Cusk-eels
Shortbeard Cusk-Eel [Congrio (Chile); Family Ophidiidae of order Ophidiiformes]

Cusk-Eels, while somewhat eel shaped, are not true eels and belong to an entirely different order (Ophidiiformes). They never venture into fresh water, and can't be expected to be interchangeable with regular eels in recipes. The photo to the left is of Shortbeard Cusk-Eel (Lepophidium brevibarbe) which is a minor commercial catch found on the Atlantic coast from North Carolina south through the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and the north coast of South America to French Guina. There is a separate population off Uruguay and the southern tip of Brazil. It grows to about 10 inches.   Photo of Shortbeard Cusk-Eel by NOAA\NMFS\Mississippi Laboratory (color corrected) distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike v3.0 Unported.



Pink Cusk-Eel   -   [Congrio, Himakhara (Chile); Abadejo, Himakhara (Argentina); Kingclip, Ling, Pink Ling (Australia, New Zealand); Genypterus blacodes]
Whole Pink Cusp-Eel (except tip of tail)

This commercially important fish is native to deep water off the coasts of South America from Chili around to Brazil. It is also found along the coasts of southeastern Australia and especially all around New Zealand. This fish can grow to 5-1/2 feet long and 55 pounds, but they are more typically around 3 feet long. Cusk-Eel is prized for its firm light colored flesh, particularly in Chile. This is the fish used in the Chilean soup Caldillo de Congrio made famous by Pablo Neruda in his poetry. IUCN Red List NE (Not Evaluated).   Photo distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0.

This fish is not currently available in North America. Fishbase considers the coast of Baja California to be suitable habitat, but there are not yet any Pink Cusp-eels living there. As a substitute, use a fish with light colored flesh that stays firm with wet cooking. Pink Ear Emperor or Monkfish should be excellent, but other fish can be also be used.

Kingklip   -   [Koningklip (Africans); Rosada del Cabo (Spanish); Genypterus capensis]
Whole Kingklip (except tip of tail)

This commercially important fish is closely related to the Pink Cusk-Eel (and sometimes confused with it commercially), but native to the Atlantic coast of Namibia and around the southern tip of South Africa. One of the most popular fish in South African restaurants, it was seriously overfished during the 1980s, so some controls have been put in place and it is currently by-catch only. This fish can grow to nearly 6 feet long and 33 pounds. IUCN Red List NE (Not Evaluated).   Painting by Robert Jacob Gordon, copyright expired .

This fish is not currently available in North America. As a substitute, use a fish with light colored flesh that stays firm with wet cooking. Pink Ear Emperor or Monkfish should be excellent, but other fish can be also be used.

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