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haresfur

Bought a flathead, now what?

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Ok, bought a small whole flathead. Now what do I do to cook it? After it's cooked I think I'll do fish soft tacos. I have no idea what would be the best way or for how long. Feel free to submit ideas for other ways of serving flathead for future reference. Thanks.

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I've used it in fish tacos. Works nicely. Skin and fillet it. Watch out for those spikes--assuming the fishmonger hasn't snipped them off. Cook the fillets gently with some butter for a couple minutes: just enough for the flesh to change colour and take on the appearance of being cooked. Cook the fillets before portioning them.

As for the taco filling, I like to use a mix of red onion, tomato, cucumber, jalapeno, lime juice and coriander. Diced and mixed together with a little bit of olive oil and black pepper.

EDIT

Pin bone it using blunt-end tweezers. I just use a $2 pair I bought in the 'beauty' section of the supermarket.


Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

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Fillet it. This is not a fish for cooking whole.

Don't grill it unless you have some heavy duty marinade on it to keep it moist and even then make it really brief so it doesn't dry out.

It is a really good fish deep fried in batter. Try tempura made with one cup ice cold water, one cup flour, one tsp baking soda, 1 egg, 2 tbsp of either cornstarch or potato starch. Mix all dry ingredients. Beat egg and add to flour with water. Whisk to mix. Be sure to leave lumps as these add character to the final batter. Dredge fish in flour, shake off excess, coat with batter, and deep fry.

Or just cook it lightly in butter, poach, or steam.

Whatever you do, unless it's battered and deep fried, don't use high heat.

Cook it until it just goes white 1/2 way through the fillet. Turn and cook briefly on the other side. Rest slightly before serving. It will continue to cook once it's off the heat so the best time to finish is 2/3 done rather than fully done. If it is fully done when you are cooking, it will be overcooked when it hits the table. Sorry can't give times, depends on too many factors. It's better to watch how the fish cooks and turn/ take off when appropriately done.

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This. And, too, so long as you're using a gentle flame, it's fairly forgiving. You can visually keep track of what's going on with a fillet, particularly when it's not coated in crumbs or a marinade.

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Okay. What sort of a fish is this? I'm unfamiliar with this name. Does it go by another?

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It's something we catch a lot of locally that has, in the past few years, become commercial in a big way (and is bullshit expensive if you just buy the fillets). I don't think you'd get it anywhere else. I wouldn't imagine we export it.

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That explains it. If it isn't a fish that is available in the Northern Hemisphere, I couldn't have heard of it.

Thanks, guys!

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Next time I'll fillet it. I followed the advice of another friend and wrapped it in foil with some marjoram and put it on the barbie. I figured that I was going to flake it apart anyway so I took the bones out after cooking. I overcooked it a little but it was still ok. Of course we are talking about fish purchased in a small inland city so I guess I really should go on a fishing trip and try it really fresh. I'm keen to try deep frying.

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Ideally, it shouldn't go to the point of flaking apart.

If you're interested in catching some we could always head down to Brighton one time.

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