Products

Alaska Pollock

Theragra chalcogramma

Market Name(s): Pollock, Alaska pollock, walleye pollock

Contact Purchasing
Alaska Pollock
  • Primary Source: Alaska, China, Russia
  • Season: Alaska: Jan - Feb, Aug - Oct
  • Primary Fishing Method: Trawl

Size Range:

Max Size: 15 lbs

Avg. Size: Less than 2 lbs

Product forms:

FRESH: skinless, boneless fillets.

FROZEN: Skinless, boneless fillets, graded 1/2, 2/4, 4/6 6/8 oz. IQF, shatterpack and block. Surimi.

Storage & Handling

Frozen fillets held at -5 to -15°F will last a year. Fresh fillets held in ice at 32°F will last seven days.

Cooking Suggestions

A lean, versatile fish, Alaska pollock is well-suited for poaching, baking, steaming, sautéing, or deep-frying. As a result, it can be served simply at a fish and chips shop or with a delicate sauce in a white tablecloth restaurant.

Selling Points

  • Very versatile, low-priced fish. Excellent in everything from fish n’ chips to fish tacos.
  • The best quality pollock is excellent for broiling and sautéing and can be used as a substitute for flounder or sole - at a fraction of the price.

Defects

  • Fillets with gray flesh color, skin specks, bones and parasites.
  • Blood spots are a sign of bruising and mishandling.
  • Spotty, uneven coating on breaded and battered products.
  • White cottony appearance indicates freezer burn.

The Pacific Advantage

  • Alaska Pollock is MSC Certified verifying it is a well managed and sustainable fishery
  • Pacific Seafood plants are MSC Certified to verfy chain of origin
  • Pacific Seafood offers IQF, block, shatterpack and retail packages for all category sales and needs
  • Primary Processor
  • Available fresh or frozen

Summary

Think of Alaska pollock as the fish that doesn’t get any respect. Almost everybody eats it, but hardly anybody knows it. Pollock are the favorite fish of fast-food fryers, which serve it up as fish n’ chips, fish sandwiches and now even fish tacos. And, of course, pollock are the stuff of surimi, the ubiquitous fish paste that is used to make “seafood analogs,” the ersatz shellfish products that look and taste a lot like the real thing— at a fraction of the price. Alaska pollock is the largest food fish resource in the world.

Alaska pollock can grow to 15 pounds or more, but most of the fish caught commercially are less than 2 pounds, so most pollock fillets are 2-4 ounces in size. The pollock fishery in Alaska is managed using a unique system that allows fishermen to form cooperatives and avoid the “Olympic-style” race for fish. Under the Co-op system, boats are assigned an agreed upon quota to fish at their discretion. As a result, they can fish slower, which has increased their yields and improved their quality. Be careful not to confuse Alaska pollock with Atlantic pollock (Pollachius virens), which is fished throughout the North Atlantic. While both fish are members of the extended cod family, Alaska pollock are smaller, have noticeably whiter flesh and a lower oil content.

The price of pollock varies widely, depending upon how it was processed. The highest-priced pollock fillets are single-frozen, FAS, product produced by Alaska and Russian factory trawlers. Next would be single-frozen fillets processed by Alaska shore plants. Double-frozen pollock fillets, most of which are processed in China, sell at a substantial discount, sometimes as much as 40% less than FAS single-frozen fillets.

Most pollock is processed into blocks for use as a raw material. Surimi blocks are made by pressing pollock fillets through an extruder to make a fish paste. Fillet blocks are made by placing small fillets into a metal tray and freezing it in a plate freezer under hydraulic pressure.