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Cooking Fish While Preserving Skin Color


Peter the eater
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I've been reading Busboy's topic about Crispy Fish Skin and was reminded of another fish skin issue that's stumped me for a long time:

Is it possible to retain the beautiful raw skin colors of, say, an iridescent blue mackerel once it's cooked?

I know the skin can look largely unchanged if pickled or cured in salt, but are there techniques out there to cook the flesh but keep the raw beauty intact?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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From Anthony Boudain's "The Nasty Bits" on Ferran Adria

Can a beautiful fresh anchovy be cooked yet still appear raw, leaving the attractive outer skin as untouched-looking as it appears in nature? (Seems like it)

So apparently Ferran Adria knows how to do it.

PS: I am a guy.

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So apparently Ferran Adria knows how to do it.

Well, if El Taller can do it then how hard can it be? (meant to be read with a sarcastic tone)

Actually, I did find a technique that fits. A mackerel fillet is carefully skinned, the meat is poached, made boneless and seasoned before being rolled back into the skin -- which has been warmed in a vinegar/salt/sugar mix. No picture, but I'll be trying to duplicate that recipe in the near future.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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So apparently Ferran Adria knows how to do it.

Well, if El Taller can do it then how hard can it be? (meant to be read with a sarcastic tone)

Actually, it looks pretty simple (link time index 18:30 ).

Another idea might be to simply do the reverse of crispy skin: instead of frying the fillet skin down, perhaps frying it skin up without turning, until the fish was cooked and the skin was warmed but not cooked?

Edited by Mallet (log)

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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There was one Iron Chef episode, many moons ago, wherein Morimoto cooked a side fish by pouring hot oil over it.

Perhaps if the fish was planked, skin side down, and the oil was poured over the flesh side?

Peter, you have time to check this out, right?

Karen Dar Woon

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Actually, it looks pretty simple (link time index 18:30 ).

I remember them talking about that perfect sort of anchovy on "No Reservations" a while back, but couldn't find the video anywhere. Thanks for posting the link.

Edited by Batard (log)

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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Well it sounds like you want the fish to be cooked through whilst having the skin stay relatively the same color as when it started.

Here is how to do so... relatively.

Steaming, as in the chinese style... you can use hotel pans, one being preferated of course, or if you have a bamboo steamer all the better. Steam the fish at a low simmer and the color will stay relatively the same. Searing meat side down would cause the skin to turn white i believe...

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