Wolffish may be ugly, but it’s sweet – The Denver Post

The most frequent question that cooks (and eaters) ask about any strange or strangely named food is, “Well, what’s it taste like?” — and “like chicken” is just more often false than helpful. Or, really, both.

And, so, to wolffish, one of the strangest of sea fish, but also one of the more delicious. People will tell you that “wolffish tastes like monkfish,” and the latter fish some claim to be “poor man’s lobster.” So, a fair pescatarian syllogism would be that wolffish tastes like lobster.

Wrong. (And, besides, I don’t think that monkfish tastes much like lobster anyway.)

Wolffish is as pearly white and shaded slightly pink as both cod or ocean perch are and cooks to an even more brilliant, opaque white than they do. It is “sweet,” as seafood goes, with what fish aficionados call a “satisfying” taste. Because its diet is mostly small prey along the sea bottom, and heavy on the shellfish, its flesh can be as rich as — and taste like — the meat of crab or large shrimp.

Wolffish is so named because, when alive, this thing looks ugly-mean. It resembles more a huge eel than a cute Nemo-y fish, sports a Freddie Mercury overbite, and is so rapacious that it scarfs (wolfs?) down crabs, mussels and sea urchins, shells and all.

Its French name — “loup de mer” — has a pretty ring to it (because that’s what French does), but is merely a mirror translation of the English, “wolf of the sea,” or wolffish.