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Orange Roughy?

I bought a filet of orange roughy. I was just curious if anyone had any tips on how to prepare it.

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  1. You can always do the easy thing...lemon, s&p, butter - then nuke for 3-4 mins. I like mine with fresh dill on top.

    1. We dip it a egg wash and then Panko. A quick fry in veggie oil. Drain on paper towels and squeeze lemon juice. WONDERFUL...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Fog City Kid

        That's how I do it...Serve it with homemade tartar sauce...

      2. It has a "delicate flavor" -- that is, not much. The flesh is fine-grained, cooks quickly and flakes easily.

        That said, don't buy it. The real name of the fish is Slime Head -- one of those deep-water nightmares with the enormous teeth. That's why you never see it except as a filet. Orange Roughy is a made-up name.

        It grows and reproduces extremely slowly, and it's nearly extinct from overfishing.

        Ditto for the Patagonian Tooth Fish, sold under the false commercial name of Chilean Sea Bass.

        2 Replies
        1. re: KRS

          I'd like to echo the "don't buy it" comment. As food-obsessives, it's our responsibility to try to preserve the wonderful things we love to eat. Someone discovered orange roughy as a food fish about, what? 20 years ago? And we've managed to overfish it into near-extinction in that short time. There are so many other fish that we can responsibly consume, we really should be smart about this. I'm not jumping on anyone for buying what's available out there, but if we stop buying it maybe they'll stop selling it.

          1. re: KRS

            I'm shocked as well!!! I was buying something called "White Roughy" frozen at Trader Joe's imported from Southeast Asia. Yikes!

          2. tim, sadly the above posters are correct. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch List says:

            "Orange roughy live 100 years or more—so the fillet in your freezer might be from a fish older than your grandmother! This deep sea fish, once known as the “slimehead,” grows very slowly and doesn’t reproduce until it’s 20 years old.

            "Unfortunately, years of heavy fishing have decimated orange roughy populations. Although fishery management plans are now in place, it’ll take decades for this slow-growing fish to recover. Another concern with orange roughy is the way it’s caught—by bottom trawling. This fishing method can damage the seafloor habitat, and we don’t know what impacts that damage might have on fragile deep sea ecosystems."

            Not your fault. I didn't know either and would have bought the fillet. Enjoy it in honor of the fish.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              Good Lord! I had heard about the so-called Chilean Sea Bass but not the Orange Roughy. Happy to say we have never bought it. Many thanks for the information!!

              1. re: Gio

                Thanks for the information. This will definitely be the last time I buy the fish. I guess it is a good lesson.

                1. re: timhetland

                  Unfortunately, I've lost the URL, but there's a website that has list of endangered fish species to guide you on responsible consumption. I love orange roughy, but haven't purchased it in years. Very sad.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      I don't think that that was the one that I had, but thank you, sam (btw - always enjoy your postings).

                  1. re: timhetland

                    Congrats to tim for a thoughtful response to everyone's environmental alerts on orange roughy. I just read down the thread and I was bracing for a bunch of angry "who cares; it tastes good!" backlash.

                    1. re: GDSwamp

                      I have an obnoxious cousin who, when I challenged him about ordering Chilean sea bass in a restaurant, replied - "Well it's their own damn fault - if they weren't so delicious they wouldn't be endangered!"

                      1. re: Nyleve

                        I've heard from a friend in New Guinea that humans can be pretty tasty... your cousin should watch his back.

                2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  The same website also says there is some danger of High Mercury Levels, so even if someone you know doesn't care about the extinction of the fish, they might be concerned about their own mortality.

                3. And here I thought an orange roughy was the opposite of an orange smoothie! (It's Summertime...)

                  1. Well, since you already have it... I do those foil packets in the oven. Drizzle with a little olive oil, cover with fresh dill, canned mandarin oranges, some of their juice, sliced ginger, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper. It will get soft and sweet as it steams in the orange juice.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: delaneymae

                      Just poached some Thai-curry style. Coconut milk, lemon grass, chile, bok choy, scallions, thai red curry paste etc. Jazzed up some left-over basmati with coconut milk etc. It turned out pretty well.

                    2. I am curious about this.... There are a number of ways in which I've prepared orange roughy in past, but I offered no suggestion to prevent further purchasing of the species. Granted, the beast has been purchased, so you might as well enjoy it; but does anyone else feel that we should remain silent on recipes for the endangered? My inclination is that *no* advice be given regarding the endangered.... similar for cod, swordfish, etc. I welcome comment.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: hungry_pangolin

                        hp, KRS and Nyleve gave us the heads up about orange roughy. There is no orange roughy available here in Colombia, so I don't know anything about it until I looked it up. On a trip to the US I might have gotten some as tim did--unaware of the endangered status. If I were to end up with the fillet and then found out what was involved, I would feel even more obligated to honor the fish with the best preparation and enjoyment possible.

                        Back to your point, I guess that the beauty of CH is that we all learn together and (at least I) won't buy orange roughy in the future.

                        1. re: hungry_pangolin

                          I think we should still give each other tips about endangered fish that has already been purchased. I had no idea about the overfishing of orange roughy, so I'm grateful to have the information. I won't buy it in the future because of what I've learned here. Had I purchased it ignorantly, however, I wouldn't want to let it go to waste merely because it was an endangered fish. The damage would have already been done. And I knew that swordfish have been overfished, but I had no idea about cod. Are haddock and pollock still o.k. choices for mild white fish?

                          In any case, as for the cooking advice, I like white fish with a tomatillo-jalapeno-lime sauce. Sear the fish in some oil on both sides until there's a crispy crust and it is about halfway done and then set aside. In the same pan, saute some chopped white onions and jalapenos, adding some minced garlic when the onions and jalapenos are almost done. Deglaze the pan with about a quarter cup of dry white wine, and then add chopped tomatillos, lime juice, and some cilantro. Simmer this mixture until it gets saucy, and then add the fish filets back to the pan to heat through--about three to five minutes. Serve with rice, tomato salsa, avocado, and lime wedges. Corn on the cob is also good with this.

                          1. re: diva360

                            Here is a link to an EPI recipe we have enjoyed (in the past...)


                            Having posted that link, I agree with Sam and diva that it's wrong to dishonor by wasting anything already marketed and purchased. Once I KNOW a certain critter is endangered, it's not going to find its way into my shopping cart or onto my table.

                            1. re: OldDog

                              As I said, once purchased, it might as well be enjoyed. Throwing it out wouldn't resurrect it through our newly found virtue.I have to say that the diction of the responses has surprised me - pleasantly. That we speak in terms of 'honouring' the fish I think is the perfect response to those who think that chowhound is for decadent sybarites. Obviously, it's not.