Barbados is known as the land of the Flying Fish. These foot-long fish, which “fly” over the water for up to 200ft, are found in other waters but Bajans have refined the skill of de-boning them. Caught mainly during the winter and spring months Flying Fish is a tasty, slightly oily fish that is delicious shallow fried in soft breadcrumbs with just the right amount of Bajan seasoning.
The national dish of Barbados is Flying Fish and Cou Cou. The fish is steamed and smothered in a tasty gravy made from butter, tomatoes, fresh herbs, onion and a little lime juice, then served over a mound of Cou Cou which is corn meal, okras, water and butter cooked to a firm consistency. Apart from Flying Fish, most of the fish served in Barbados have very few bones and are served boneless. The most popular of these often causes misunderstanding among visitors because it is referred to throughout the region as Dolphin.
Also called Mahi Mahi or Dorado, this moist and delicious fish with large soft flakes is absolutely no relation, and has no resemblance, to a Porpoise or Dolphin like Flipper. Porpoise Dolphins, rarely spotted in our waters, are revered, never caught. Very similar to Dolphin is Barracuda, which is slightly more flavourful; Red Snapper, a very soft and delicate fish; and Bream, also called Red Fish. Wahoo, mistakenly called King Fish in Barbados, is a firm and slightly dry fish. Swordfish is firm, chunky and almost meaty. The most meaty of all is the local Yellow Fin Tuna, which is excellent served rare or raw, but leathery when cooked through.
There is a new fish farm in the north producing Sea Bass, which is appearing on Bajan menus for the first time. Less often seen are the reef or pot fish.The most famous of these is Crane Chubb, which is soft and full of flavour. Tabiog, also known as Reef Runner or Rainbow Runner, Amber, Midnight jacks are all hard to get but very enjoyable. An abundant supply of good varieties, clean waters, a short trip from market to table, and skillful de-boning make fish in Barbados an affordable, healthy and delicious treat!
Article Source - Ins & Outs Barbados (Miller Publishing)