Silver Pomfret Fish (Pampus argenteus)

silver pomfret

Last updated on August 22nd, 2022 at 02:07 am

The silver pomfret (Pampus argenteus) is an ocean fish of the family Stromateidae, found in all tropical and subtropical oceans. It has long been prized as food, especially in India and Bangladesh where it was once known as the king of fish. It may reach 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in length and weigh 5 kg (11 lb). The flesh is white, firm, and fine-grained. Its body shape resembles that of the dorado or Mahi-mahi and its scales are thin and without pigment.

Silver pomfret fish are also called white pomfret, but in spite of the name, they’re not related to true pomfrets, which are members of the mackerel family.

No matter what you call them, the silver pomfret fish (Pampus argenteus) is an excellent choice for your next seafood feast. These silvery-white fish are highly regarded by locals, as well as by international seafood aficionados, and they can be found in the waters of South and Southeast Asia.

Origin and descriptions

A silver pomfret, also called the white pomfret (Pampus argenteus), is a butterfish found in coastal places in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. As a result of the migration of Lessepsian through the Suez Canal, the species has colonized the Mediterranean. Their large pectoral fins, fork-tailed tail fins, and flat bodies distinguished this family of fish.

They are silvery/white in color, with a few tiny scales. Their weight ranges from 4 to 6 kg (8 to 13 lb). Due to overfishing, specimens weighing less than one kilogram (2 pounds) are more common.

Silver pompanos are not to be confused with Florida pompanos (Trachinotus carolinus), which are jackfish found off Florida’s Gulf coast, nor with real pomfrets, which belong to the family Bramidae.

Species profile

silver pomfret

The Silver pomfret belong to the family of Stromateidae and are also known as Silver pompano, White pomfret fish, or Pampus argenteus. These are large marine fishes that are found in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region. They have a silver-colored body with a bluish hue on their upper side while they have a white-colored belly. They are small-sized fishes with an average length of about 2 feet and a maximum length of about 3 feet.

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Scientific name

The scientific name of the silver pomfret is Pampus argenteus


The silver pomfret fish can grow to around 24 inches (61 cm) in total length.

Silver pomfret fish facts

silver pomfret

As a food

The flavor of this fish is light and not dull. It’s a good fish to eat, but it has a bone problem in the 5 to 6 ounces range.

Incredibly, only a few tiny scales can be seen, just enough to keep this kosher. Filleting it is simple, but a hard keel needs to be removed under the body cavity area using kitchen shears, and the fish must be cleaned by removing the head before filleting. A fish weighing 5.7 ounces provides approximately 3.2 ounces of skin-on fillets (56%) and 2.6 ounces of skinless fillets (26%). Frying reduces the size of the skin a lot, but it is not the easiest type of fish to skin.

Fortunately, you won’t hurt yourself if you leave a few little spots on.

Steaming or baking this fish is not recommended. The tissue ends up looking rather awful when sliced diagonally due to shrinkage, and then there’s the question of the bones, particularly those that form the margins of the fins.

In addition to crisping up, the small bones of the fins are kept intact when the head is removed, dusted with flour, and fried (pan or deep).

The fins can either be removed before serving the fish or you can eat it whole, turning it over after consuming the first side.

You should simply dust the fish with flour, since a thick batter will obstruct deboning.

Is Pomfret fish good for health?

A large silver pomfret fish consists of twenty-one percent protein, eighteen percent fat, and one hundred and forty-three calories. The food is rich in phosphorus, calcium, iron, sodium, and iodine. Its oil is used to cure coughs and fevers, while its meat is great for alleviating pain. Also known as white pomfret fish or silver pomfret fish, Pampus argenteus can be found in coastal waters throughout Africa and South Asia.

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Is pomfret easy to digest?

Many find pomfret to be an easy fish to digest. The white pomfret fish has a mild flavor and light texture, so it’s considered a good fish for those trying to lose weight. The fat content in pomfret is also relatively low compared to other fish, making it ideal for dieters and heart-healthy eaters. However, a single serving of silver pomfret contains about 8 grams of total fat.

Is pomfret high in cholesterol?

Although white pomfret fish are rich in protein, they contain less cholesterol than beef, lamb, and pork. A white pomfret fish weighing 600 grams can provide you with around 75 grams of lean meat. This is considerably lower than beef at 123g, lamb at 127g, and pork at 153g for a similar serving size. White pomfret fish also provides your body with considerable amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and selenium.

Is silver pomfret high in mercury?

silver pomfret

Silver pomfret, also known as Pampus argenteus or Panhagger in India, has a firm, white flesh with a moderate texture. Unlike most other species of fish which contain high amounts of mercury, silver pomfrets do not contain mercury; rather they are higher in protein and vitamin B complex.

While there are no confirmed cases of any adverse health effects being caused by consuming silver pomfrets, it is always recommended to eat fresh fish that was caught in clean waters.

Why is White Pomfret so expensive?

Silver pomfret fish is one of the rare kinds that are really expensive. In some parts of Asia like China, they are considered a royal fish and even served on special occasions. The average price of silver pomfret depends on its size or weight and it can reach up to $200 per pound or even more, depending on its grade. Now you can imagine how much does a large silver pomfret costs!

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Is pomfret oily fish?

No, it is a popular misconception that pomfret fish is oily. The term oily fish usually refers to species of fish that contain high amounts of omega-3 fats and vitamin D, which promote health when consumed regularly. Pompret contains moderate amounts of omega-3s but negligible amounts of vitamin D.