What the heck is Hoki?
Updated: Nov 15, 2021
What is Hoki, and where does it come from?
We have been asked this question a number of times since recently adding Hoki to our menu. So, time for a short blog!
Hoki (Macruronus novaezelandiae) is also known as blue grenadier, blue hake, or whiptail. Hoki is a wild-caught fish, caught in the cooler waters of southern Australia and New Zealand, plus the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of South America . Hoki are long and sleek, growing up to 1.3 m in length! They are a deepwater fish (300+ m), but they migrate up into the water column at night.
We source our hoki from Tasmania , via the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery - an Australian fishery managed by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) (see: https://www.afma.gov.au/fisheries-management/species/blue-grenadier). The Australian catch of hoki is managed via quota (i.e. strict limits on the amount of fish allowed to be harvested), vessel number, fishable area, and fishing gear limits. Hoki is certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (see: https://www.msc.org/what-you-can-do/eat-sustainable-seafood/fish-to-eat/hoki )
What do they taste like?
The moist, easy to flake flesh is white, with a delicate, sweet flavour. They do have a slightly stronger flavour than some other fish, such as our milder Spanish mackerel that we showcase as our 'house' fish at TobinFishTales. Our Starfish taste testers voted GRILLED as the best cooking method for hoki, followed closely by battered. You can of course choose to have it crumbed, though the flavour is more enhanced (i.e. stronger) so it will come down to personal preference.
Have I seen it somewhere before?
Most likely! It is common in fish and chip shops around Australia. However, it is often sold as "fish", as there is no legal requirement for fish & chips shops to accurately label their fish. Interestingly, for those customers who are from Brisbane - in many cases, what is sold as "cod" may well be hoki. Be sure to check with other stores if you come across "fish" or "cod". As you know, at TobinFishTales we prefer to let you know exactly what you’re eating and where it is from …….. after all, ”every fish has a story!”