The lesser-known fish

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    The lesser-known fish

    Monkfish

    Calling it "the poor man's lobster" may not be the best marketing technique, but the meaty white flesh of the monkfish's tail is often compared to that of the crustacean.

    Wikimedia Commons

    The lesser-known fish

    Spiny dogfish

    The white meat of the spiny dogfish, also sold as Cape Shark, has a sweet, mild flavor and firm texture. Its high oil content makes it ideal for deep frying (as the British do for fish and chips) or for smoking.

    arendv/Shutterstock

    The lesser-known fish

    Sturgeon

    A number of fish are grouped under the name sturgeon; the most sustainable of them are farmed in British Columbia. "Everybody enjoys their eggs as caviar," said Rock Moonen, "but the fish itself hasn’t reached a critical point of popularity." Their firm, meaty flesh makes for a fine steak.

    Teguh Tirtaputra/Shutterstock

    The lesser-known fish

    Cobia

    A white meat fish with a sweet, rich flavor, cobia makes for great sashimi. Rarely fished in the wild, the majority of cobia are farmed in China. A facility in Virginia raises them to standards certified as sustainable.

    Peter Leahy/Shutterstock

    The lesser-known fish

    Greater amberjack

    Recreationally fished in Florida and New Orleans, the Greater Amberjack has pale pink flesh and a sweet flavor. Rick Moonen thinks its name is holding it back.

    Fabien Monteil/Shutterstock

    The lesser-known fish

    Wahoo

    One of the fastest fish in the sea, it's taste has been compared to albacore tuna and, when grilled, to chicken and veal. Thought to be named for a mispronunciation of the island Oahu, its other name, "ono" is Hawaiian for "good to eat."

    Dan Bach Kristensen/Shutterstock

    The lesser-known fish

    Arctic char

    What Rick Moonen refers to as "salmon lite" has been described as falling somewhere between that and trout, though it has finer flakes than either. It's rated as a "best choice" for sustainability.

    Le Do/Shutterstock

    The lesser-known fish

    Pompano

    Full-flavored, oily and high in fat, pompano "makes a statement." They're fished off the Gulf Coast and are well-suited to aquaculture.

    HLPhoto/Shutterstock

    The lesser-known fish

    Barramundi

    Mild, flaky and delicate, that the fish is endorsed by Dr. Oz as a "superfood" should be all the promotion it needs.

    WDFW

    The lesser-known fish

    Petrale sole

    Actually a flounder, this West Coast flatfish has a tender white meat that's sweet and mild in flavor.

    NatalieJean/Shutterstock

    The lesser-known fish

    Pacific sanddab

    Fans of the sanddab rave about its nutty flavor, and they're billed as a better alternative to flounder.

    oorka/Shutterstock

    The lesser-known fish

    Whiting

    Another name for hake, it's one of those small fish that Peter Hoffman says are best cooked on the bone, or in a stew. It was once called "trash fish," but is increasingly seen as a good alternative to cod or halibut.

    NOAA

    The lesser-known fish

    Sablefish

    Sometimes called butterfish due to its melty, oily meat, it also goes by the name of black cod. It's said to have the best qualities of Chilean sea bass, except it's much more sustainable.

    Coast-to-Coast via iStock

    The lesser-known fish

    Blackfish

    So as not to confuse it with the controversial documentary about SeaWorld, this fish can be called by its Native American name, Tautog. It swims the waters from Nova Scotia to South Carolina and, like monkfish, also is sometimes called "poor man's lobster" for its sweet taste. Common consensus is that it's ugly and slimy, yet delicious.

    JIANG HONGYAN/Shutterstock

    The lesser-known fish

    Atlantic croaker

    This little fish is abundant in the Gulf of Mexico and on the southern Atlantic coast of the U.S. Those who chose to eat it instead of using it as bait for larger catches say it's "very succulent and not too fishy." And yes, it actually croaks.

    feathercollector/Shutterstock

    The lesser-known fish

    Flying fish

    A staple in the Barbados also found in Japanese sushi, the tropical fish has a firm, tender white meat.

    Wikimedia Commons

    The lesser-known fish

    Red mullet

    A species of goatfish popular in France and the Mediterranean, it has a "fine and delicately flavored" flesh, while its creamy liver is seen as a delicacy.

    Kletr/Shutterstock

    The lesser-known fish

    Zander

    A great substitute for the North American walleye, this aquaculture-friendly member of the perch family is lean, tender and almost boneless.

    Wikimedia Commons

    The lesser-known fish

    Lingcod

    It's neither a ling nor a cod, but actually a Pacific greenling, harvested off the West Coast of the U.S., where chefs are said to prefer it to halibut.

    Wikimedia Commons

    The lesser-known fish

    Porgy

    Also known as sea bream -- officially sparidae -- it's Chef Peter Hoffman's choice for a great, affordable fish that's best cooked whole or in a stew.

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Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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