Often named St. Peter’s fish (St. Pierre in France, Janitore in Spain), as he is
alleged to be the origin of the distinctive dark ‘thumbprint’ (or spot) on its side as a
thank you for some help with his tax! The English name John Dory arrived from the
French ‘jaune doré’ meaning‘ golden yellow’ – a good description for this unusual
looking fish, which varies in size from smaller 230-450g fish up to 2kg. Because of
the large head (like Monkfish, this accounts for half its weight),
John Dory is best filleted, but beware the low yield (around 35%) and some sharp
nasty spines, which require extra care when filleting.
The flesh is creamy-white, with a dense texture similar to Dover Sole, which holds
up well during cooking. Ideal pan-fried or grilled, John Dory works well with
Mediterranean flavours, salsas, and peppery sauces. It may be an expensive fish
with a low yield – but it’s worth it!