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Buying online fish/frozen fish, shellfish


Franci
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4 hours ago, KennethT said:

This place popped up on my facebook feed - has anyone tried them?

https://wildforkfoods.com/

The quality and prices look too good to be true, and they ship with dry ice.

 

I have my first box coming on Weds.  Prices are pretty good indeed. 

 

We'll see.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, gfweb said:

 

I have my first box coming on Weds.  Prices are pretty good indeed. 

 

We'll see.

 

 

Looks pretty interesting, however, the don’t ship to my area.

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Here's my first test of the Wild Alaskan shipment. I thawed 3 packages of Coho Salmon. Each package was around 6 oz worth of fish. @rotuts, I took a picture of each piece on edge, so you could see that at the thickest they were around 1" thick. I think these must be from nearer the head, or at least not near the tail. Can you tell from these shots?

 

20210628_220600.jpg

 

These fillets are glazed with salt water as the spot prawns were that @KennethT mentioned above. I took a cue from him and thawed the fish in salty water in the refrigerator. Was that useful or helpful? I don't know. The package instructions simply say to remove from the packaging and thaw under refrigeration. As it happened, I'd snapped the photos above when family called from out of town. We went out to dinner. The salmon were still icy in places the next morning, so the refrigerator thaw in salt water is indeed a slow and gentle method. 

 

When I pulled the fillets out to start cooking the fish flesh was VERY soft, almost mealy. Was that because of the long, slow thaw and hold in salty water? Should I have simply left them in a covered dish without the water? I've noticed that texture with some salmon in the past. I don't remember whether it's been a particular variety of salmon. I'll ask Wild Alaskan and see what they have to say.

 

A normal person would use a familiar recipe and cooking method when testing a new supplier. I didn't do that. Salmon is my favorite fish, but it's one of my husband's least favorites, and I'm always looking for treatments that he too will like. Sear-roasted salmon fillets with lemon ginger butter, from The 150 Best American Recipes (2006) (eG-friendly Amazon.com link), was the choice this time. (Yes, I've had that book since it came out. No, I'd never tried this recipe before.) It turns out to be messy to make, unless one is cooking outside or has a really good range hood. You heat a film of oil to medium-high heat, place the fillets skin-side down and let them cook until browned on the bottom, then flip them and place in a preheated very hot oven for a few minutes. The smoke and grease spatter were bad. The good news is that the fish held up well. The "mealy" surface stayed with the fish, for the most part, and the fish firmed up as it cooked. The final result was flaky but not overcooked.

 

20210629_065155.jpg

 

The real star of the recipe is the lemon ginger butter: minced ginger and chives, mixed with lemon juice and softened butter, dolloped on the fish. In our case it was also dolloped on the green beans and sopped up with his toast. 

 

Was this salmon better than we could have gotten at the store?  I don't know, but it was at least as good: beautifully frozen, very fresh tasting. I'll ask Wild Alaskan about the texture and the proper thawing method, and report back.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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8 minutes ago, Smithy said:

Here's my first test of the Wild Alaskan shipment. I thawed 3 packages of Coho Salmon. Each package was around 6 oz worth of fish. @rotuts, I took a picture of each piece on edge, so you could see that at the thickest they were around 1" thick. I think these must be from nearer the head, or at least not near the tail. Can you tell from these shots?

 

20210628_220600.jpg

 

These fillets are glazed with salt water as the spot prawns were that @KennethT mentioned above. I took a cue from him and thawed the fish in salty water in the refrigerator. Was that useful or helpful? I don't know. The package instructions simply say to remove from the packaging and thaw under refrigeration. As it happened, I'd snapped the photos above when family called from out of town. We went out to dinner. The salmon were still icy in places the next morning, so the refrigerator thaw in salt water is indeed a slow and gentle method. 

 

When I pulled the fillets out to start cooking the fish flesh was VERY soft, almost mealy. Was that because of the long, slow thaw and hold in salty water? Should I have simply left them in a covered dish without the water? I've noticed that texture with some salmon in the past. I don't remember whether it's been a particular variety of salmon. I'll ask Wild Alaskan and see what they have to say.

 

A normal person would use a familiar recipe and cooking method when testing a new supplier. I didn't do that. Salmon is my favorite fish, but it's one of my husband's least favorites, and I'm always looking for treatments that he too will like. Sear-roasted salmon fillets with lemon ginger butter, from The 150 Best American Recipes (2006) (eG-friendly Amazon.com link), was the choice this time. (Yes, I've had that book since it came out. No, I'd never tried this recipe before.) It turns out to be messy to make, unless one is cooking outside or has a really good range hood. You heat a film of oil to medium-high heat, place the fillets skin-side down and let them cook until browned on the bottom, then flip them and place in a preheated very hot oven for a few minutes. The smoke and grease spatter were bad. The good news is that the fish held up well. The "mealy" surface stayed with the fish, for the most part, and the fish firmed up as it cooked. The final result was flaky but not overcooked.

 

20210629_065155.jpg

 

The real star of the recipe is the lemon ginger butter: minced ginger and chives, mixed with lemon juice and softened butter, dolloped on the fish. In our case it was also dolloped on the green beans and sopped up with his toast. 

 

Was this salmon better than we could have gotten at the store?  I don't know, but it was at least as good: beautifully frozen, very fresh tasting. I'll ask Wild Alaskan about the texture and the proper thawing method, and report back.

