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Ice fish: photo, description, useful properties and recipes

Fish is one of the best food options if a person is on a diet or just wants to diversify their own menu. But sometimes we want to find something unusual, and at the same time healthy. In this case, it is worth paying attention to the icefish (Champsocephalus gunnari).

Icefish: what kind of fish, what it looks like, and where it lives

What it Looks Like

As a rule, the length of the average icefish carcass is 25-30 cm, weight reaches about 600 grams. Quite often this fish is also called a white-blooded pike. After all, its blood does not have the red color familiar to the human eye - due to the absence of red blood cells and hemoglobin.

Ice Fish

Other features:

  • scales are absent;
  • abdomen white;
  • vertical, irregularly shaped dark stripes on sides;
  • muzzle and body elongated;
  • mouth and eyes large in size;
  • two dorsal fins and long pelvic fins.

Where does it live

The icefish tends to live in cold Arctic waters. This is what gave the fish its name and marked the boundaries of where it is best to fish. Another name for the fish is the Murmansk pike, which also denotes its stable location. In addition, the fish is widely distributed in the Antarctic basin.

What it eats

The ice fish is a real predator. It tries to stick to one location, not afraid of either low temperatures or deep water. The main diet consists of bottom dwellers: shrimp, squid, planktonic crustaceans, small fish. It is said that it is due to the icefish's diet (in which shrimp are welcome), its meat also acquires an unusual taste for fish, reverberating with shrimp. Many gourmands find this to their liking. The young generation of icefish feeds exclusively on plankton, not yet having had time to grow up to big victims.

The breeding process

The period when the white-blooded pike enters puberty is about two years. It is worth saying that pikes belong to the separate-sex fish - that is, in the emergence of offspring equal responsibility rests on both the male and the female. Among fish this is quite rare. In addition, spawning occurs almost simultaneously with the moment of fertilization of eggs.

Spawning begins in the Antarctic autumn (March-May). Unfortunately, these fish definitely cannot be called overly fecund. Depending on the age and health of the female, she is capable of hatching from one thousand to 30,000 thousand eggs. With the passage of time rather large larvae with already developed teeth appear. Afterwards, the fry of the icefish develop extremely slowly, making them easy prey and forcing them to feed exclusively on plankton for a long period of time.

The life expectancy of the squirrel pike is 13-15 years.

Natural Enemies

Due to how deep the icefish and its offspring live at, there are few natural enemies for this species. Therefore, it is able to develop quietly, growing to its fancy size.

At the moment, the main enemy is man. Having begun to catch the icefish too thoughtlessly and irresponsibly, he will undoubtedly put it on the brink of extinction. Therefore, this issue should be treated as responsibly as possible by every fisherman encountering this species.

Population and status of the species

At the moment, the icefish is not a protected species. Most fishermen can safely go about their business, bringing home a good catch. That said, there are certain restrictions on certain areas of its habitat that deter reckless fishing.

Related species.

Other species of squirrelfish:

  • deepwater;
  • Patagonian;
  • crocodile;
  • green;
  • rhinoceros;
  • dwarf;
  • sailfish.

And about 20 other species from 11 genera.

How to catch icefish: when, where and on what?

Having discussed above in detail the permissibility of catching whitefish pike, of course, it is impossible to get around the question of how best to hunt it. After all, each fish has a number of features, based on which it is selected bait, bait and more. Let's try to understand the details, so that carefully planned fishing for icefish will not go in vain.

How to catch ice fish

When to catch

The most successful time for fishing - from the beginning of December to the end of November.

Important! It is necessary to remember that there are certain restrictions for ice fishing, faced with which you can get a fine.

Where to fish

White-throated pike are caught in their habitat. Globally speaking, it is caught in the Shetland and South Orkney Islands. Also near South Georgia and Kegerlen. In the case of Russia, it is worth paying attention to the northern cities with cold and deep waters.

What to catch.

As a rule, icefish fishing is not a matter for amateur fishermen, as this species hides in deep, cold waters. And therefore, icefish fishing, more often than not, is done with multi-depth trawls. Catch a whiting pike by spinning, of course, it is possible, but it will be extremely difficult and costly. It is worth leaving this case to professionals and simply buy it in the store, enjoying the beautiful and unusual taste.

Composition and calories

The meat of the ice cream is quite dense in its structure, but at the same time it is characterized by tenderness and a pleasant aftertaste. The amount of fat is minimal - no more than 2.2 g, protein 17.7 g, which makes the fish useful and suitable for diet dishes.

There are 91 kcal per 100 grams of the product. In addition, like in the meat of any other fish, icefish contains phosphorus, vitamins, calcium and fluoride. Taking all this into account, there is no doubt that protein pike is an ideal option for a balanced, healthy and low-calorie diet for almost every day. Such a product is excellent for both athletes and people who have certain dietary restrictions.

The contents in 100 g of the edible part of vitamins, minerals:


  • B1, thiamine - 0.05 mg.
  • B2, riboflavin - 0.13 mg.
  • B6, pyridoxine - 0.1 mg.
  • B9, folate - 3.6 mcg.
  • C, ascorbic - 1.2 mg.


