Two species of pomfret, also known as monchong in Hawaii are harvested in small quantities by the longline and bottomfish handline fisheries. The predominant species is the sickle pomfret, distinguished by the forked shape of its fins and large scales that can be carefully removed & deep fried for an added delicacy.
Monchong are landed daily by Supreme Lobster's Hand Line Vessels the Princess K, Serenity & Miss Emma, packed & shipped directly to O'Hare the following morning. Usually caught in deep waters (greater than 900 feet), often in the vicinity of seamounts. Monchong can range from about 4 pounds to over 25 pounds, but the prime market sizes are fish over 12 pounds yielding a gorgeous 3-7# fillet.
Monchong has a slightly translucent, white flesh with pinkish almost luminescent tones. Its texture is firm yet supple and beautifully mild in flavor
Sickle pomfret caught by Hawaiian fleets in the Western and Central Pacific and Eastern Pacific (including vessels landing in California) with deep-set longlines is a "Good Alternative." The catch of at-risk or overfished species remains a significant concern even though bycatch mitigation for this fishery is rated highly effective. Overall management is rated effective. In addition, there are no impacts on seafloor habitat, and managers have begun to review measures to protect the ecosystem. However, the status of sickle pomfret in the Pacific is unknown.
One of the most versatile fish on Earth, Monchong can only be found in Hawaii. Available year round, Monchong is a great menu item that can be used in a variety of applications. Snow-white meat that is firm enough for the grill yet is tender with a high oil content which preserves moisture and offers a unique deep buttery flavor.