Whiting/Hake

Species Information

Hake is a deepwater member of the cod family. Atlantic whiting are sold inexpensively in U.S. fish markets simply as whiting. Though there are subtle differences between hake and whiting, they are sold interchangeably and make a good, less expensive substitute for pollock or cod.

While both hake and whiting have a reputation for mushy texture, fresh and well-handled fish does not suffer from this. They are often used for commercial fish sticks.

Cooking & Handling

Store hake and whiting up to 1 day refrigerated.

Hake and whiting can be substituted for many dishes calling for pollock or cod.

They are excellent fried in a light crispy batter. The key is to handle fillets gently when preparing.

Whiting is a good source of selenium, vitamin B, magnesium, and protein.

Try hake and whiting dishes with flavors such as anchovy, balsamic vinegar, bay leaf, capers, cilantro, coriander, cumin, cured black olives, garlic, lemon, marjoram, mayonnaise, olive oil, orange, preserved lemon, thyme, tomato, white wine.

Cooking Methods

Bake, Broil, Fry, Sauté

Global Supply

Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Peru, Southafrica, United States

Seasonal Availability

Fresh and frozen are available year-round.

Atlantic whiting from the northwest Atlantic are the most common speicies in the United States and are in season from October to December.

Pacific whiting are found from the Bering Sea to Baja California. It is in season in May and June.

Cape capensis is in season year-round. Whiting are best in February and March, just before they spawn.

Did You Know?

Whiting is primarily used in manufacturing surimi, a processed fish flesh that is the basis for artificial crab and shrimp.

Pacific whiting are an important prey item for sea lions, toothed whales, and sharks.

Scientific Name

Merluccius spp.

Market Name

Hake, Cape capensis, Antarctic queen

Common Names

Whiting, Argentine whiting, Chilean hake, Capensis, South African whiting, Pacific hake/whiting, North Pacific whiting, Atlantic hake/whiting, silver hake

Substitutions

Cod, Pollock, Flounder

Raw Characteristics

  • lean body
  • flesh coarse, watery appearance
  • white to off white meat
  • highly perishable
  • market wt 1–2 lbs

Cooked Characteristics

  • mild tasting, sweet meat
  • pure white to off white meat
  • soft to medium texture
  • small flake

Pronunciations

French: Merlu
German: Seehecht
Italian: Nasello
Japanese: Heiku
Spanish: Merluza