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Fish Loins?

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What is the difference between a fish "loin" and a fillet? Until recently, I only knew of fillets and everything in the head (cheek, collarbone, etc.). Anyone know where the loin comes from?

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  1. The "loin" of a fish is a solid piece of meat not unlike a beef tenderloin. You'll sometimes find it offered from large fish species - Monkfish, Swordfish, Tuna, etc. "Loins" are sometimes offered whole for sale, but normally are presented at the fish market so that "steaks" can be custom cut from them.

    "Filets" are cut/sliced horizontally from fish, along the bone (to render the filets boneless). Fish like tuna, swordfish, marlon, shark, etc. are cut into loins & steaks because their bone structure is different from the normaly filleted other fish species - sole, flounder, salmon, etc., etc.

    But the above rules aren't set in stone. Do some research re: fish cuts to learn what cuts are available & what might work best for what you want to cook.

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    1. re: Breezychow

      I had a feeling it was like that, but then I see black bass loins and tilapia (not that I would spend my hard earned money on this fish) loins, and I figured they were too small to have loins so would that be a mislabeling?

    2. Fish "loins?" Lol...what's next, sirloin of Chilean sea bass? Rack of Calamari? Breast of mackerel
      mignonne?

      1 Reply
      1. While clearly a marketing term it's used for the "best" portion of the fish, most notably tuna loins (where it's been used for a long time to represent the portion analogous to beef tenderloins). So in packaging it has no real meaning but with a good fishmonger it's useful shorthand.