  • Potassium - 250 mg.
  • Calcium - 30 mg.
  • Magnesium - 25 mg.
  • Sodium - 160 mg.
  • Sulfur - 180 mg.
  • Phosphorus - 220 mg.
  • Chlorine - 165 mg.


  • Iron - 0.5 mg.
  • Iodine - 50 mg.
  • Cobalt - 20 mg.
  • Manganese - 0.09 mg.
  • Copper - 140 µg.
  • Molybdenum - 4 µg.
  • Nickel - 6 µg.
  • Fluorine - 430 ug.
  • Chromium - 45 ug.
  • Zinc - 0.7 mg.

What is useful for the human body

Dissecting the question of the usefulness of this or that fish, in today's world, it is impossible not to touch the issue of ecology. A huge amount of harmful substances is poured into the oceans and seas, affecting its inhabitants. Therefore, even the freshest meat can be literally poisoned from the inside and carry in itself only harm to the body of any person. Eating this kind of food, any, even the healthiest representative of mankind, will soon feel not too good. But, the icefish, if properly caught, is a true exception. Thanks to the white-blooded pike dwelling in the clean waters of the Antarctic, which have still not been polluted by man, it remains completely untouched by toxins. Such meat is safe even for a child.

What's good for icefish

Pike meat will be useful for people suffering from hypertension, heart disease, who had impaired thyroid function. Pleasant benefits of eating protein pike will also bring people suffering from atherosclerosis.

As for children, it is better not to give the fish before one year of age (because the components in its meat quite often cause allergies in children). As for the rest, the icefish meat has almost no contraindications, it is perfect for any kind of diet and will bring only good. Thanks to its incredible taste, it will never be forgotten by a person and more than once will return to his favorite menu.

Harms and contraindications

Protein pike meat is rarely not accepted by the body, the only exception may be individual allergic reactions. It is always necessary to pay attention to the expiration date of the product. After all, if the fish was overdue, no benefit from it obviously will not be, and a person runs the risk of severe food poisoning.

It is also worth recalling that the fish should not be frozen repeatedly. Such a procedure will kill all the useful substances in the meat and greatly accelerate the process of its destruction. Bringing the product home, it is worth to cook it as soon as possible.

Important! Children under one year of age are not recommended to give ice-fish due to possible allergic reactions.

How to choose and store

As a rule, fish is available in fish stores in frozen form. Coming to the place of sale of the goods, it is worth paying your attention to a few important points that will not allow you to miscalculate and enjoy the delicious meat.

  1. If there is a huge amount of ice in the package, where the frozen fish is stored, most likely it has already undergone a process of defrosting-freezing. And therefore, the fish is not too fresh, and all the useful elements have long been lost.
  2. Fresh fish carcasses should have transparent and clear eyes. If they are cloudy, then the fish was frozen when it had already begun to spoil. It is better to refuse such meat.
  3. Fish-ice in any case should not emit an unpleasant odor. In case the aroma comes even from the frozen carcass - the fish is obviously spoiled.

In case all points have been passed, and the icefish successfully got to the home table, there is another question - its storage.

First of all, we should take into account that it is allowed to store whitefish, subject to one-time freezing, up to half a year. After the fish has been defrosted, cook it within a couple of days, otherwise the meat will irreversibly spoil.

Where to buy and how much does it cost

The question of where to buy whiting pike, does not arise, if a person lives in a metropolis. The carcasses can be found practically in any fish store or at the market. If fish is not brought into town by direct delivery, you can place an individual order from special online stores. Or, limit yourself to canned fish - fortunately, there is now a sufficient number of them.

Price - not the most pleasant point, because the cost of ice cream is able to deter many from its purchase. If it is a wholesale purchase, the cost will be approximately 1200 Russian rubles per 1 kilogram. At retail - somewhat higher, 1300.

Why ice fish is so expensive

Around the 1980s, the cost of icefish was quite low. The price increase was influenced by the collapse of the USSR. The countries dispersed in different directions, and the fish from now on had to be delivered in the literal sense of the word - from abroad. Such high prices are due to the fact that in the CIS territory the icefish is mostly delivered from remote places, if we are talking about large quantities. Exactly the delivery affects the fact that the cost increases slightly. Of course, you can be limited to the purchase of white pike from local fishermen, but the fish will lose significantly in its quality, because it will not be raised in perfectly clean water, in its natural conditions.

How to cook ice fish deliciously: recipes

From general questions, let's move on to the most interesting - how to cook the most delicious ice fish, so that it came out beautifully, not too costly, still useful and very, very tasty. It's worth considering a few popular recipes, each of which will allow you to taste this type of fish in a completely different way.

How to cook icefish

In the oven

Thanks to cooking in the oven, icefish retains its slightly shrimpy, delicate and sweet flavor. All the micronutrients that make the human body healthier will not disappear anywhere - and this is another reason to pay attention to this method of cooking. In the oven, such fish is cooked quickly and easily.

