Nemadactylus Macropterus

Seasonality – Year round

Catching Method – Trawl, long line, ledger

Raw Preparation – Yes

Cooked With Skin On – Yes

Preferred Cooking Method – Sauté with skin on, baked, BBQ’d whole, steamed, crumbed

Substitute Species – Snapper, Gurnard, Trumpeter


Tarakihi, seems to be the default ‘go to’ fish species when other favourite varieties are not on offer. It has a soft spot for most kiwi cooks not just due to its price but also because it lends itself to most cooking applications.

They are great for the BBQ – scale the Tarakihi, remove the guts and head, then thread a bamboo skewer or toothpick through the belly to keep both sides together. Lightly oil the fish, season with salt and pepper, then cook on a medium hot flat top or grill for about 8 to 10 minutes either side, until the flesh comes away from the main frame of the fish with ease.

Roasting it whole in tin foil is another delicious alternative. That way you can add slices of lemon, fresh herbs and spices, along with of the obligatory and always amazing dollop or two of butter. Make sure you double wrap with foil and place in an oven dish to catch any leaks. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and cook it for about 20 to 30 minutes.