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Hoki is a type of fish which lives in the crystal-clear deep waters of southern New Zealand. The fish is also known by a number of other names, including blue grenadiers, blue hake, whiptails, whiptail hake, and New Zealand whiting. Its scientific name is Macruronus novaezelandiae.
The long silver fish has very tiny scales and looks similar in appearance to Gem fish. Hoki have a long wedge shaped body that is narrower at the tail, with slim fins and a blue-green to silver color pattern. They have huge eyes and a large protruding jaw that is a feature associated with cod and hake. The large eyes make the fish look like they are perpetually startled.
Hoki is usually sold in fillets and the thick flesh is rich in omega-3 fatty acid, making it a very healthy food. The fresh fish is creamy pink to off-white, firm, lustrous, moist flesh and without any brown markings. One of the key indicators to determine if the flesh is fresh is its pleasant smell. The flesh can be deep fried, pan fried, baked, grilled, barbecued, steamed or smoked.
New Zealand hoki is commonly used for fish and chips, minced for fish burgers and can be found in seafood extender. The fish is one of the varieties used in the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish and McFish sandwiches. It is also favored by reputable restaurants as the dense flesh holds up very well to being sautéd. The flavor is mild and slightly sweet, and the fish pairs well with a wide assortment of sauces and vegetables.
Hoki fish are one of the best sources of omega-3 fish oil supplements. Omega 3 fatty acids are nutrients that our body needs but cannot produce. The fatty acids are good for preventing breast, colon and prostate cancer. It is also possible to reduce prostate tumor growth. Cardiovacular disease is minimized when the nutrient is taken regularly.
Omega 3 fish oil supplements can also help improve heart rhythm problems that can cause sudden death. It is also known to prevent psychotic disorders in children and adolescents. Most scientists and health professionals believe that it is the anti-inflammatory properties of the fish oil that enable it to provide so many health benefits.
In New Zealand, hoki comprise the largest commercial fish species. Because of the high volume of catch, fishing is closely monitored to ensure that the fish are not being excessively exploited.