ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Shopping for Fish: Whole Round vs. Dressed vs. Steaks and Fillets

Updated on June 4, 2010

When shopping for fish at the supermarket, you have many choices available to you. There's white fish and dark fish. There are many different varieties of fish. But in terms of preparing fish as an ingredient that you will be cooking with, there is one very important thing that you always want to look for and that's if and how the fish has been cut for you. 

There are three basic types of fish that you'll find at the supermarket in terms of how it's been prepared for you to cook it so far. Those three types are:

Whole round. This type of fish hasn't been cut for you at all. In fact, the fish is pretty much the way that it was when it came out of the water. It still has its head on and it still has its organs inside. A lot of people don't want to buy whole round fish because it's the most difficult to prepare. However, there are good reasons to buy whole round fish. For one thing, it's the freshest type of fish and it's going to retain its flavor the best. For another thing, it's usually your least expensive option which is certainly something you think about when doing your grocery shopping these days. If you do decide that you want to buy whole round fish, you should look carefully at it to make sure its fresh. Choose fish that has moist skin but is still firm, smells like the ocean and not actually "like fish" and has eyes that are bright, clear and protruding a bit from the head.

Steaks and fillets. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the fish that has already been cut for you so that it's ready to cook as it is. There are actually two different types of fish within this category: steaks and fillets. Steaks are fish that have been cut widthwise. Fillets are fish that have been cut lengthwise. Steaks still have the large backbone in them and may have skin on a portion of the meat. Fillets don't have any bones or skin. Both are ready to cook as is. When purchasing steaks or fillets, you want to look for flesh that appears firm and moist. You don't want dried-out fish. In the case of steaks, look at the skin to make sure it is still shiny. And again, you shouldn't smell an overly fishy smell.

Dressed. In between whole round fish and steaks/ fillets, you will find another option: dressed fish. The parts of the fish that you might not want to deal with have been removed from this fish. Specifically, the entrails have been removed, and usually other parts like the head and tail have also been taken off for you. The fish hasn't been cut so you can cut it the way that you like but you don't have to deal with the messiness of taking out the insides. You do, however, still have to deal with the bones. And the skin is still on the fish. Many people like this option because it allows you to retain a lot of the freshness and flavor of the fish but cut out some of the biggest hassles in dealing with a whole fish. Choose this fish like you would when looking at the other cuts of fish, looking for shiny skin and moist, firm flesh.


Submit a Comment
  • arshad_master profile image


    9 years ago

    visit my recipes hub you like all my recipes

  • CheapInMadrid profile image


    9 years ago from Madrid,Spain

    Nice one!

  • soni2006 profile image

    Rajinder Soni 

    9 years ago from New Delhi, India

    Congrats Kathryn. You deserve it my dear. Great hub.

  • abidareacode profile image


    9 years ago from Areacode , Kerala, India

    Congratulation to win the daily hub contest

  • Purple Perl profile image

    Esther Shamsunder 

    9 years ago from Bangalore,India

    I share your enthusiasm for writing about food,Kathryn. Congratulations! And here is my take on the same.

  • Kathryn Vercillo profile imageAUTHOR

    Kathryn Vercillo 

    9 years ago from San Francisco

    Thanks to everyone for the congratulations on my win. It's fun writing about food. :)

  • Angela Harris profile image

    Angela Harris 

    9 years ago from Around the USA

    Congratulations on winning today! Interesting hub, too!

  • oceansnsunsets profile image


    9 years ago from The Midwest, USA

    Congratulations Kathryn on your win, and great hub

  • Sheila Wilson profile image

    Sheila Wilson 

    9 years ago from Pennsylvania

    Well done hub! Congratulations on your win.

  • K9keystrokes profile image

    India Arnold 

    9 years ago from Northern, California

    Great job!

  • Smireles profile image

    Sandra Mireles 

    9 years ago from Texas

    Thank you. Very helpful.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)