The Pacific ling is one of the least attractive – its Latin name, Ophiodon elongates means long toothed snake – but best tasting fish. Often called ling cod, the Pacific ling is not a cod, but rather a member of the greenling family. Pacific ling are unique to the west coast of North America with the greatest abundance in the rocky areas and underwater reefs of British Columbia. While mature males range in size from four to 12 pounds (almost never exceeding 14-pounds), females will grow to up to five feet in length and a weight of 80 pounds. We harvest Pacific ling using hook and line methods to ensure the highest quality product while avoiding the by catch of non-targeted species. With an almost translucent (and often minty green tinged) flesh that turns to a tender snowy white meat when cooked, many fishermen claim the Pacific ling is the tastiest of the Pacific Northwest groundfish.
Chef Jason Bangerter of Toronto's Luma on wild Pacific ling:
How to Buy: I use ling, a mild but firm and flaky, sustainable ocean fish from B.C. that isn't actually related to cod. It's hard to find in Toronto but B.C. fisherman Steve Johansen of Organic Ocean sells his catch directly to restaurants and says ling is a great alternative to sablefish.
How to Prepare: This recipe for mini fish po' boy sandwiches was developed for a Toronto Ocean Wise event celebrating sustainable seafood. Pat dry a 12 oz (340 g) portion of boneless, skinless ling and cut it into small (1 oz or 30 g) portions. Put three tablespoons (45 mL) of all-purpose flour in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Crack two eggs into a small bowl and beat with a fork. Put three-quarters of a cup (185 mL) of panko (Japanese dried bread crumbs) in a shallow bowl. Coat each piece of fish with the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip the fish in the egg and, again, shake off the excess. Now generously coat the fish in panko and lay the breaded fish on a plate. Heat a medium, non-stick fry pan with one-half inch (one cm) of vegetable oil to 375°F (190°C) and cook the fish for about one minute per side or until golden. Remove the fish to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon. You will now need to spread the inside of 12 mini top-sliced hot dog buns, mini slider thins or mini hamburger buns with chile mayo. Place one piece of fish in each bun and top each with thinly sliced cherry tomatoes, very thinly sliced or shredded romaine lettuce and/or seaweed.
This will provide you with four main or 12 appetizer-size servings.
To prepare the chili mayo, place one-half cup (125 mL) of mayonnaise in a small bowl, add two teaspoons (10 mL) of fresh lemon juice and two teaspoons (10 mL) of dried pure chili powder, Sriracha or any hot sauce, whisk well, cover and refrigerate until needed.
For the seaweed, take dried seaweed flakes or pieces (such as wakame or dulse) and rehydrate them in warm water for about 20 minutes.