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Fish Preparation


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5 replies to this topic

#1 Bond Girl

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Posted 13 May 2004 - 06:12 AM

I often find with thick pieces of fish, the center usually end up being pretty bland and tasteless. Do you have any tips and advice on preparation techniques that will get the seasoning into the fish and even out the flavors, making the center part of the fish less boring? Recently I had a grouper dish at an otherwise great restaurant in Miami that was brilliant in concept but lacklustered in its end result. It was a grouper coated and roasted in sesame with some kind of smoked chipotle sauce. So, you end up tasting a lot of bold flavors on the outside but as you break down the fish into flakes, the center was pretty tasteless. Some chefs in New York work around this by splitting the fish in the center, and adding a layer of seasoning in the middle, then reconstitute the pieces to its original form. Is that the only way?
Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

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I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

#2 Shaun Hill

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Posted 13 May 2004 - 07:43 AM

I would be loathe to split the fish and add stuffing to the middle unless it was say some lobster mousse replacing the bones in turbot or sole. The advantage of the spice and chipotle mixture on the outside of the fish is that it will take the main blast of heat and much more of the cooking process than the more delicate flesh underneath. It tastes better that way

I think the best bet is to increase the amount of spice paste that you cover the fish with in proportion to the thickness of the fish and if necessary carve it into slices after cooking - maybe even use a pastry brush to spread the mixture down and evenly across the fish so that the right amount of flavour is there for each serving.

Best wishes

#3 blueapron

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 02:10 PM

What about scoring the fish the way asian chefs do.Carefully slice into the fish a couple of times and then spread your paste or seasoning over the fish and into the slots.Be careful though as this will also speed up the cooking process by allowing heat into the fish faster.You have to remember that the skin on the fish is its own source of protection or body armor against other sea life and can't be easily penetrated by herbs and seasonings.

Also you are seasoning the cavity of the fish,right?

Sometimes I will even marinate fish filets in something like red wine(with the alco cooked off) over night. It is flavorful and takes on a unique purplish red color.

This may make some chefs cringe, but at home I like to think outside the box and not do everything so strickly.You are feeding yourself afterall and wont be hunted down by the culinary 5.0

Edited by blueapron, 16 May 2004 - 02:19 PM.


#4 Bond Girl

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 07:03 PM

I've not tried scorching the fiish, but that is a good idea.

While we are on the topic of fish, recently a well known chef taught me how to get the crispiest fish skin possible. You first scrap the skin of the fish, then you make sure your oil is really hot and put the fish skin side down. Hold the fish diwn with a spatula, and then just when you think the fish skin is burning, you drop a spoon of creme friche into the side of the pan, and let the cream break up around the fish. Once the cream is cooked out, you plate the fish.

Why is it that this work with black bass and shad but never with something like snapper?
Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

#5 blueapron

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 10:41 PM

I've not tried scorching the fiish, but that is a good idea. 

While we are on the topic of fish, recently a well known chef taught me how to get the crispiest fish skin possible.  You first scrap the skin of the fish, then you make sure your oil is really hot and put the fish skin side down.  Hold the fish diwn with a spatula, and then just when you think the fish skin is burning, you drop a spoon of creme friche into the side of the pan, and let the cream break up around the fish.  Once the cream is cooked out, you plate the fish. 

Why is it that this work with black bass and shad but never with something like snapper?

not scorch -score the fish with knive by slicing just 1cm or 2cm deep.

The key to crispy skin is to get the skin as dry as possible by either drawing the blade across the skin to "squeegee" as much moisture out as possible drying with towels as you go or if you can find japanese celluose paper it works great because it absorbs moisture like a sponge. I use it with diver scallops to get the beautiful sear and crust.

I dont like to press down on the fish like you suggested just because fish is so delicate. Dry skin and hot oil are essential.

I'm not sure why you cant get the skin on the snapper-I know it can be done.

#6 Bond Girl

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 06:38 AM

Thanks Blue, will try to perfect the technique on snappers.
Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.