The cleaned carcass should be rubbed with oil, sprinkled with spices (thyme, pepper, salt, basil should be preferred), then sprinkled with lemon juice. The cheek squirrel is wrapped in foil and placed on a suitably sized baking tray. The cooking time is no more than 20-30 minutes. In order for it to form a crispy appetizing crust, 5 minutes before the end, it is worth unwrapping the foil.

In the multicooker

Recipe with a multicooker is perfect for those who want to save time and at the same time preserve all the useful properties of meat.

From the carcass, if necessary, it is worth cutting off the head and gutting. Pour a few glasses of water into the bowl of the multicooker. We put the fish in the multicooker on a special grid for steaming. On top of the carcass lay the vegetables as you wish and sprinkle with spices. Set the mode "Steam", time - 8 minutes. Since this type of fish is extremely tender meat, it is simply not recommended to cook it longer. The meat is tender and goes well with any side dish.

In a pan

For those who want to get more pleasure from food than good, you should pay attention to cooking in a frying pan. Here you can easily get a nice, crispy crust by creating a breading beforehand. To begin with, you should mix together flour, spices, salt, and egg yolk. After that, divide the carcass into pieces and roll them in breading. Each of the pieces is fried on a slow and low heat until fully cooked.

Video: How to cook a grilled ice cube Expand

Fish cutlet recipe


  • Horseradish - about 1 tbsp.
  • Sour cream - about 2 tbsp.
  • Greens.
  • Ice fish - 1 kg.
  • Salt.
  • Egg - 1 pc.
  • Bread crumbs for breading.
  • Carrots - 2 pcs.
  • Onions - 2 pcs.


  1. The fish should be cleaned, separated from the bones and put through a meat grinder.
  2. Chop onions and carrots, fry in a pan, mince them and mix with the minced fish.
  3. Salt, herbs, sour cream, horseradish and egg are added to the ready mixture. After that, it is necessary to mold cutlets, which are sent in breadcrumbs of crumbs. Thoroughly breaded, you can proceed to frying.

Ice fish soup


  • Ice fish - 500 grams.
  • Onions - 1 pc.
  • Carrot - 1 pc.
  • Potatoes - 5 pcs.
  • Melted cheese - 2 pcs.

How to cook:

  1. Carrot and onion should be finely chopped, fried in oil until golden.
  2. Then put the ice-cold fish in the same place in small pieces, fry it until golden brown.
  3. The resulting roast is sent to the prepared pot with clean water, salt it, add the necessary spices.
  4. Cook the soup for 20-25 minutes, near the end, rubbing the melted cheese into it and stirring, achieving their complete dissolution.

If desired, you can sprinkle herbs on top of the soup.


What does icefish taste like?

Due to the fact that icefish feeds on shrimp and deep sea dwellers, its meat has a light shrimp flavor with delicate creamy notes.

Snook squirrelfish

The meat of pike squirrelfish from the first note falls in love, and with the addition of certain spices reveals itself in a completely different way. It is also worth noting that by sprinkling the ice fish with lemon juice, you can achieve an incredible disclosure of its flavor.

Icefish cannot be compared to any other product except shrimp. But undoubtedly, there are far more beneficial trace elements in squirrelfish.

Are there a lot of bones?

For those who don't like to choose bones, icefish is ideal. The meat of the fish is quite soft, with the main bones being the backbone and ribs. Fish does not store too much whole calcium in its body, and therefore, even the backbone, when properly processed and cooked, will become soft. There are almost no small bones in this fish.

Due to the lack of bones, it is cooked in a variety of ways, experimenting and achieving different flavors.

Chef's tips for cooking fish

After sorting out the details and questions, it's worth finishing the article with some interesting facts from chefs. They will help you master the preparation of this fish, which is not common to the average person, much faster. With these little tricks, you can save your own time by making the dish truly amazing.

  1. If the method of cooking was chosen frying in a pan, it is worth paying attention to the oil. It is best not to pour it on the pan, and pour it on top of the fish itself - so it will be much juicier.
  2. During frying, it is better to put pieces of pike squirrels farther from each other - in this case the fish will bake faster.
  3. Roast pike should be fast enough, on a very hot pan - so the meat will be tastier without losing its juiciness.
  4. If you cook soup out of white pike, there is no need to boil it long - 20 minutes after the water with all its contents boils is enough.
  5. It is best to bake the pike whole - so the fish will retain its taste and all the useful elements.

Having studied all the information, we can draw the most important conclusion - in food it is always necessary to experiment. Icefish is an extremely useful and incredibly delicious option, which will not only make the menu healthy, but also perfectly diversify any table. There are a lot of variants of cooking this fish and it is impossible to imagine that it can get boring. Once again, serving chicken breast with buckwheat, you should wonder. Perhaps now is the time to head to the fish store and find a fresh icebreaker for a family dinner.

«Important: All information on this site is provided for informational purposes only. for informational purposes only. Please consult with your health care professional before using any of the recommendations. specialist before using any of the recommendations. Neither the editors nor the authors shall be liable for any possible harm caused by materials."

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