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What's the right internal temperature for a slab of fish?


TdeV
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I'd take it off the heat at 115F, cover with foil for ten minutes or less &  serve. I believe the perfect temperature to be approximately 125F.  But I'm one of those people who absolutely cannot stand over-cooked fish.  USDA food safety guidelines would have you cook it to 140F or above. That does not work for me

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To each their own, it is truly a matter of preference. I like my fish on the raw side of cooked through.  That's my preference.  As far as parasites or pathogens, 140F will not guarantee safety either,  although I freely admit that is the recommended temp by USDA. There are loads of pathogens that survive above 140F. Theromophiles, for example.  They thrive in high heat environments. 

Then again, I eat a lot of sashimi, which is not cooked at all. This is not a one-size -fits-all scenario.  That's why I love cooking - there is usually no single *correct* answer ;)

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It will cease being translucent at around 133°F and will begin to be flaky at ~139°F,  so in between it is most tender.

I sous vide salmon to 136°F and it gets consistently good reviews.

You can eat it raw if you trust the source, but check for parasites in any case.

USDA says you can kill fish parasites by freezing at -4°F for 7 days.

 

If not doing sous vide, account for heat soak and take it off early. You can calculate what temperature you want, but you don't have the instrumentation to sense the state vector, so skill and experience will have to guide you.

Edited by DocDougherty
note on parasites (log)
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3 hours ago, DocDougherty said:

You can eat it raw if you trust the source, but check for parasites in any case.

USDA says you can kill fish parasites by freezing at -4°F for 7 days.

 

 

In many jurisdictions, fish served raw in restaurants MUST be frozen to kill parasites.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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They "Joy of Cooking" states that, "all fish is cooked through at 137 (degrees) F. Usually 135 (degrees) F leaves just a hint of translucence and more moisture, and is done enough for most people. For tuna and other fish, that you might prefer less well done, try 120 (degrees) F for starters. Use the knife peeking technique to double-check the thermometer if you are unsure."

 

I have trouble getting a good reading on all but the thickest of fish with my trusty old-fashioned mechanical meat thermometer, so I use Joy's guideline of 8 or 9 minutes cook time per inch of thickness, checking with the peek inside with a knife procedure. No dry, or worse, rubbery fish from my kitchen!

 

But individual tastes, and food safety concerns vary, as may your mileage with this advice. :)

 

It's most important to start with fresh product here, as that is what will determine your result, even with the most excellent cook.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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On 1/11/2016 at 0:08 AM, liuzhou said:

 

In many jurisdictions, fish served raw in restaurants MUST be frozen to kill parasites.

 

Yes, I have seen white worms burrowed into the flesh of tilapia. VERY gross and creepy, but we ate it anyway, after I pulled them out with tweezers, satisfyingly ground them up in the garbage disposal, and cooked the fish thoroughly. I never mention stuff like this to the husband. No need for him to know, if the end product is going to be edible and safe. Hell, it probably would've been safe just with cooking, but WORMS for extra protein? NO THANKS!

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Is the sea bass fresh? Or 'fresh frozen'?

In japan all fish intended for sashimi is first frozen then thawed. The freezing kills any parasites.

Not only that the fish has a better flavor and texture after being frozen then thawed.

 As an ex commercial fisherman of twenty five years my advice if the sea bass is fresh or has been fresh frozen then thawed is to VERY gently poach it in plain lightly salted water. Just enough water to cover the fish. No added herbs/lemon juice. No nothing.

When the flesh is cooked enough so it slides off in smooth flakes remove and serve with a hot (temp.) sauce of your choice.

 It's not so much about the temperature rather the texture.

If the sea bass was purchased from a commercial source someone would have 'candled' the fillets and removed any large parasites/egg sacks in the fillets.

When you see those tiny little white balls the size of a sugar granule on a fish fillet they are parasite egg sacks. They are too small to hurt you.

 

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