Hoki

Species Information

Hoki is a type of fish in the hake family, found off the coasts of New Zealand and Australia. The fish are known by a number of other names, including blue grenadiers, blue hake, whiptails, whiptail hake, and New Zealand whiting. Studies on the hoki fishery have also suggested that the fish are a reasonably environmentally sustainable choice, for consumers who are concerned about fishery management.

The fish tend to live in the middle depths of the water, and they feed on small crustaceans. Larger fish species as well as humans find hoki quite acceptable food, but the fish reproduce in large numbers, so the population stays relatively stable. Hoki fish also mature very rapidly, growing to a size of 2 to 4 feet.

Cooking & Handling

Defrost hoki fillets overnight in the refrigerator and cook within 1 day. Hoki is low in Saturated Fat. It is also a good source of Calcium, and a very good source of Protein, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Selenium.

The fat line in hoki is usually taken out, as it reduces shelf life. Removing the fat line makes the raw fish somewhat fragile, so handle with care. Fragile hoki is best if cooked frozen, except when breading, deep frying, or stuffing. Hoki has a limited shelf life and should be cooked within 24 hours after it thaws. Don't refreeze.

Flavors that work well with hoki are almond, celery, chiles, coconut, dill, leek, lime, olive oil, orange, oregano, pine nut, rice wine, scallion, sesame, snow pea, soy, tarragon, thyme and tomato.

Cooking Methods

Bake, Broil, Fry, Sauté, Steam

Global Supply

Australia, New Zealand

Seasonal Availability

Although hoki are caught year-round, the peak of the New Zealand season runs from late June to September when the fish swarm to spawn.

Did You Know?

Despite its whiptail shape and the fact that it's commonly called "blue grenadier" in New Zealand, a hoki is neither whiptail nor grenadier; it's a hake.

Although they're considered a deepwater species, hoki often disperse into the water column in the evening, rising to within a few hundred feet of the surface.

Scientific Name

Macruronus novaezelandiae

Market Name

New Zealand whiting

Common Names

Hoki, New Zealand whiptail, blue hake and blue grenadier

Substitutions

Hake, flounder, haddock

Raw Characteristics

  • long, wedge-shaped body
  • blue-green top with silver belly
  • white meat
  • few bones

Cooked Characteristics

  • mild, sweet flavor
  • lean, white meat
  • flakes easily
  • medium texture

Pronunciations

French: merlu a longue queue
German: langschwanz-seehecht
Italian: nasello azurro
Japanese: hoki
Spanish: merluza azul