Interesting.  I haven't thawed any fish yet - I think I'm going to do one set tonight - maybe the cod.  They have a blog on their website, and one of the posts talks about how to thaw.  They recommend taking the fish out of the vacuum bag and thawing on a rack in the refrigerator - that way, the fish won't be sitting in a puddle of salt water melted glaze.  There's also a video showing a bunch of different defrosting methods.  I think that I would only thaw in salt water if I wanted to do it in a hurry - then I would use salted cold tap water and leave it on the counter - possibly changing the water once it starts to feel really cold.

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9 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Interesting.  I haven't thawed any fish yet - I think I'm going to do one set tonight - maybe the cod.  They have a blog on their website, and one of the posts talks about how to thaw.  They recommend taking the fish out of the vacuum bag and thawing on a rack in the refrigerator - that way, the fish won't be sitting in a puddle of salt water melted glaze.  There's also a video showing a bunch of different defrosting methods.  I think that I would only thaw in salt water if I wanted to do it in a hurry - then I would use salted cold tap water and leave it on the counter - possibly changing the water once it starts to feel really cold.

 

Yes, I just went to their web site and found the same information: thaw in the refrigerator, out of the package or at least with the package punctured to allow oxygen in, in a dish to catch the drips. I've just emailed them to ask whether the soak was responsible for the surface texture. I've also asked them rotuts' question about from where on the fish the fillets are cut.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I tend to do the quick thaw in a bowl with cold running water.  For these thinner filets, it can take as little as 15 minutes. I don’t think there’s a problem with cooking them even if they are a bit icy still on the inside.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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42 minutes ago, weinoo said:

I tend to do the quick thaw in a bowl with cold running water.  For these thinner filets, it can take as little as 15 minutes. I don’t think there’s a problem with cooking them even if they are a bit icy still on the inside.

Within the plastic wrap?   FWIW, I have never used frozen finfish, but have great success fast-defrosting frozen prawns in cold water, in their shells.  

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eGullet member #80.

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I've never used frozen fish (yet) either, and like @Margaret Pilgrim, in the past, I've always defrosted shrimp in a bowl of cold water and never had any problems.  Part of me can't believe I've been putting in so much research into the best way to defrost the fish, but I think I'm doing it just because it's so expensive compared to fish I usually buy in the supermarket.

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1 minute ago, KennethT said:

 Part of me can't believe I've been putting in so much research into the best way to defrost the fish, but I think I'm doing it just because it's so expensive compared to fish I usually buy in the supermarket.

Exactly.   Nothing to apologize for. 

eGullet member #80.

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

 

I do take it out of the vacuum pack.

Why?

 

I vacuum seal a number of my proteins and find defrosting in the sink or a bowl of water the most efficient and the product doesn't become water-logged.

 

p

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9 minutes ago, palo said:

Why?

 

I vacuum seal a number of my proteins and find defrosting in the sink or a bowl of water the most efficient and the product doesn't become water-logged.

 

p

 

I've done it both ways and don't find much of a difference, at least not one that I can tell.  The company does suggest taking it out of their vacuum packaging to defrost. 

 

I'm wondering how fish gets waterlogged, considering they tend to spend their whole lives - in water?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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From Wild Alaska:

 

 

Quote

 

Your seafood is stored beautifully in your freezer, and you're ready to prep your next meal. Now what?

Thawing is super easy and only takes 2 steps:

Step 1: Remove the packaging. This helps ensure that your seafood retains its premium flavor and texture for you to enjoy, and it helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. *

 

💡Keep in Mind -- You can also puncture the packaging (without removing it entirely), as long as you allow airflow while it thaws.

 

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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13 minutes ago, palo said:

Why?

 

I vacuum seal a number of my proteins and find defrosting in the sink or a bowl of water the most efficient and the product doesn't become water-logged.

 

p

They probably recommend it for concerns of bacterial growth and being very conservative.  Reduced Oxygen Packaging has botulism concerns at temps over refrigerator temp.  So, as the package is defrosting in the water bath, you have potential for the bacteria to grow on the warmer parts (the outside) while you're waiting for the inside to thaw.  15-20 minutes is fine, but you wouldn't want to let it sit for a few hours.  And botulism toxin isn't destroyed by heat, so cooking it thoroughly post-defrost won't help.

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9 minutes ago, KennethT said:

They probably recommend it for concerns of bacterial growth and being very conservative.  Reduced Oxygen Packaging has botulism concerns at temps over refrigerator temp.  So, as the package is defrosting in the water bath, you have potential for the bacteria to grow on the warmer parts (the outside) while you're waiting for the inside to thaw.  15-20 minutes is fine, but you wouldn't want to let it sit for a few hours.  And botulism toxin isn't destroyed by heat, so cooking it thoroughly post-defrost won't help.

 

Yes as we've discussed. 

 

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35 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

I'm wondering how fish gets waterlogged, considering they tend to spend their whole lives - in water?

When they live in the water, they don't have any exposed flesh - skin is a moisture barrier.

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51 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

 

I'm wondering how fish gets waterlogged, considering they tend to spend their whole lives - in water?

 They were encased in skin then.

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In lieu of cold running water (my tap water isn't particularly cold and here in drought-land, shouldn't be left running), I often put a bag-o-fish in an immersion circulator bath for a quick thaw.  I set the Anova @ 40°F and throw in enough ice cubes to get the water temp down into that range. 

Sometimes I take the fish out of its packaging and put it in a new bag. 

Sometimes I just leave it in the original packaging.  I understand the anaerobic bacteria toxin risk but it's only going to be an hour max and usually much less.  I only do this if I'm going to cook the fish right away and would never recommend that anyone else ever do it. 

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