Pez Gallo or Pez San Pedro: a delicacy for our tables

Although its physical appearance leaves much to be desired, the San Pedro fish is a true culinary delicacy. It is one of the fish with the greatest variety of names throughout Spain. In the northern regions of the Iberian Peninsula, it is usually called Peixe San Martín, while the Galicians call it Peixe San Martiño, and others know it as Peixe Gallo, Muxu Martín, Gallopedro or Gall de Sant Pere.

The nickname "Roosterfish" comes from its distinctive spine, which is remarkably large. It uses this spine as a defence mechanism, raising its barbs whenever it feels threatened, in order to protect itself from its enemies. For this reason, it is important to handle this fish with caution when preparing it, in order to avoid being pricked by one of these spines.

On the other hand, the name "San Martiño" or "San Martín" has to do with the period in which some consider this fish to be in its ideal season for consumption. This means 11 November, which would be Saint Martin's Day.

Representative characteristics of the San Pedro fish

Apart from its crest, the Roosterfish has a very peculiar morphology, its body being extremely narrow as is the case with flatfish. However, flatfish, such as sole for example, have their eyes on the same side of the body. However, the San Pedro fish has one eye on each side, so it does not fall into this category.

Another of the most distinctive features of the St. Martin's fish is its dark spot that could easily be mistaken for an eye. It can be seen in the area near the tail, and is designed to confuse potential predators.

Legend has it that these marks are attributed to Saint Peter, who, it is said, fished this fish out of the sea. It is believed that he engraved his fingerprints on it, thus giving rise to the name "...".St. Peter's Fish".

If we overlook its appearance, what really makes the San Pedro fish worthy of attention is its unparalleled taste. Not so long ago, this marvellous fish was underrated because of its many bones. In recent years, however, this has changed completely. Nowadays, San Martiño fish is on the menus of the most distinguished restaurants, and its market price has risen considerably. The softness and exquisiteness of the flesh of the San Pedro fish make it a culinary delight no matter how it is prepared.

Nutritional value

In terms of vitamins, San Pedro fish is an excellent source of vitamin B6, known for its key role in red blood cell synthesis and protein metabolism. It also contains folic acid (vitamin B9), which plays a crucial role in the development of the nervous system and in the production of DNA and RNA.

San Pedro fish is also rich in phosphorus, which is important for healthy bones and teeth. It also contains magnesium, essential for the nervous and muscular system, and potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and the balance of body fluids. It is also a good source of iodine, a mineral vital for proper thyroid function.

What cooking methods can I use to cook St. Martin fish?

One of the simplest and most common techniques for cooking this amazing fish is grilling. For this, we recommend that you ask us to cut it into pieces around 2 cm wide, or you could indicate that you prefer the piece divided into two parts, without the central bone.

In terms of its versatility in the kitchen, while it is commonly enjoyed grilled or fried, the firmness and flavour of its flesh offer a wide range of possibilities. A traditional option is to batter and fry the head, and grill the loins, or better still, grill them.

Since this type of fish is semi-fatty, it adapts very well to breading, gratins with béchamel sauce and prawns, and even en papillote. The options are countless, but you must bear in mind that it is essential to pay attention to the cooking times, in order to preserve its juiciness and properties at their maximum splendour. In addition, it combines flexibly with a variety of ingredients and dressings.

How to calculate the amount of Roosterfish you will need?

When it comes to determining the amount of San Pedro fish we may need, we recommend buying 500 grams per diner. As its guts represent a considerable percentage of its total body weight, and the head is quite imposing in size, a higher quantity is recommended compared to other fish.

From Pescados y Congelados Guerrero, we invite you to venture to prepare this jewel of our oceans. In our online shopYou can buy the San Pedro fish in the size you prefer, and we will send it to you in the cut that best suits your preparation preferences.

Picture of Pescados y Congelados Guerrero
Pescados y Congelados Guerrero

A Malaga-based fresh and frozen food distribution and production group with more than 50 years in the sector.

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