Blue grenadier form large schools in deep waters off Tasmania’s west coast from 200-700 metres deep. They move through the water column at night to feed and stay near the bottom during the daylight hours. Small fish around 10-40 cm are found in Bass Strait, west coast rivers and the River Derwent.
Recreational fishers may catch these fish from shore based structures in rivers when currents push migrating fish from the continental shelf. Larger boats can target blue grenadier at night in deeper waters using unweighted baits such as fish or squid allowed to sink naturally in the current.
Blue grenadier have a mild, delicate flavour and low oil content. They are very good eating with fine textured, white tasty fillets and no bones. They can be soft after freezing. Suitable to bake, barbeque, grill, shallow or deep fry, steam or smoke.
Recipe: Thai Fish Cakes:
450g skinned blue grenadier fillets; de-seeded red chilli; a big splash of both fish sauce and lime juice; kaffir lime or young lemon leaves, cut finely; 1 egg, beaten; 1 tsp palm sugar; fresh coriander leaves, stalks and roots, chopped-half a bunch; 3 tsp of red curry paste; 1-2 tsp of finely chopped chilli; lemongrass; 100g green beans, thinly sliced; 2 spring onions, chopped; peanut oil for frying; 45g of rice flour, for dusting; sweet chilli sauce, for dipping.
Chop fish roughly in food processor. Add other ingredients except beans and coriander and process until well combined. Transfer to large bowl and stir in beans, onions and coriander. Shape the mixture into small fishcakes and roll in rice flour. Chill for a while. Heat the oil in a pan and shallow-fry the fishcakes until they are golden brown.