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Water-injected fish


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Did anyone notice that some fish has been water injected at all?


I use basa quite often, no problem with that fish.


A while ago I decided to try pollock. It shrunk noticeably at cooking time.


I cooked some pollock again today. But I diced it (to make patties), and strained it, and sure enough, it lost 16% of water in weight. And even though, the minced patties were incredibly wet. While same patties made with basa were firm and nice.


In the meantime I checked about water injected fish and pollock is a favorite target.


I would advise you to keep that in mind when you buy fish.


Did you people notice any such thing at all?



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I haven't noticed it in fish but I have noticed it in poultry. I was in a store recently where it stated that "up to 25% water by weight may have been injected". This was for either frozen chicken thighs or frozen drumsticks. The one that wasn't up to 25% injected with water was injected with up to 15%. I no longer buy frozen poultry.

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meats may be injected with "flavor enhancers" - it is allowed by FDA/USDA and the law also requires the product to be labeled with that fact, and the contents.


because it is allowed does not mean every piece of beef, pork and chicken on the shelf has been injected with water to make it heavier.  well, perhaps except at Whole Foods - but the rest of the world generally follows the law.


the law specifies the maximum that may be injected.

for poultry the law specifies the maximum permitted "retained water" from the wash/rinse process.


the tin hattist theories that everything is now artificially inflated is actually not true, but it is amusing.


water coming out of fish is just water coming out of fish - cook a protein and it shrinks.

frozen fish/seafood sold by weight must weigh as specified after any free water is drained off.  if you need a quick check, pick up a 1-2 pound bag of frozen shrimp and put in on a store scale - or any the fish counter to weigh it for you. 


the one place you can get snookered is buying shrimp from under the counter.  depending on how far along they are in the thawing bit, they can have a lot of ice still stuck on the shrimp - which gets weighed into your packaged price.

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but the rest of the world generally follows the law


er no.


Despite what many people (including the NSA) seem to think, American laws (including FDA/USDA regulations) have no validity outside the USA. Many countries have no regulations on this. Others have different regulations.

Frozen fish here is routinely injected with ludicrous amounts of water. I haven't bought it for years.


Agree with weedy. You need a fishmonger you can trust. Fortunately, I have one.

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.


The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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the answer is to have a good, trustworthy, fishmonger


some friends think I'm crazy to drive 35 mins each way to my fish store, but it's worth it to me

It's my m.o. as well. I will buy fresh fish from the farmer's market, where I know the fishermen.  Otherwise, I pretty much avoid fin fish. I actually trust the labeling of fin fish at whole foods - but I don't necessarily like the way it's stored and displayed in their fish counter.


For shrimp, wild U.S. product - I buy it still frozen, in 2 lb. bags. That way, I can take out just what I need.


Other shellfish (clams, mussels, oysters), I buy local and tagged product. 

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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