go by other names? I have only ever seen it on Korean restaurant menus, where it is ubiquitous.

    2. Probably a fish common to West Covina waters.

      1. I believe it's the same thing as a Cobia, which is one of my favorites. I caught one off the Jupiter inlet that went 45 pounds. Very tasty on the grille with lemon-garlic butter.

        2 Replies
        1. re: flavrmeistr

          Did it look like this? If so, I can see it is a favorite. : D

          Link: http://www.bajadestinations.com/fishi...

          1. re: Kirk

            Your fish looks like more of a seabass. Cobia has a big ugly head and I believe is part of the ling family. Still, those are two fine-looking specimens you have there, both fish and angler!

        2. I grew up eating this in Panama. It makes the best ceviche!

          1. Corvina (not covina) is a group of related fish species in the genus Cynoscion. They occur exclusively on the West Coast from Peru to Alaska and are similar to the East Coast weakfishes, which are in the same genus. They are not at all like cobia, Rachycentron canadum, which is found world-wide, but is more commonly associated with the Gulf of Mexico.

            The only corvina species found consistently north of the Mexican border is Cynoscion nobilis, also known as the white seabass, which can reach a length of 4 ft and a weight of approximately 80 lbs. Corvina is the fish traditionally used in ceviche, as an earlier poster mentioned.

            1. All of the explanations below are correct... for corvina. However, that's not what you had.

              Korean restaurants typically serve Yellow Croaker, and pass it off as "corvina." As you pointed out, it was a small, trout-sized, whole fish that was served; not a filet from a larger fish.

              Image: http://www.afcd.gov.hk/fisheries/Port...

              3 Replies
              1. re: Joe B.

                That's it! That's what I had at the Korean place. Although, I'm not sure it was a misspelling of "corvina" now. A web site I found on Korean fisheries seem to indicate that it is an actual name of the species. Also, this post on the Florida board seems to talk about "covina" also.

                http://www.chowhound.com/south/boards...

                It would be a bizarre coincidence that all of these places share the same misspelling.

                So is the verdict that "covina" is a more palatable name than "croaker"?

                Link: http://reference.allrefer.com/country...

                1. re: elmomonster

                  "It would be a bizarre coincidence that all of these places share the same misspelling."

                  See "pork pump."

                  ;)

                  1. re: Joe B.

                    You are absolutely right.

                    Here's a USDA document referencing yellow croaker and yellow corvina.

                    Link: http://www.fas.usda.gov/gainfiles/200...