Whiting Fish


Whiting fish (Merlangius merlangus) is a relative of the Cod fish. It is very common around most of the British coastline from September onwards.

The Whiting fish is a small member of the cod family, and should be bought fresh. It is very delicate and may fall apart when cooked, but it's excellent to use for fish cakes or fish mousse.

In the U.S. it is commonly described as the English whiting. The name whiting on its own, is often used for various species of hake. In Canada it is known as Alaskan pollock.


Other names: Whiting
Translations: Merlangs Fish, Merlangas Žuvys, Peste Merlan, Whiting Riba, Ryby Whiting, Wijting Vis, व्हिटिंग मछली, Peixe Badejo, Уайтинг рыбы, Νταούκι Ψάρια, أسماك القد, 호분 피쉬, Whiting Ryby, Whiting Isda, 怀丁鱼, Fish Whiting, Mol Fish, Whiting Ryby, דגים וייטינג, Vitling Fish, Пиштољ Рибе, ホワイティング魚, Hvilling Fisk, Hvitting Fish, Fish Whiting, Уайтінг риби, Valkoturska Fish, Меджид Риба

Physical Description

Less than 30 inches in length, whiting are silvery with a distinctive black blotch at the base of each pectoral fin. They have three dorsal fins and two anal fins. The fish weighs between 1 and 5 pounds and is most often sold (fresh or frozen) whole or filleted.

Colors: silvery with a black blotch at the base of each pectoral fin

Tasting Notes

Flavors: delicate and mild
Mouthfeel: Delicate
Food complements: Since it has such a light and mild flavor it pairs with a wide variety of foods. it's excellent in fish stews and curries and is tasty both with sweet and savory seasonings.
Wine complements: White wines, Such as chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio
Beverage complements: Beer
Substitutes: Hake, Pollock, Cod

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, september, opctober, november, december
Peak: opctober, november
Choosing: Choose whiting that smell fresh, clean and oceanic. The flesh should be clean and translucent looking and the color good. For whole fish, the eyes should be well rounded and clear, not sunken, dry and cloudy. The gills should have good vibrant color.
Buying: But fresh or freshly frozen.
Procuring: Whiting love clean sand and shingle seabeds. When fishing for whiting it is best to use a light spinning outfit. The heavier rods and set ups tend to mask the light tap tap feeling of a fish taking the bait. Line with an 8 - 12 test is a good choice, and a number 6 hook.

Fresh or frozen, peeled, shrimp cut into pieces as large as the joint of your pinky finger is ideal bait as the whiting most often mistake the bait for sand fleas and gobble it up.
When you feel a tap tap through the line, count to two, then set your hook and begin reeling the fish in.

Preparation and Use

Excellent broiled, sauteed, grilled or fried; use in fish mousse or fish cakes.

Cleaning: Using a filleting knife (or your favored knife), run the blade along the back bone of the fish starting just behind the gills and pectoral fins, and stopping just before the tail. Flip the fish over and repeat the cut along the other side. Each fish should yield two large fillets.

Conserving and Storing

Cook within a day or two of purchase (or caught) or freeze.



Related Cooking Videos